Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why people have cats: an occasional series

I'm just starting to recover from a very nasty little episode a few hours ago that could have been any one of the following: (a) food poisoning, (b) caffeine poisoning, (c) codeine poisoning, (d) less than five hours' sleep, (e) a three-way dose of stress, or (f) (the most likely diagnosis) all of the above.

Anyway, as I lay there semi-conscious on my bed of pain, grateful that the room spins seemed to be getting slower, the neck knots looser and the head pain gradually less, I felt a thump and heard a 'Prrrrt?' as the bossy tortoiseshell hit the bed, and a few seconds later my head was enveloped in soft warm fur and my fevered brow was being rhythmically soothed by a rough and raspy tongue. Wash wash wash wash wash.

It really did help quite a lot.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

...as Toxoplasma gondii briskly move towards an opening provided by one host to another...

Why people don't have cats...

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Yes, and why people stay anonymous when they turn up on other people's blogs specifically in order to be unpleasant. Intriguing, isn't it.

I have done a fair bit of reading up on toxoplasmosis, thanks. As mine are inside cats who don't eat fresh meat, or each other's poop, I think we're all fairly safe. Now go irritate somebody else.

Snowpea78 said...

Good call Kerryn... why do people bother posting comments like that? There are much nicer ways to present your concern.

Annnnyyywaaaay... I have photo-sensitive epilepsy and my old Raven always knows when to make me sit down and take some enforced love.

Why people have cats!

Ann O'Dyne said...

Nastiness online is always coupled with the cowardice of anonymity.

Foolishly ending a cats fight by grabbing one of them, four hours later I sustained toxo gondi and took my swollen formless hand to casualty. all a dim memory now. meh.
It is a good thing to develop some resiliences helpful later when touching public handles of any kind.

I am sad for anybody who fails to obtain the joy of purring and smooching and paws in the face and the absolute psychotherapy of merely observing a Still Cat With Life.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

'Foolishly ending a cats fight by grabbing one of them'

Oh noes!

I bet you've only ever done that once. Plenty of discouragement even without the microbes, I should think. We who grew up on farms probably have well-entrenched lifelong resistance to all kinds of little passengers.

Mindy said...

I like them so much I have three. Still have to train other members of the family to feed them though. it's almost like a ballet when I rise from my chair and two of the cats rise with me, then the chorus starts...

Anonymous said...

Not all of us cowards are nasty with it.

Myself, I love my cats with a deep and abiding passion. And, when they are not sending my blood pressure through the roof they are a calming influence.

However Jazz has a new trick he loves: he is a tall cat and reaches up and hooks his claws into my behind, and then lifts his hind legs off the ground. Much pain, much blood. And still I love him/them

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it is anon the second back. I forgot to say that I hope you are starting to feel half way human again.

Misrule said...

My Mum knows a woman whose cat grooms her hair every night. Hilarious. (And And I suspect nasty-pants old Anonymous One has been watching too much 60 Minutes circa 1989. Can he/she/it cite a single death from toxoplasmosis in this country? Apart from all the cats dumped and euthanised after that dreadful faux 60 Minutes court case?)

Misrule said...

Oh, and I once foolishly grabbed our old cat Susie (boy named Sue) out of the middle of a tom-fight, and managed to escape with nary a scratch. But you're right. I don't know I'd do it again.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Judith: yes, I think ye olde water pistol is the go here.

Anon: Nah, see, the cowardice comes in when one anonymously says or does something that might have repercussions if one put one's name to it. (Also, thank you for the good wishes; it has indeed not been a pleasant day, but it is improving.) If I were blanket anti anonymous comments I'd just disable them in Preferences.

I often get a hint of who a commenter might be from the stats counter, which gives all kinds of details -- location, details of computer and browser, ISP (so I could follow up anything really vile if I wanted to) -- or from people's prose and typographical styles. That ailurophobe up there at comment #1, for example, has quite a way with imagery and mockery, cares enough about punctuation to get the capitalisation of the microbe right (though that may be cut'n'paste) but not enough about grammar to realise the Latin name is the collective noun for the species and therefore singular not plural, can't do HTML in comments, and doesn't put a space between a word and an ellipsis. I may recognise her or him by that combination if s/he turns up again.

