Jane Bates: Animal magic in tending the sick

How would you test a patient’s mobility after an operation? Jane Bates didn’t need to thanks to the creative intervention of her friend’s cat Fergus.
Jane Bates

How would you test a patients mobility after an operation? Jane Bates didnt need to thanks to the creative intervention of her friends cat Fergus

Most people are given grapes or flowers when they are ill or a magazine or two. My friend got a dead magpie from her moggie Fergus.

Although hes not usually a voracious hunter, when his owner was languishing in bed in a post-anaesthetic haze he popped through the catflap with this gift, plonking it on her duvet with a satisfied yowl.

Even though she screamed and made a rapid exit more avian offerings followed. As a member of my local wildlife trust I was spared the details, but I know the local pigeon population took a heavy hit.

And an early morning frog, another present from her cat, made her run around the bedroom like an Olympic athlete as she


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