April 10, 2011

Cat Compassion

Last week I heard a televangelist declare that "humans are the only ones of God's creatures that worry."

I beg to differ.

Anyone who has ever seen a dog or cat waiting at the window for their master or mistress to return has witnessed one of God's other creatures in a state of anxiety, concern, uneasiness, disquiet, discomfort, apprehension, nervousness--dare I say worried?

I can say with great confidence that I have also witnessed joy, anger, envy, a sense of humor, loyalty, and compassion in my pets over the years. And I can also say with great confidence that it is not my imagination or a matter of anthropomorphism:
Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.

When a cat exhibits compassion or concern, it is clearly a feline characteristic. Take tabby cat Mia for example. Cat Lady Taffy writes about her 93-year-old-mother and her furry "guardian":

"My mom had a stroke when Mia was 3 years old and now we are in charge of taking care of Mama. Being a caregiver is quite frustrating, especially when the person cannot communicate and is hard of hearing. Well, sometimes I have to say things more than once and with each repeat of directions or information, I tend to get louder and louder and when I get too loud for Mia--she comes very close to me and will begin to nip at my ankle or shoulder, depending on where she is at. She protects my mom from loud outbursts. A friend of mine told me that Mia is telling me to calm down and that I can do this job.

"Mia doesn't like when I sing either, especially something that smacks of opera. She slowly comes into my space to give her opinion. Mia likes little fuzzy mice as her favorite toy. She will whip them up in the air and sometimes they will land very close
to me so I can throw them for her. Mia IS very much loved by Mama and me.

And dare I say, Cat Lady Taffy and Mama are very much LOVED by Mia!

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Annuk said...

Thank you for this wonderful post, Susan! Mia's story is so beautiful and touching! And it absolutely confirms what we, as animal lovers, all know: animals DO worry and show a very wide range of feelings, compassion and concern!!!! Thank you for this great post!

Skeezix the Cat said...

Our cats exhibit every nuance of human emotion ... we (almost) always know exactly what they're thinking.

Tripper doesn't like it when Mr TF plays the Irish flute. He will circle and yowl, and if Jeff is sitting down, Trip will get in his lap and bat the flute away from his mouth so the music stops.

My singing is not appreciated by the cats, but that's not their fault. My singing sounds like a cat being tortured.