For those days when a migraine hits or the flu afflicts or a day seems dark, they are there.
We're blessed in many ways -- with friends who listen and care, with spouses who are present with love and concern -- but sometimes a furry friend is the best medicine, a sweet presence with no time urgency, no conflicting obligations.
As I struggled with a migraine this afternoon, all four cats hung in there with me. Gus snuggled the closest and purred non-stop during the hours I iced my right eye and moaned. Hammie stretched out purring, leaning against my leg. SweetPea and Maggie curled up nearby, never moving during the hours it took for the pain to go away.
Animals are born healers. My friend Phyllis rejoices in her wonderful dogs Daisy and Gizmo, close companions as she deals with the pain and discomfort that have come with her three-times-a-week kidney dialysis. My friends Mary and John find great comfort in their canine companions Aloha (Alfie) and Mahalo (Mahley) as they face John's physical challenges. And my blogging friend June (Aging Gratefully) has her new rescue cat Peep to help her heal from the recent loss of another beloved pet.
Whatever ails us, our animal companions are there to keep us warm, to comfort us.
And even in the midst of pain, we can't help but feel immensely blessed.