The Therapy of Cats–What They Can Do For You

If you’re looking at this in hopes of figuring out the best therapist for your cat, feel free to skip it.  They’re usually WAY beyond any help counseling could give them.  This is about how cats can provide therapeutic value to their owners.  And, sorry to say, it has NOTHING to do with motorcycles.

I don’t know how many of you are cat owners.  In my opinion you should ALL be, but that’s beside the point.  I love cats (as you can tell by my “handle” BakaNeko, which roughly translates to Stupid Cat).  In any event, those of us who DO love cats know they come in several different temperaments.  We happen to have three very different types in our house.  They each add a share of therapy to our family, in one way or another.

1) Leave me alone – I’m better than you…

This is Anime (Ani for short).  She got that name from the fact that as a kitten, she had abnormally big eyes.  Ani is about 13 years old, and very much a perfect example of the stuck up kitty.  She will only allow you to pet her on HER terms.  And heaven forbid she should hear you shaking a pill out of a bottle to give her – you won’t see her for hours.  We thought we knew all her hiding places, but she still surprises us sometimes.  It seems the only time she WANTS you to pay attention is early in the morning or late at night.  Yup, you got it – feeding time.  Then it’s “mew mew mew” until you give in (or rather Polly does).  In the first picture she’s showing off her designer laser eyes.  Oddly, they came out different colors…  In the second picture you can see how terribly fluffy she is.  She’s got some Persian in her that leaves her with a tail roughly the size of a baseball bat, especially when she’s scared or very happy and it puffs out.  Ani’s therapeutic value comes from her laid back attitude, reminding us that taking it easy is not a sin.  She’ll just stretch out wherever she wants, and as long as you stay away from her, she’s happy.

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2) Pay attention to me – PLEASE PLEASE!!!

This is Daisy Mae.  She’s about 8 years old and is pretty independent.  Note she doesn’t even need you to pet her, she’s found Polly’s hair brushes all on her own…  AND she’s her own best friend.  However, she gets these moods where she HAS to be on top of you and you have no choice but to pet her or brush her.  Unfortunately, this usually happens when one of us is on the computer, reading, or watching TV.  It’s very difficult to type with a cat on your lap, rubbing on your hands.  And the fact that she’s not terribly transparent makes it impossible to see the computer screen, book, and/or TV.  Her therapeutic value (or is it a super power) is that she likes to shed all over everything.  No wait, that’s not it.  Is it that whole bugging the heck out of us when we’re on the computer thing?  No, that’s not very valuable.  She purrs a lot – yeah that’s it.  Purring is soothing and peaceful.  Oh, and did I mention she likes to groom my beard and sideburns?  Very helpful…

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Kitty Lickin’

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My shirt AFTER Daisy has made her visit…

3) I’m here to make your day a little better

Then we come to Maggie Mae.  She’s our youngest, at only a few years.  All things considered, she’s also the one that provides us (or at least me) the most enjoyment.  She’s still got kitten in her, so she makes us laugh.  There’s nothing like sitting downstairs watching TV when all of a sudden she runs down the stairs, zooms around the room (sliding on the laminate flooring) then bolts back up the stairs.  But she’s also very much the lady (as shown below).  She has a regal bearing, but still likes to play.  She has no spine (oh wait, how did that picture get in there?), and she’s very expressive.  In the last photo I believe she was startled by seeing Polly without her makeup… (ooh, I’m gonna pay for THAT one when she reads this)  They shaved her belly when she got “fixed” as a kitten and it has never really grown back, so she has a fleshy pink tummy.  Her therapeutic value is that she makes us laugh, and she likes to cuddle.  The best part of my day is usually when I get up in the morning to go to work.  I sit down in my computer chair to put on my shoes, and she’ll come running down the stairs and jump up on my lap.  I’ll lean back and she’ll climb up, lay down on my chest, and rub my face with her chin.  This makes me extremely happy.  Then, as suddenly as she appeared, she’s off and running back up the stairs.

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Well, there ya have it.  Three cats, three different ways of making our lives interesting.  They can often be pests, but those times are generally WAY overbalanced by the serenity and joy they give us.

Have Fun and Ride Safe,

BakaNeko


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