Well, probably not now ...

elsewhere said...

*Like*--the bossy tortoiseshell, not the commenter!

Casey said...

Now imma tell you. Cause you are not well.

It was a social experiment back in the day. I just wanted to know what would happen. My friend told me never to tell anyone but I think you should, like, know. Once my cat licked me. I wanted to know if I returned the favour, what would happen. My poor cat, a fat wet slick up her nose, looked at me like I'd violated every secret law between human and feline, cartwheeled out of the room and disappeared for half a day.

Just telling you. Cats will do this as a sign of affection but if you are ever thinking about it: Do not return the favour. They do not appreciate it.

But now that anonymous mentions it, I do wonder what illness I may have passed on to poor fat Gigi? As if having a food issue wasn't enough.

Get even more better soon.

omg. the word thing is goatist. Are they for real?

Casey said...

"That ailurophobe up there at comment #1, for example, has quite a way with imagery and mockery, cares enough about punctuation to get the capitalisation of the microbe right (though that may be cut'n'paste) but not enough about grammar to realise the Latin name is the collective noun for the species and therefore singular not plural, can't do HTML in comments, and doesn't put a space between a word and an ellipsis."

Oh holy crap. Frightening. Just terrifying.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Terrifying? Really? Which part?

(No I don't reciprocally wash the cats. Comb, yes. Occasionally a chaste kiss on the top of the head.)

Casey said...

Well when I read this bit it was just horrifying:

"but not enough about grammar to realise the Latin name is the collective noun for the species and therefore singular not plural"

You are like the grammatical numinous. It's preternatural. People have nightmares about this stuff.

In Italian we say

Abbia Pieta:

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh, right.

You know my methods, Watson.

Link said...

Mostly my moggies demand to be fed or let-in/let-out, thus forcing me back into the world of 'functioning' should I be going through some sort of emotional meltdown.

All animals are good for their earthing influence and helping one get 'over' what ever it is reminding us that life goes on and they still need to be fed . . let-in, let-out.
PS People who hate cats smugly love all opportunities to mount their high horses.

Helen said...

And don't forget the dogs, who, being more robust and barrel-like, lend themselves to hearty hugs and don't mind the odd tear in the lovely soft fur on top of their heads. Who come up to you and give you a rough nudge with their nose and then collapse against you with a sigh of pleasure just to be near you, or maybe it's just that they've confirmed you're alive and well.

Get yourself checked out, just in case.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks, Helen. Once I finish The Book I am going to have a fairly serious general medical once-over, just because. At the moment, the dishes are lucky to get washed.

And yes, indeed, about dogs. Dogs are far more reliable when one is feeling broken, in fact; I think the reason it's so enchanting when a cat turns nurse is because one is made to understand what a very special privilege it is, and they wouldn't do this for just anybody. Or if they were in a Mood. Or hungry, or -- ooh, shiny!

Ampersand Duck said...

My cats are nursemaids, too. I'm glad you had some company (and that your cats are better nursemaids than most men).

Slow down! Big breaths! Medicinal whiskey! Walks in the park! Etc!

(WV= biling. Uncanny.)

Nabakov said...

Or maybe the cat thought you were dying and would leave them locked in and foodless and so just wanted to check how you'd taste.

Disclaimer: Under such circumstances, I would be happy to have a cat eat me - a process the comment bitch seems to think is called "exiospu".

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Oh, that's love, that is. Bossy tortoiseshells are the bestest.

firstkitten said...

i have been away from home since boxing day and am missing my kittens quite a bit. my teenage daughter has photographed every stray cat on phuket i think n

David Irving (no relation) said...

I've just moved into my mate Ian's house to house-sit while he's in China / prepare my joint for sale.

Mr Snuggles, who's in his twilight years, and has fucked kidneys, is bewildered. I feel slightly guilty about subjecting him to a change, I must confess.

Bruce, otoh, is quite young, and she's handling it quite well (although she glares because I won't let her outside).

I wouldn't be without them.