One Good Thing

Fursday: how to love a human [a guest post]


Hi there.

I’m pleased to inform you that Miss Amber is up and about today, and that she even put some pants on!

She can’t chew or smile properly yet, but she did toddle off to see the oral surgeon this morning (who is, apparently, uncommonly handsome). He assured her that the screaming gums and puffy jaw are ‘normal post-operative swelling’. No infections. She’s just a bit of a slow healer (which is still better than being a Blue Heeler, in my book) and will be back to her usual chewing, smiling, talking-too-much self before much longer.

I think you’ll also be pleased to know that I have been taking very good care of Miss Amber this whole entire week. In fact, I barely left her side until just this morning, when I discovered an empty cardboard box that I have been sleeping in all day.

I have helped Amber every day to eat her soup and yoghurt and mashed potato. I watched all of season five of Mad Men without complaint, even though Pete Campbell gets on my nerves. I snuggled in during the four days of non-stop rain that left the cellar flooded and the floors dotted with muddy paw-prints. (I did not eat the envelope that Amber’s x-rays came home in — that was the ginger cat.)

You see, some things animals do better. Like eating envelopes. And loving humans.

We don’t care what a human looks like or what they’re wearing. We don’t care how old they are, how smart or educated. We don’t care where they live, what they drive, what job they’ve got.

We don’t try to fix it when they’ve got a problem. We don’t say, ‘Don’t cry’ when they cry. We don’t judge, we don’t call after 9.00 pm, we don’t resent their successes.

We don’t break up with other people by text or e-mail. Nuh uh.

We can’t operate a tin opener.

So we play nice.

Jokes, jokes. Humans have a lot to learn from animals about how to love: happily, unconditionally, as if each day were the first or last in a long romance.

For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health: that’s true love. And animals do it better.

Thanks, little buddy, for keeping me company every single day of the last week. Anatole France was right: ‘Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’ I’d be so lonely without my cats and dogs.

PS. Amber has one more guest post up her sleeve for Saturday, then it’s back to regular programming. Thanks for coming along on the ride this week and for all your well wishes!


Categorised as: friends+fuzzy animals


  1. Kerryn says:

    Oliver, you write well. Any cat that can use the Oxford comma gets my support.

  2. Kate says:

    Oliver, you are the best of cats. Good job, buddy.

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