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Monday, June 3,2013

Nurse Melanie

By Allen & Linda Anderson  

"Sorry, Melanie, you can´t come in here."

I was hot, tired, and exasperated, but that meant nothing to my little black cat, who was determined to get into the bathroom. I was trying to feed and medicate a desperately ill cat whom I´d brought home from the shelter where I volunteer. Malnourished and unable to stand, Laska was close to death. Intensive care at home was a last-ditch effort to save her life.

"Melanie! Give it up! Go play with Alf." Alf, a Norwegian forest cat and Melanie´s best friend, was always up for a game.

What is it about cats and closed doors? Even though Laska´s illness wasn´t contagious, it seemed to me that the last thing she needed was a visit from Melanie, my feline Welcome Wagon. Laska was so fragile, and she´d had such a hard time at the shelter. Why complicate and maybe even worsen the situation?

"Oh, all right, you can say hello if Laska doesn´t mind. But just for one minute."

Holding my breath, and ready to grab Melanie at the first hint of trouble, I let her into the bathroom. I was amazed by what happened next.

"Prrrr," said Laska, bowing her head in deference. Melanie said nothing. She simply went to work, grooming the sick cat with great tenderness and enthusiasm. Feeling the rough tongue on her forehead, Laska closed her eyes with obvious pleasure.


Sometimes those who need us the most close the door to being helped. How persistent are you at offering your aid to someone who only appears to not want or need it?

She extended her neck for more of Melanie´s TLC.

Melanie´s spa treatments continued several times a day for many weeks until Laska was able to keep herself clean. These days, the two girls engage in equalopportunity grooming.

This past August, we celebrated seven years with Laska, who has filled out to be a slender but gorgeous tortiewith-white charmer with sparkling green eyes. We owe all of those seven years to Melanie, the little black angel cat who wouldn´t let a closed door stop her from helping a friend heal.


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