By Heidi Wulfers
While I have had animals most of my life, I don’t recall ever having had a traumatic injury as a pet owner. That changed a few weeks ago. But this story begins back in June.
Like others during this COVID pandemic, my husband and I, to ease our sense of isolation, adopted a cat from the SPA named Eros. He was 1-1/2 years old and indeed a charmer, so we kept his name. It fit. Over the last nine months, my husband and I fell head over heels in love with this guy. He has different vocals for different demands. He spoiled us with morning lap sits and enchanted us with his ever-widening exploration of our world. He became the trusted soldier monitoring our perimeter wall, sitting guard all night to ensure we did not come under attack from other furry nighttime prowlers. As all cat owners know, he became master and we, his humble servants, attending to his every whim.
Then I injured myself. The injury was traumatic, resulting in seven hours spent in two emergency rooms to stabilize the wound. Surgery was scheduled for the following week. I was understandably in shock, physically and mentally exhausted. I came home and lay down to rest. Suddenly Eros jumped on my stomach, lay down with his head on my chest next to my splinted arm, and purred. I dozed off, and he stayed with me for an hour or more. For two weeks, both before and after the surgery, this behavior continued. The minute I lay down on the sofa or in bed at night, there came Eros to lie with me. I regularly nodded off to sleep, feeling comforted by him.
Such a change in dynamics. Instead of us spoiling Eros, he was now taking care of me. After the first post-op review indicated it had been a successful surgery and I was out of danger, Eros’s visits became more infrequent. But now I know. Not only is he a love, he is a comforter, and if the scientific literature is to be believed, his purring may actually have assisted me in healing more quickly. I am certain that the comparative ease in which I came through this traumatic event owes a great deal to Eros’s comforting, healing touch.
The SPA has other magical cats who will provide comfort to you in a myriad of ways. Hopefully, an emergency like mine won’t be when you need to be soothed—just the ups and downs of everyday life, especially during these difficult times. Adoption hours at the SPA, Los Pinos 7, 415 152 6124 are Monday-Saturday, 11am-2pm. See www.spasanmiguel.org for cats and dogs available for adoption.