Pet Tips 'n' Tales

A Cup of Hot Tea and a Warm Cat 
Soothe Life's Dramas

 Courtesy Photo 
A cup of hot tea and a warm cat help navigate us through life dramas. Never underestimate the power of a pet's love in healing the human body and spirit. It was a miracle that Seamus walked into Linda's life at a emotionally and physically frightening time.

It takes quite a bit of magic to cheer someone up after a cancer diagnosis and the prospect of further medical appointments.

Five years ago, scheduled for her first radiation treatment Linda was anxious, dressed, and ready to leave the house an hour early. Thyroid cancer is not a death sentence, but it was a significant worry for her.

With a cup of hot tea in her hand, deep in thought, Linda went outside and sat on her front-porch steps to calm her nerves.

"Thoughts about life and the way things turn out played in my head," said Linda. "Then a little orange kitty, about a year old, strolled through my yard.  I had never seen him before. He walked past me, so I gently called out, "Hey little guy where are you going?" 

He stopped, turned, and looked at me.  To my delight he walked over and jumped up into my lap!

This little kitty's sweet presence felt like a good omen. I stroked his soft fur and he purred - loudly.  When he got up, I went in and got him water and cat food. He wasn't interested in either.  He didn't look thin, but still I wondered if he was a stray and if he was being fed.

That day was the beginning of our relationship. For the next few weeks, he showed up 2-3 times a week. Whenever I was doing yard work or hanging clothes to dry on the clothesline he would mysteriously appear. He was cheeky, loved chasing me, and grabbing me around the ankles until I stopped to pet him.

I wanted to adopt him but was afraid he belonged to someone who would miss him. In the meantime, we continued with our fun times.

Then he began showing up just as I was leaving for work or shopping. After this happened 3 or 4 times, as I was driving away looking at his sad face,  I said, "God if you want me to adopt this kitty please send him when I'm off work. I can't put him in the house unsupervised with my three adult cats-- and then leave!"

The next  week, I was off for a four-day stretch, and on the third day he showed up with a hurt eye almost swollen shut.

I had no option but to rush him to the vet who said, "This little guy appears to be a year old, and a stray because he hasn't been neutered, and his eye has obviously been this way for several days." So, in that minute, he became mine. He got his $hot$, blood te$t$, neutering, and med$ for his eye.

The funny thing is, as reluctant as I had been in introducing this gentle kitty to my other cats, they instantly loved each other! Maybe God knew something I didn't!!

The cat needed a name befitting his character and color. Because of his Irish orange-red fur he became Seamus.

Years later, Seamus is still a very lovable lap cat. He has brought untold happiness and laughter into my life.

At the sound of my voice, Seamus comes running and jumps up onto my lap. I've never had a lap cat before, and I'm enjoying his sweet and affectionate company.

When I talk to Seamus, he studies me with those huge golden eyes that match his fur - as if he understands every word.

I believe that Seamus' arrival was divinely planned to help me through a difficult time. Every day, I am grateful for his presence.

Recently, Seamus has helped me through another difficult time - unemployment and the loss of a job that I enjoyed for 33 years. How he has helped me through this grief is hard to say, but when he's in my lap purring, I just feel better."


Linda suggests, "Never use plastic bowls for your pet's food. Tiny scratches in the plastic hold bacteria and can make animals ill.  This bacteria is also the cause of painful feline acne. Purchase inexpensive glassware or unbreakable stainless steel at thrift stores and garage sales for their eating and drinking bowls.

*Antifreeze is made with ethylene glycol. Animals love it's sweet taste, but even 1 teaspoon lapped up can be fatal!

*De-icing salts used to melt snow and ice irritates pet's paws and can be poisonous if licked off. Wash and dry your pet's paws as soon as they come in from the outside. And while some people think doggie and cat boots may look ridiculous, they do help protect your pet's feet outdoors. 

*Did a pet food or treat make your pet ill? If they are not listed on the FDA recall list, it is possible you are the unlucky one to get the first batch. 
To protect other pets, immediately report the pet foods/ treats to the FDA.
It takes one person to get the ball rolling.  It is too bad that the melamine poisoning of a few years back went unreported for so long.  Each of us is the solution to protecting our own pets, and those of other pet parents.  Not knowing what the problem was we had a cat die three months prior to the major pet food recalls.  Your call to the FDA may save the lives of other pets.

Nymbus, the Silver Persain cat swimmingMary Ellen and Miss Wings
Mary Ellen & Miss Wings Pet Tips 'n' Tales Newspaper Columnist
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