Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Bits and Pieces in Switzerland

sendobject[2]A few days ago I mentioned that Mad Gaddafi in Libya and decided to take a few Swiss hostages and put them in one of his prisons because his son and daughter-in-law were put in a Swiss prison for a few days for attacking and injuring their servants in a hotel in Geneva.

Switzerland at the time were reckoning on a long tug-of-war with Libya until the prisoners were free. It seems something is moving in the game. Our foreign minister, Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey has managed to achieve results on the diplomatic line of things. The two arrested Swiss were released from their 10 day arrest on Tuesday. They are ok but are not yet allowed to leave Libya. A bail (more a ransom fee) was paid and talks are still going on on a diplomatic level to get the whole problem solved. It also seems that Libya are again delivering the raw oil to Switzerland. So all's well that end's well? For the time being, shame that Mad Gaddafi is still roaming around sending his family on trips to other countries. I wonder what country is next on the list to pay a ransom fee for someone to be freed. If our countries did something like that we would probably get a fatwa from somewhere and a few bombs would explode in strategic places.

And now for something completely different - another cat story from the newspaper. The headline caught my eye - A Cat realises when death approaches. A report from a nursing home.

Panter does not look any different from a normal house cat, but he has a special job at a nursing home in Switzerland, he accompanies people that are dying. In the nursing home there are actually two teams at work, the nursing team and the various pets that belong in the nursing home.

A remarkable animal is the black cat called Panter, born in 2003. In his first few years in the home he was a quiet shy cat but it was soon noticed that he was always near patients that were in a bad condition. He was to be found with people that were dying, as far as the relations and family allowed it. The cat always acted in the same way. During the last days of the patient the cat would lay at the patient's feet and would slowly move to the shoulders. During this time there was close body contact. He would only leave when the patient had passed on and then the cat would disappear for 2 or 3 days.

The manager of the home said that the animals were not in the home for this purpose, but where it happened it was allowed. There are two other cats as well as a dog kept, and the patients enjoy the comfort of the animals. At first it was thought that the animals could cause problems in their care and being in the home, but this is not the case. He said that the animals were not used as a therapists as you cannot force an animal to do something against its will.

The patients are glad to have the animals there. As well as cats and dogs there is also an aquarium, rabbits, fish and wild ducks. Above all the aviary is very popular with the canaries and the budgerigars.

I think if and when I have to go, then I would not be unhappy in such surroundings.

Tabby taking a sleep

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