Sick Humans, Diabetic Cats, and Purring

“Human, you do not look good.  I think you are sick.”

“Yes, Bagheera, I am.  How did you know this?”

A Diabetic Cat's Human is Sick“You humans do not give us enough credit.  Just because you missed all of the signs of me being a diabetic cat does not mean that we felines will do the same for you.  Remember when you had your shoulders operated on?   Both times, I knew there was something wrong with you and came to make you feel better.”

“But today I didn’t smell funny from the operating room like I did back then.  How did you know?”

“I just knew.  And so did Jacey.  Right, Jacey?”

“Bagheera is right, human.  Why do you think I have been sitting near you all day long and purring?  And did you know that purring can help cure ailments for not just felines, but humans?”

“I did not know that, Jacey.  Does this mean that Bagheera and you want me to feel better?”

“Yes, human.  It will get you out of our fur when you go to that thing you call work.  We love having you around, but we felines need our privacy, you know.”

There is some evidence that our purring is helpful to you humans.  Our purrs range in frequency from 20-140 hertz, and nearby humans may be benefiting from these vibrations!

Feline purrs have been linked to the following benefits in humans:

  • Reduced stress — petting a purring cat reduces stress in humans
  • Relieving dyspnea, or shortness of breath
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Purring frequency helps heal bones
  • Humans with feline companions have a 40 percent lower risk of heart attacks
  • The vibrations from purring help fight infections and inflamation
  • Purring helps heal ligaments, tendons, and muscles

It seems like this diabetic cat helps the human more than he helps me!

I think I should tell the human that he is not allowed to complain about the extra care that’s needed because I am a diabetic cat.  With all of the benefits my purrs provide to him, he is coming out way ahead.

Felines are often good for the mental health of the humans who they live with.  Now we know there are physical benefits, too!

How Can Felines Become Therapy Cats?

Dexter is one of a very few felines who is a certified therapy cat

I have shared many stories of humans helping felines, and some of felines helping humans.  I know that Jacey, Marley, and I definitely help keep our human on his toes.  Sometimes we exasperate him, but that is all in good fun.  We love to annoy him until he tells us to stop and then walk away with our tails high in the air because we got what we wanted.  Hee hee!

Dexter is one of a very few felines who is a certified therapy catBut there are felines like Dexter the therapy cat who are very special felines.  Not only are they kind to their humans, but they are kind to humans that they do not know.  And they help humans who are in challenging situations.

Pet Partners is one of the best known organizations that certifies felines as therapy cats, and there is a very extensive process to determine which felines would be good therapy cats.  I know that neither me nor my two four legged housemates would pass.  One of the requirements is that we not bite.  Well, I like to play bite, and this is not allowed at all.  And all three of us do not like to be held.  That would disqualify us as well.

We also would be disqualified because being passed to three strangers is not something we would tolerate.  It’s a very difficult test to pass, and when I looked at it with the human, I told him to forget it.  Even though much of it could be done with us being held, there is no way we would tolerate such conditions.

Three Therapy Cats who help many humansBut for those felines who can pass it, this is a wonderful way to show humans that we are not the unfriendly creatures that many humans think we are.  Therapy cats can show humans that we are caring, fun, and helpful animals that belong in human homes.  And they can help some humans through difficult times, too.

Do you have a feline who you think could be a therapy cat?  You can visit the Pet Partners website or you can visit the therapy cat page on Facebook.

Healing Cat Miley Brings Joy to Veterans

You will remember I told you the story about Dexter the Therapy Cat.  There’s a extensive training process that therapy cats need to go through in order to be certified.  And I know that as friendly and fun as I am, I would never pass the test.  I am in awe of my fellow felines like Dexter, who will allow a stranger to pick them up and never bite anyone.  I play bite my human and I love him!

But just because we are not certified as a therapy cat does not mean we cannot help humans heal.  The frequency of our purrs, for example, is good for healing bones.  And for many living in the Veteran’s Medical Health Center at Fort Miley, a feline helps them heal in other ways.

Miley is not a therapy cat but his actions are sure therapeutic!Miley is a former feral cat who spent three years roaming the territory of a housing project.  In some ways, you can say he saw the feline equivalent of the combat the veterans living in the health center saw.  Now, instead of roaming outside, his territory is the Community Living Center.

Miley greets patients and their visitors from a purple pillow under a cushioned armchair by the elevator.  Sometimes, he is on the chair itself.  Or, if a human dares to take Miley’s chair, he will hop into their lap and demand a toll of petting.  He returns the favor by showing love to the human.

Recently, one human was sitting in that chair, giving Miley attention, while another human waited for his turn.  The human who was playing with Miley said, “He is a character.  He calms me down” and gives me a reason to live.  This human had lost all family and friends and had turned to alcohol before arriving at the center. Miley is Keeping an Eye on his Humans

The idea of having Miley at the medical center was to make it feel more like a home.  “One of the things that makes things homelike is having a pet.”  That was why they worked with the San Francisco SPCA to find the right cat.  Because Miley was a feral cat, he had the tip of his ear lopped off, which put him in sync with many of the veterans who had lost limbs in service.

And while Miley may not be a therapy cat, he sure helps humans.  Recently, Miley kept going in and out of the room of a veteran who was suffering from cancer.  He knew something was going on, and sadly, this human died.  When the human’s wife was leaving, she sat down to compose herself.  Miley hopped up into her lap, hoping to comfort her.  “He was giving me his type of compassion,” this human said.

We felines love it when humans take care of us.  But we take care of our humans, too.