The following story from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary demonstrates the powerful healing properties of purr and fur — especially when it comes from a big orange tabbby!
By David Dickson
Bumps always come along in the road of life no matter how hard you try to avoid them. And when they do, its sure a lot easier to cope when you have a friend.
One such road bump a big one happened to Nadine the cat not long ago. Shed already been facing several health challenges when one day she fell and shattered her leg. Nadine went to the clinic for examination. The breaks were so severe the medical team couldnt repair the leg. They had to amputate. Such a surgery requires a lengthy recovery, and poor Nadine had a rough time with that phase. It seemed like shed given up. She would hunker down and stare out at the world through blank eyes.
It was easy to tell she needed a pick-me-up in the worst way.
Her caregivers had an idea. Back in Nadines play area, she had formed a close friendship with a cat named Gingerbread Man. This guy is more or less the quintessential stud muffin of his room. All the other cats love him! He has this laid-back, gentlemanly way about him that puts all the other cats in the room a-flutter when he approaches. The thing is, they have to take second seat to Nadine. She is his number one squeeze. Swarm him though they try, none of the other cats in the room can take her place. She and Gingerbread Man are quite the couple.
Nadines caregivers wondered if a social call from her boyfriend might help her feel better. After getting approval to take him into the medical recovery area, caregivers bundled up Gingerbread Man for his very first stint at therapy buddy. Or at least thats what they hoped hed end up being. They didnt know if Nadine would feel any better with him around or not, but it was worth a shot.
Within seconds, the caregivers knew their hunch had been a good one. As soon as they set foot in the room, Gingerbread Man started his characteristic cute, low meows. That was all it took for Nadine to perk right up and start meowing back. By the time caregivers brought Gingerbread Man out of his carrier, Nadine was rolling around so enthusiastically that she knocked her food dish clattering to the floor.
Needless to say, Nadine was thrilled to have her special friend come say hello! She even started gobbling up food with him around where before shed just been laying still. Gingerbread Man took the whole experience in stride. He didnt know quite what to think of the recovery room, yet he knew he was with his special friend. Thats all that mattered.
If he noticed her missing leg, Gingerbread Man didnt let it show. The two of them snuggled and spent quality time together for hours. “She was just so happy,” says Barbara Sanderson, one of the caregivers who brought Gingerbread Man over for the visit.
Ever since that day, Gingerbread Man has kept up his vigil as medicine man. Hes not giving medicine, mind you, he is the medicine. Nadine continues to improve and will be up zipping around before long. In the meantime, she has all the motivation she needs to keep doing her part. When you have true love in your corner, anything is possible.
Check out the cats and the kittens on the Cutesy Cat Cam for a few minutes or a few hours each day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mountain Time. You can toggle between watching adult cats and kittens — as often as you like! The Cutesy Cat Cam is brought to you by Emmet and Toni Stephenson in honor of their beloved Cat Cutesy.
If you are not able to adopt a special needs cat, please consider the rest of our wonderful felines.