Bailey the Beautiful
Let me start by saying I absolutely adore my gorgeous “grandcat” Bailey, who is lucky to be an indoor-outdoor cat on a dairy farm in Australia where my daughter lives.
His kitty mom abandoned him when he was born, but one of the resident dairy cats took him in and raised him as her own.
Bailey is a 4-year-old Ragdoll cross. My daughter brought him home to live with her at 5 weeks of age.
Bailey’s story may seem mundane to the outside observer, but to my family he is extraordinary and brings much laughter to our lives. I am sure any pet owner or “grandPAWrent” can relate.
Having a grandcat is a unique and special relationship. This aspect of parenthood has brought me real delight.
More Thoughts on Family
Bailey has brought so much joy to our family. He even provided emotional support and therapy for me while my daughter was in hospital this past summer and I stayed at her place in between hospital visits. He was a big comfort after she came home too.
Family is important. I am thankful for the great medical care my daughter received just as I am for the veterinary care available for Bailey to live a long and happy life.
I’d be remiss not to mention in my short reflection on family the amazing benefits of medical advancements that came about from basic research with animals. Laboratory animals have helped scientists develop better drugs, vaccines and treatments for people and beloved pets.
Animal research breakthroughs have also helped numerous couples, whether they realize it or not, with family planning.
FBR REAL PET STORIES™ FUN FACTS ABOUT BAILEY
- He was white as a kitten but has darkened up the older he gets and still has his beautiful blue eyes.
- He may look sweet and innocent, but that’s not always the case. My daughter sends me photos and videos of Bailey’s latest adventures all the time. Sometimes he is quite a naughty kitty.
- He once caught a baby redbelly snake, brought it home and left it proudly in the kitchen for his mummy.
Medical Research With Laboratory Animals Also Benefits Family Planning
I love the work that I do in research and know that for everyone who has a pregnancy from in vitro fertilization (IVF), it is due to wonderful animals. Mouse, rabbit, guinea pig and hamster models were key to successful IVF procedures in humans.
It is an amazing fact that so many people are not aware of, and those who are thank animals every day for the child and children they have produced from IVF. (ALSO READ: IVF and Other Fertility Treatments Born from Animal Research)
Although Bailey is the closest I have to a grandchild, I now have two new step-grandcats as my daughter started a relationship. They are called Toby and Louie and came with their mummy. One big happy family.
Perhaps in the future my daughter and her partner might decide to start a human family. Regardless of a same-sex relationship or heterosexual, many people cannot become pregnant in the conventional way.
I, for one, am grateful for the human and feline members of my family, and for the biomedical research that keeps them healthy and safe.
Ms. Alison Richards is a research support officer in the department of biological resources at the Ingham Institute in New South Wales, Australia. FBR extends a big thank you to Ms. Richards for sharing Bailey’s story and photos.