Published in the Rains County Leader on March 22, 2016:
It’s been several decades since I’ve shared my home with a cat, and I don’t remember how they reacted when I was sick. However, I’ve owned several dogs, and most of them were very empathetic when I didn’t feel well. I had a cocker spaniel who would lie down with me when I was in bed with a cold, and later, a malamute/husky mix who laid his head in my lap if he thought I was feeling down. Kitty is not nearly as empathetic.
I felt a cold coming on Tuesday – that scratchy feeling in the back of my throat that let me know the next week or two wasn’t going to be pleasant. By Wednesday night, I was feeling rough enough that I skipped AWANA, and Sunday I gave up and stayed in my pajamas all day. I woke up feeling like, for lack of a better phrase, something the cat dragged in. My head hurt, and I ached all over. My nose was stuffed up and running, all at the same time, my throat was sore, and I had a cough that sounded like the horn of an old Model T. To make matters worse, David was complaining of a sore throat.
After I texted a couple people to cover our respective responsibilities at church, I snuggled
into my big cozy chair under an afghan, and settled in for a nap. Kitty had other ideas. The cat who normally won’t sit in my lap was all over me. She chased every movement of my hands and arms, and when I convinced her to get down, she amused herself by rearranging the fringe of my afghan. She soon became bored with my lack of participation in her games, so she make a quick tour of the living room and kitchen, knocking the place mats off the table, a silver vase off the bookshelf, David’s glass off the coffee table (thankfully it was empty), and the squirt bottle I use to try and convince her to do things my way off the end table by my chair.
I finally accepted the inevitable. I folded the afghan and picked up the trail she had left. Then, I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down to read. In the meantime, Kitty dusted off her paws and, since her work was done, she curled up on the dining room chair by the bay window and went to sleep.
She visited me several times throughout the day just to be sure I was awake, but she delivered the final insult in the evening. When I sat down with my computer to write my column, I looked over at the couch where David had spent the day nursing his sore throat. Kitty was curled up on his legs, sound asleep. At least she gave me something to write about.