The gentlest need

At least once a day our old black cat comes to one of us in a way that we’ve all come to see as a special request. It does not mean he wants to be fed, or to be let out. His need is for something very different.

If you have a lap handy, he’ll jump into it. Once in it, he begins to vibrate almost before you stroke his back, scratch his chin, and tell him over and over what a good kitty he is.

Our daughter puts it simply: “Blackie needs to be purred.”

Blackie isn’t the only one who has that need: I share it, and so does my wife. Still, I associate it especially with youngsters, with their quick, impulsive need for a hug, a warm lap, and a hand held out – such gestures requiring only a little time.

If I could do just one thing, it would be this: To guarantee every child, everywhere, one good purring every day. Kids, like cats, need time to purr.

 

Give what you have to someone. It may be better than you dare to think.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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