NEWS AND VIEWS (COMMENT): A trainee male nurse working at an Egyptian hospital was taking a much needed break outside the hospital after a 12-hour continuous shift which he had been subjected to for the last 20 days. The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on medics. The guy’s name is Ahmed Flaty. He says that one day he’d like to have a cat or dog companion but he admits that his lifestyle is unsuited at present.
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During his tea break a young, ginger tabby street cat came up to him and without fear jumped onto his lap and snuggled up. A very trusting action for a street cat because Ahmed reminds us that, in Egypt, street cats aren’t treated very well. It’s a very hard life for them. This cat needed a bit of friendship and warmth just like any other sociable creature. Yes, community and domestic cats are relatively sociable and not “independent” as many people think.
Ahmed very kindly allowed the cat to be with him for about 15 to 20 minutes. The cat decided to leave of her own accord. She just jumped up and walked away. She had got her little bit of love in an otherwise fairly harsh day. It made Ahmed feel better he said.
I had been on 12-hour shift continuously for like 20 days straight but that cat made all that seem like nothing. Stray animals in Egypt are generally treated very badly. So a kitten or dog coming up to a human this way, especially when there wasn’t any food involved is very weird.
It’s a great shame that he couldn’t adopt the cat. When a cat selects you, you have to accept! That would have been the natural outcome if he was better placed to care for a cat. I don’t know about you but my heart goes out to these cats in places like Egypt where they are community cats struggling on the street to receive some sustenance from kind people such as shopkeepers. What happens when they get ill? Nobody takes them to a veterinarian. They must simply die after the illness becomes chronic and kills them. Fleas are a big problem too. I don’t want to spoil the fun but Ahmed was likely to have received some fleas from this cat and it’s not the cat’s fault. It’s just the lifestyle which she has been thrust into in a place where there has to be too much carelessness in relation to cat ownership.
You have to recognise the possibility that cats can detect when a person is kind and therefore approachable. This is what happened here it seems. One last “realist” point: the hospital management may not like Ahmed allowing a street cat to snuggle up for reasons of patient health. If that was the case it’d be a shame.