Being a crazy cat lady, I am happy with the cat that frequently visits our garden. He (or perhaps she) can be found snoozing under the garden table or near the window, or drinking from the bird bath. When we meet outside, het lets me stroke him and scratch him behind his ears.
I remember that stroking your pet might have a powerful effect on your immune or cardiovascular system. This is also known as ‘pet power’, just search the internet for ‘stroking pets and blood pressure’ and you can find out all about it. Now, wouldn’t that be something?!
Before you get excited about this, please remember that cats are not really clean animals as the old wives’ tale suggests. Once, my mother’s cat called Rose scratched my arm so badly, I needed a tetanus shot. The cat is a disgrace to such a lovely name. And don’t let me get into frightening stories about filths and vermin cats can pick up with their outdoors lifestyle.
So when my life was changed by some viral infection that turned into M.E. and our cat died, I decided we would not get a new pet. Even though I longed for a buddy during my lonely daytime when my partner was at work. Don’t get me wrong: cats shall not be a hazard to everyone’s health. Every person makes his or her own choices when it comes to issues like these. It was just a risk I was not willing to take.
Thankfully, earlier this month I ran across an article that claimed that ‘reading for pleasure boosts empathy and wellbeing’ (see link below). Empathy? Who needs empathy?! Let us instead concentrate on our wellbeing… by reading cat stories!
Did you know that literary masters such as Mark Twain, H.P. Lovecraft, and even Emile Zola have written about cats? The story Cats’ Paradise by Zola is about the cat he inherited from an aunt. The cat told him about his luxurious life with her and how he once tried to escape it and live the life of a street cat. Talking cats? Sure, like the wonderful story Tobermory. With this tale the author Saki reminds us about the intelligence of cats and cruelty of the humankind. But of course, that is all fiction.
Both stories are from The Dover Anthology of Cat Stories, a book that is a treat to any crazy cat person. Do not underestimate the power of cats in books. These fictional cats are the best: no tetanus shots, no vermin and above all: no litter trays.
I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. The book will be for sale from September 16.
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