Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grateful for Pet Therapy

As many of you know, I have been having some medical challenges in recent months that have been trying and scary to say the least.

Sleeping is pretty tough and I'm not pleasant to be around with constant coughing so my regular bed buddy (aka Rick) has been sleeping down at his house.

Meanwhile, I have a pretty darned wonderful Bed Buddy remaining -- The Gypsy!

Mr. Gyps , I think it's safe to say, operates in great part on the base level of Maslow's pyramid. Give me food, give me shelter, give me a litter box, give me love.

Not surprisingly, this can make for a very sweet friend. Sometimes excessively so -- I have learned to knit with a 15 pound cat on my lap, read while being pawed and sleep through having this lump jump on or off the bed. I learned a long time ago that I can put on make-up better if he's not sitting next to me on the bathroom counter, meowling but having his breakfast instead.

Who's the master here?

I do this freely and fully of joy because he's the best pet therapy ever. Lay in bed struggling to breathe and reach out to feel the thick, soft fur laying beside you. Lay your head close to his body and hear his rhythmic purr. Breathe to that rhythm. Works for me.

Gypsy came into my world about twelve years ago, a six-week bundle of fur who had been dumped and decided my window well was as good a place to live as any. He and Stimpy enjoyed long cat conversations through the glass. It took time to get him to come to me, to allow me to pick him up. For some time, he lived in a wooden box affixed with a light bulb to keep him warm -- till a possum moved into the box and Gypsy moved into the house.

He was the tiniest thing I'd ever seen.

I named him Gypsy Rose after the Sondheim musical "Gypsy" and because he was a wanderer. When I finally officially adopted him and took him to the vet, I learned he was more like a Gypsy King -- it's harder to tell on kittens. Now he's uncommitted.

He and Stimpy were a dynamic duo till four years ago when we said goodbye to our orange and white angel boy.

I'd had intentions of finding a friend for him. Now, I'm pretty sure that would be a bad idea -- he's very possessive.

As an executive assistant, he's close to useless, sleeping on the job or continually disrupting my typing by trying to be a kitten on the keys.

He's also had a penchant for eating paper and chewing on yarn. Or chasing it. If yarn is near, Gypsy will find it.

Others would be fired for this behavior.

Traveling isn't his strong suit and his green thumb could use some improvement.
His avocation is bird watching. Not much skill required there.

No, his greatest skill is as therapist. Who listens better? Who loves unconditionally, doesn't ever erupt in anger, and realizes having his tummy rubbed is a win-win situation?

Yes, I'm grateful for pet therapy -- especially with this bundle of love.


Beth said...

Awh,,the Gyp! Your post was so heart warming! It made me think of my two therapists at home. Lady and Carl(the female therapist). They both sleep with me and comfort me when I am feeling bad.
Can't imagine my life without either one of them.
I sure hope your feeling better. I worry about your lung issues.
Much hugs!

Wrightboysmum said...

What a fab post about your furry bundles of love. I smiled at the idea of you having to learn to knit with him sitting on your lap. Isn't the saying that you don't own a cat they own you. Take care.

beth said...

our pets really are amazing healers, aren't they....and wow, can they ever love us !

anno said...

Aww, your Gypsy is such a sweetheart! And this post makes me wish for a cat of my own. Too bad our dog is such a territorial type...
Hope you are feeling much better very soon!

Amy said...

At the rish of sounding crazy cat lady-esque, the more the better. I have three...and would love a couple more. :) Few things make me feel happier than a possessive paw over me....

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

too sweet what a special and wonderful pal!

hope you are feeling much much better Jeanie, take care!!!

Laura - Layers of Color said...

Sweet blogging, Jeanie! I lived with cats all my life and I remember the warm purring as I snuggled with them. I married a wonderful man with severe cat allergies and three of our four children also have that same allergy. Alas! But they are worth it, although they don't purr, they love to snuggle!

I enjoyed visiting your blog from hats on cats to bird watching and journaling, lovely coffee break from work!


Herzblatt said...

Ohh...what a warm hearted and lovely story you have told about your pet therapy......sit here in front of my computer and could cry a affects me very much!!!
She is soooo sweet!!!!
Hopefully Rick has got a chance to come back one day....:-))
nevertheless I wish you that your cough will stop soon!!!!
Best wishes

joyce said...

One of the best posts I've read. You said it all. To me, there's nothing more soothing than a cat on my lap, whether he's in my way or not. Your Gyp knows he's found the sweet life!

BONNIE K said...

How true, how true! I never saw Gypsy as a kitten - what a cutie. I love the whole concept of purring - I mean who came up with that? I know these animals of mine lower my blood pressure. And I could not live without mine either. Hope you're starting to improve. I enjoyed this post...

Annie said...

You have warmed the cockles of my heart Jeanie. Give Gypsy King a scratch behind the ears for me and definitely a tummy rub.

ols1 said...

Oh Jeannie - he is gorgeous. Animals are such wonderful friends. We had a cat that died a few years ago - we had her since we were married - she was so beautiful. I hope you have your special friend for many years to come. Have a lovely weekend Jeanie :)

margie said...

i am a big believer in pet therapy. if it were not for charley i just might be much worse off. she has protected me during a stroke and i am forever indebted to her. cats or dogs, your pet is your pet. unconditionally loving you.

donna said...

What a wonderful post to read before I go off to bed where Alley Cat will snuggle up and spend the night with us. Be well, blogger friend.

Janet said...

I love this post!!! I'm owned by two very spoiled cats and I'd be lost without them. They are the best pet therapy when I'm tired or don't feel great....they always cheer me up.

Mike said...

Some great shots of Gypsy. I love the one at the window looking out, tail hanging down. Makes me miss our old boys, Buster and Turbo.

You are truly fortunate to have your golden friend.

Nathalie Thompson said...

Sweet tribute to your marmelade buddy. As much as we have to tolerate with our pets, they do tolerate a lot from us too! (coughing, late meals!)

We are a dog household-- unconditional love offered at any time.

Julie H said...

The best possible therapy! What a lovely boy he is.

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