An­i­mal at­trac­tion has mu­tual ben­e­fits

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - UPDATE - with Robyn Wil­lis

I can’t re­mem­ber a time when I haven’t lived with pets.

Cats, fish, birds, guinea pigs, mice and now chick­ens have shared my home over the years, not al­ways co­he­sively.

Grow­ing up, my fam­ily suc­cess­fully bred bud­gies in our sub­ur­ban back­yard.

The com­bi­na­tion of cats and mice was not such a win­ner, as it turned out, es­pe­cially once the cat, af­ter months of ob­ser­va­tion, worked out how to get the lid off the mice cage.

The guinea pigs made an at­tempt to lib­er­ate them­selves too, hid­ing out in the thick bam­boo by the side fence.

But of all our pets, cats have been the con­stant in my life.

Mostly, we’ve kept mog­gies, given away by grate­ful friends or picked up from the lo­cal vet pleased to see them go­ing to a wel­com­ing home.

Al­though they’re sel­dom ac­tively pleased to see you — un­less you have food — there is some­thing in­stantly re­lax­ing about see­ing a sleep­ing cat when you walk in the front door.

In fact, you could ar­gue that they’re ex­perts at re­lax­ation, care­fully se­lect­ing only the best spots in the house for them­selves, whether it’s the lounge, the bed, the warm front path or your lap.

In win­ter, they’ll even ven­ture into the bath­room, once they re­alise the un­der­floor heat­ing has kicked in and there’s a towel on the floor to sleep on.

I must ad­mit, find­ing them curled up and purring in the jumper drawer is less en­dear­ing, know­ing they’ve cov­ered the con­tents in fur.

While I don’t kid my­self that they love us the way we love them, there’s cer­tainly a mu­tual ap­pre­ci­a­tion that co­hab­i­ta­tion has its ben­e­fits.

Home just isn’t the same with­out them.

robyn.wil­lis@news.com.au

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