Ahmed Flaty’s training as a nurse during the pandemic has been challenging, with a demanding schedule at a hospital in Egypt that is busier than ever. To relieve stress, he takes breaks outside to get some sun. Recently, a stray cat approached him, almost as if sensing he needed comfort.
“I was sitting down to talk with a friend of mine in front of the hospital where we have our internship year and…this tiny kitten walked up to me,” Flaty told The Dodo. “[She] didn’t meow or anything — just looked at me, then climbed onto my lap, looked at me for a bit and then slept.”
Flaty was surprised by the animal’s bravery, as stray animals in Egypt are often mistreated. He felt a connection with the cat, as if they both needed comfort.
“Stray animals in Egypt are not treated very bwell,” Flaty said. “So a kitten or a dog coming up to a human this way, especially when there wasn’t any food involved, is very weird.”
Flaty, a nurse in training, sat still as the stray cat snuggled and slept on his lap for approximately 15-20 minutes. The cat eventually left, but the brief moment of affection had a profound impact on Flaty. Despite working long shifts, the cat’s visit made him feel instantly better. Though he wishes he could adopt a pet, his busy schedule doesn’t permit it. He hasn’t seen the stray cat since their encounter, but he continues to look for her during his breaks.
“I had been on 12-hour shift continuously for like 20 days straight but that cat made all that seem like nothing,” he said. “Honestly, it really was the best moment of this whole year so far.”