I have two cats, Carmen, who is about eight years old, fluffy, skittish, and very very shy. My other cat, Azra, (short for Azrael, the angel of death) (and no, I'm not completely crazy), who is four and a half years old, extremely possessive, very extroverted and fearless. Both are rescue cats and I adopted them both as kittens. Azra was given his name because his coming into my life coincided with my near-death experience in the hospital, when the heart procedure went south and I flatlined twice. I did have a vision of an angel protecting me and watching for a signal to carry me across the chasm. Of course, the signal did not come as it was not my time. I had long wanted a companion cat for Carmen as she seemed a little lonely, but my husband was reluctant to get another cat. Well, he was so relieved when he learned that not only had I survived but I was completely intact mentally (or so) that one of the first things he said to me upon entering the ICU was that he wanted us to get another cat as it might help my recovery, which was going to take quite a while. So, I knew that I had to name the new kitty Azrael and we call him Azra. So once I had recovered enough that I could actually pick up Carmen, we went to the Humane Society and got Azra. I could go on and on about both of them.
What I find very interesting and curious is how dedicated these cats are to me. Many people think that cats are aloof and not very loyal or devoted but these two and in fact, all of the ones I've had, are wonderful. Having had emergency open heart surgery to repair a tear in my heart and literally dying twice and being revived took a great deal out of me and so it took a long time to recover. I had to rest quite a bit. I napped in the afternoon for probably six months. Well, my kitties were with me, every step of the way.
This summer I had pneumonia and that is without question, the sickest I have ever felt in my entire life. Once again, weeks to recover, and many naps. Often I would take an afternoon nap and wake up to Azra standing at my face, watching to see me breathe. Carmen liked to snuggle up next to my chest, where she could feel my chest move. At night after dinner, instead of sitting in my chair, I would lie down on the couch, propped up with pillows, and the kitties were right there. They follow me around most of the time. I just find it very interesting how aware they are of people and how people may be feeling.
I think that we can learn a great deal from animals and that we would all be better off if we allow our lives to be touched by pets.