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Calming Cats

How her empathic feline friends eased her worries and fears.

A few nights ago, I went to sleep with a lot on my mind.

I was worried about deadlines and my to-do list,  but I knew I had to force myself to sleep, otherwise I wouldn’t be prepared to face it all the following morning.

That’s a great recipe for a nightmare or an upsetting dream, and I woke up at 4 a.m. in a cold sweat.

I couldn’t see anything in the dark, but I felt a soft paw touch my face. When my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw that Sal was curled up next to my head, patting me gently with her front paw…almost stroking my cheek.

She seemed to be trying to soothe me, as if she knew exactly what was on my mind. She nuzzled my chin with her head.

I felt a sense of calm settle over me. I kissed my smart kitty on the nose and was sound asleep within minutes, my worries set aside. She stayed with me for the rest of the night.

Both of my cats seem to have this intuition—they know when I’m upset or anxious or scared, and they come to my rescue.

I remember being sad and tearful when a dear great uncle of mine passed away. I laid down on my bed, buried my head in a pillow and had a good cry.

While I was doing so, Dean jumped up next to me and draped her body over my torso, laying her head close to my heart.

Dean is normally a finicky cat—she takes forever to settle into a comfortable spot anywhere. But this time, she fell into place without so much as an adjustment. She knew just where to go.

My pain over the loss wasn’t gone, but the cat’s presence helped soothe the ache in my heart.

Having these empathic animals in my life is truly a blessing. They can’t solve my problems for me, but they are a calming influence when I need it most.

                                                                                         —Jessica Bloustein

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