In any group of cats, you’ll see some who pal around together and look after each other, just like humans. That’s especially true of cats adopted together from the same litter or the same colony.
But I thought it a bit unusual when a growing feral kitten, Kelti, began hanging out with an older, mostly crabby loner kitty. Kelti was one of four feral kittens I was holding for a feral socializer who never showed. So they didn’t get socialized much but stayed on with me. Out of that group, Kelti gradually got closer and closer and basically tamed herself. When she’s out of sorts she is still skittish but if she’s calm, she can be petted and picked up briefly.
Kelti and the Girl Gang
Simi, the loner kitty, was tame when she came to me. Travelers on the highway had found her on the shoulder and theorized she’d been thrown out of a car. The vet speculated her lungs might have been bruised because she breathed in short breaths. The travelers couldn’t keep her and she was passed on to me.
Kelti started to hang around with Simi a lot, caring for her, grooming her. And Simi the grumpy loner who snarled and swatted at a lot of the other cats, showed affection for Kelti. Simi was putting on weight and her breathing was still shortened. Four different vets didn’t seem to think these were problems. Then one day Simi was gasping for breath. A visit to a fifth vet revealed a huge abdominal mass, on or under her lungs. I refused to subject her to invasive procedures that offered small chance of recovery and the vet euthanized her.
Kelti then started taking care of Gunther, an old guy, walking stiff now (like me). That’s when I started thinking of Kelti as a nurse. I went back over some photos and noticed a photo of Kelti and Pops. (Pops was the cat with cancer who led me to frequency healing. I wrote about him in my e-book A Guide to Audio Frequencies for Healing Rescue Animals, Pets and People). Every time I looked at that photo I thought the caption should be “She Kissed Me!!” Interestingly, in that photo, Kelti appears to be kissing Pops’ jaw where he later developed the cancer.
She Kissed Me!
If I had realized all this when she was a kitten, I would have named her Florence (Nightingale).
These days, I frequently wake to find Kelti on the bed beside me, looking at me. Sometimes Gunther is there too. I have to wonder if Kelti is just sympathizing with our aging aches and pains or if both of us should go get checked out medically.
I’ve seen cats avoid other cats that are ill. I know animals can sense illnesses from tumours to viruses. Dogs have been known to sniff out cancer. I make it a point now to keep an eye on whoever is being cared for by Kelti, the Kitty Nurse.