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Following the death of her mate, Tondalayo was despondent until the coming of a red male tabby cat named T. K. (short for Tonda's Kitten). Her new best friend, the cat raised Tonda's spirits and brought her muchneeded comfort. That's not so unusual: that's what cats do, right? Sure, but Tonda is an orangutan at ZooWorld near Panama City Beach in Florida. ZooWorld keepers deliberately gave her the kitten in the hopes that T. K. would provide the comfort their best efforts had been unable to give. Tonda and T. K. share an island and indoor living quarters at the zoo. A News Herald feature on the unlikely pair included heartwarming photos of the cat cuddling sweetly with the gigantic ape.
In spite of cats' reputation for being aloof, they can be acutely perceptive of people's feelings. Often their empathy and kindness confound us. Cats snuggle with us when we're sad. They share our bed, warming our heart and our feet when we're lonely. And some special souls seem to see right through us, greeting us at the door when we've had a particularly rough day, sticking close when we're upset, or gently kneading our legs or our back when we lay across our bed, weeping.
Cat owners are healthier, less stressed, less depressed, and more likely to recover from serious illness than those without pets. Having a cat controls blood pressure better than medication and lowers the risk of heart attack. Perhaps if we had more cats in our lives, we'd need fewer doctors and therapists. And isn't that a comforting thought?
Hugs for Cat Lovers © 2007 by Tammy L. Bicket and Dawn M. Brandon