Natural relief

Mr. Kitty liked to lie down with Daddy and Mama for an afternoon nap. February 2015

Mr. Kitty liked to lie down with Daddy and Mama for an afternoon nap. February 2015

“…if [cats] are content, their contentment is absolute; and our jaded and wearied spirits find a natural relief in the sight…”Agnes Repplier

What animal comes to mind when you hear these words: relaxed, languid, graceful, calm, serene?  For me, it’s always a cat.

I’m a dog person through and through. I identify with their boundless eagerness to explore, and I delight in the friendly regard that characterizes most breeds. But during childhood, all but one of our cherished pets were cats, and I love them almost as well.

There are a lot of jokes about how indifferent cats can be, but those of us who have been close to kitties know better.  Though they have an innate dignity that may prevent them from showing the uninhibited enthusiasm so common to canines, they can and do form deeply affectionate bonds with humans, and their company can be every bit as therapeutic.

Next time you feel frazzled and frustrated, spend some time with a friendly feline.  If you don’t live in proximity to one, just imagine a quietly purring cat curled up at your feet, and channel their sleepy but sharp gaze that sees their world through half-closed eyes.  Perhaps you will feel a nice nap coming on.  Awake or asleep, I wish you pleasant dreams.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Mike

    My DIL in NYC- Rachel has two cats. Has always been a cat person. One named Miletus is rarely seen in their tiny NYC apartment. I really need to get him a Xmas present.
    Finished Nemesis. A similar theme- God can do anything. Did God invent Polio? Is like saying did God invent Satan.? I don’t know. Perhaps it was an accident.
    Don’t hit people about God. I don’t think it was intentional.
    Not a happy ending though. It might have been more popular if Bucky and Sheryl were able to work things out. It’s not like he was Stephen Hawking, for God’s sake.
    Last year i got Rachel the “Yoga Cats” calendar . Have you seen these? Pretty funny.

    • Mike, I don’t remember enough about Nemesis to recall the exact details you mention, I just know it was a good book that helped me understand the polio epidemic that actually affected my life, and that of my family, so dramatically, because of what it did to our mother in her infancy. She was a brave and strong person who overcame much, but what she had suffered became part of her character, for better and worse, and thus affected all four of her children. I haven’t seen the Yoga Cats images but I can imagine they must be wildly popular since they combine two topics with huge fan bases.

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    I can tell that you understand cat habits pretty well, based on your descriptions. Although I’ve had cats over many years, and they all bonded with me pretty well, Oliver stands out from the rest, as a comfort. During my turbulent teenage years, Oliver was my car, and he seemed to have a special knack for knowing when I was sad or lonely. Despite being an indoor- outdoor cat, he would appear and provide nonverbal moral support (the best kind, sometimes!) if ever I was distraught or in tears. Folks say that cats don’t like water, and if that’s the case, it must have been a sacrifice for him, to curl up with me during those times!
    I know your life is rather busy and you might not want to commit to the effort of a dog (especially if you are planning to travel), but have you considered another cat?

    • Hi Susan, yes, I’ve considered it off and on for a long time. But as a caregiver for 39 years and counting, I’m just not ready to take on more at this stage of my life. I am gradually but very obviously wearing out, so I’m in survival mode much of the time.

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