Mary with her very obliging cat!
She replied that her daughter "made the remark once that, as far as she was concerned, it was the 'cat's job to comfort anyone who was sick or sad.' And amazingly, they seem to understand that. It's pretty comforting to have kitty cuddle up with that worried look when you're in tears, and you try to explain to her what's wrong. She just listens-- makes no suggestions and places no blame."
Heading down to Takayama - with 4 cats!