By Tessa Brunton
I never thought there could be anything sweet about lying in a dark room disabled by the symptoms of my chronic illness, but then we adopted Ogden.
The day my husband and I brought Ogden home, he was a shy and skittish cat who hid under a desk and hissed at us whenever we came too close. He’d been found on the street by a Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cats, so he was used to surviving on his own. We were going to have to earn his trust.
During his first months in our home, Ogden spent so much time hiding under a green armchair in the living room that we named the chair “Fort Ogden.” When he did emerge for brief visits, he was timid and easily spooked. However, once he discovered me in bed one day, where I often lay for hours immobilized by the symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, everything changed.
He began appearing on the bed shortly after I lay down each day. Together, we would nap and rest and cuddle for hours. His disposition began to change dramatically. He relaxed and became more outgoing and friendly. He began to spend his time sitting on Fort Ogden, not hiding under it. He even began to meow conversationally when we talked to him and let us carry him around.
Ogden’s daily visits have changed my life dramatically, too. Previously during my long periods of disability I’d feel frustrated and sad, trying and failing to distract myself from my boredom and discomfort. Worst of all, I often felt terribly isolated and alone. Ogden’s visits have transformed these difficult periods into times of coziness and comfort. I love watching his adorable face while he sleeps, sharing my heating pad with him, and having him curled up in the crook of my arm. He is a lighthearted lovebug, and his mere presence cheers me up immensely.
Instead of feeling lonely and impatient, I feel the contentment of passing the time with a good friend.
It makes me deeply happy to know that just by spending time together we’re actually helping each other enjoy life more. I’m so profoundly grateful for Ogden’s friendship each and every day.
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