Challenge #02597-G040: Comforting Companionship

지난달

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It's well known, when their owners are unwell, pets will lay with them and stay by their side until they're better. It's a great comfort for the owner to have that gentle presence and, even though their pet doesn't know it, it helps them get better more quickly. The young lizard had been very sick, though it was not a disease that anyone around them could contract. Brought to the station by their parents to try a new treatment to make them well, they sat in the heated gardens to relax and ease the aches of the body and nausea that came with being ill. It was not long before they seemed to arrive from all over the station. The Skitties and stray cats seemed to converge on them. When their parents came to collect them to take them to the mediks, they were comfortably napping, the first real nap they've had in several days, with the purring felines surrounding them, one larger feline gently curled up in their thin arms. -- Anon Guest

Some things cannot be expunged from a creature's genetic makeup. All cats somehow remember when they were deified, which is why every single one of them deigns to be in the presence of non-cats. This is true even for the Skitties. Station residents will choose to feed them and some Skitties deign to cohabit with those who do.

Then there is the phenomenon of the Wellness Puddle. Human pets, even the gengineered descendants of pets, will voluntarily lie down with anyone who feels poorly. Their company, their warmth, their softness are all contributing factors, but for felines? It's always in the purr. A specific frequency that, through evolutionary accident, promotes healing and enhances relaxation. The latter also assists in healing since the number one factor in retardation of healing is stress. It can be shocking how many species benefit from this one species of animal.

Thyn Grippole was tiny and sick and suffering from a mutational genetic disorder that numerous experts had been attempting to unriddle since she hatched. Some parts of it looked like progeria, others looked like asthma, while a completely different set of symptoms bizarrely resembled scurvy. It perplexed everyone.

While it is universally agreed that a child should never suffer, it is harder to achieve for some than others. Sometimes, all that can be done is temporary amelioration. Which was why Thyn was huddled on a warm, soft surface in the thermal garden for at least some peace and quiet. Her parents were off with the latest expert, discussing treatment options and things that might work and how difficult they could be on Thyn's tiny, frail body.

One of the station Skitties, tail high, sauntered over and sniffed her. Thyn could barely reach up to chuck its chin. The creature licked Thyn with a rough tongue and, after a weak whimper from the little lizard girl, settled down next to her and started purring. Another cat, one of the Station Strays, settled on her other side.

Thyn draped an arm over one of the felines and let the purring relax her. The warmth was soothing, the fur was soft, and the cats around her seemed to sense that she didn't like being groomed, so they groomed each other. The purring of the cats seemed to ease her aches away and Thyn slid easily into an unmedicated sleep.

She woke up, apparently hours later, to see her parents and a doctor leaning over her. Still bleary from slumber, she mumbled, "...'m I late f'r 'n appointm'nt?"

Her mother said, "You've just had one, sweetheart."

The current doctor waited until Thyn had taken some of her routine medications and fully woken up before they explained Feline Therapy to her.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Grafner]

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I'm guessing the current batch of doctors deliberately chucked her into that garden knowing the skitties would come? XD

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Nailed it :D

Some colleges have a program, especially during midterms and finals, where they contact the local shelters to bring small dogs, cats, and kittens to quiet lounges. Students who are severely stressed out can go to these lounges and relax with the animals for a while. They've found a rise in test scores, a decrease in student anxiety levels, and students have reported feeling better, physically. Mainly due to the stress levels decreasing.