Many readers say their cats helped them through heartbreak or grief. “My boyfriend broke up with me when I was 16,” says Ludovica from Italy. “My cat came to me while I was crying alone in the house. She licked the tears on my face and then curled up on my lap. I really appreciated it.” Cats also have an uncanny ability to sense when people are unwell. When Mali Fard from Quebec went into hospital with a heart condition, she says her cat, Gruntie-Pooh, “wouldn’t eat and only slept on the T-shirt I left for her”. Similarly, Carys from Northampton didn’t expect her pet to be quite so clingy when she returned from a week in hospital, but “to my surprise, she followed me around for a good week after I came home … she seemed protective of me, almost aware I was fragile. Either that or she wasn’t fed enough in my absence.” Matthew from Surrey got his ginger cat, Harry, from Battersea, south London. “About a week after we got him, I came home from work. The second I put the key into the lock, I heard him calling for me. Once through the door he leapt enthusiastically from the sofa and ran to my feet, head-butting my shoes and rubbing against my legs. I wondered if he wanted food, but he wasn’t interested when I shook a pouch of Whiskas, he just wanted me! Yes, I thought, this cat loves me very much.”
Some people, however, aren’t quite as convinced that their cats could ever truly love them. Among them is a Twitter user, Trudy Saunders, whose pet “just sits in perpetual judgment of me. Paws crossed over each other and head upright like a disapproving Victorian aunt”.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs can be trained to to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products than healthy cells in the human body. Dogs may even be able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath.