What Do Your Cats Do When You’re at Home Sick?


Right now I’m sitting in bed, in my pajamas, after barely surviving half a day at the office. I’ve finally succumbed to the crud that’s going around. My head is spinning, and I have all the energy of a baby bird that’s just fought its way out of its shell.

So what behavior have my cats been exhibiting? What have they been doing to take care of me while I’m feeling so ill?

Bella "helped" me get my pajamas on by swatting at every item of clothing as I picked it up.

As I futzed around trying to get my mysteriously disappearing Internet connection restored so I could write this column from the comfort of my bed, Thomas found that it was a great time to chase Siouxsie all over the house. Cue stampede sounds and growling and hissing like I haven’t heard since Kissy first made her presence known.

Bella got all agitated about the kerfuffle and started pacing back and forth, periodically running for cover.

Then it was time for Thomas to sit on the floor, basking in what passes for a sun puddle today, and look at me with big, innocent eyes.

At that point I knew it was only a matter of time before all three cats joined me on the bed and commenced their executive-assistant work, which consists mainly of walking back and forth between me and the laptop screen so I have to crane my neck around them or push them aside.

I wasn’t disappointed. Thomas was the first to take up his position, sitting on my chest and giving me a session of "purr therapy." I felt better immediately. There’s something wonderful that happens when a cat spends time with you and you alone, offering the kind of healing that only a cat can give.

I don’t plan to jump out of bed and do chores any time soon — even getting out of bed to make another cup of hot tea seems like a herculean effort — but Thomas’ love and affection is a better remedy than any pill or potion on the market.

Thomas is definitely the cat of the hour when it comes to affection, attention, and doting. I’ve never had a cat who was such a gentleman, not just to me but to any other cat or person who will let him lavish his love upon them.

Eventually everyone will settle into their appointed positions: Siouxsie on my left, Thomas on my right, and Bella relaxing on my shins. And they’ll keep me warm and comfortable as I watch some train-wreck TV and try to focus my attention long enough to do some reading.

Oh, and I’ll definitely sleep. After all, one of the things I’ve learned from my cats is the importance of taking naps, and Thomas’ purr therapy is a fantastic sleep aid.

What do your cats do when you’re sick? Are they helpful and comforting, or do they demand your attention even more because you’re home all day? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

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