The cat is the archetypal witch’s familiar, closely associated with magic and uncanny goings on. Many people see cats as aloof creatures, far less companionable than dogs. ‘Cats have staff’ as the wisdom goes. Certainly, you cannot own a cat, they are too independent and if you do not please them, they will leave if they can. Cats expect to be well treated. However, people who do bond with cats find them incredibly generous creatures. I thought today I’d honour human-cat relationships and share a few good stories.
My cat goes out sometimes, but usually he sits next to me (or on me) while I work, occasionally getting on the laptop. Otherwise, he’s with the child. Coming home from school, James would run to greet his cat, who would run to meet him – an unusual behaviour, but very sweet. In my teens, I had a cat who knew if I was crying, and would come racing down the garden to find me and make it better. My experience of cats is that they give comfort to folks who are in pain, and it often seems deliberate – bedside vigils with the sick, staying close to those who are heartbroken. If a cat bonds with you, it will guard you, and watch over you.
The purrs and puds of a cat are very healing, the soft vibration seems to help with tension and distress, and cats deliver very good massage – especially to painful, menstruating tums, I’ve found. That warm presence, when illness makes you cold, is such a blessing. Cats know how to play and relax, they encourage us to chill out a bit more. Stroking them is soothing, and is a recognised way of easing stress.
Cats are not without issue though – they can have terrible impact on wildlife. (There is a case for housecats, and they shouldn’t be let out at night when they are most likely to hunt). It is important to consider the dirt tray, the food, and any other waste they create, to minimize their environmental pawprints.
Being sensitive to atmospheres, cats will make it known to you if all is not well. A relaxed, happy cat is always a good sign. If a cat is troubled, then things are wrong. You can’t bullshit a cat, you can’t lie to them, they judge you purely on your actions. Treat a cat well and it will repay you many times over, with love and purrs. And possibly also mice, which isn’t so good. Mistreat a cat, and it will leave. Possibly with a chunk of your flesh under its claws.
So, if you have a kitty tale to tell, please do post it to the comments section. Let’s honour and celebrate the fur-babies who give so much.