Tuesday 2 May 2023

Brenda Edwards’ Ragdoll cats lost their hair from stress after her son's death

Brenda Claudina Susan Edwards is an English singer, actress, television personality and presenter.


It seems that Jamal was very close to their two cats, and one in particular. Brenda says that they lost their hair immediately after his death. That's a very general statement which implies that all their hair fell out which is impossible. 

It is more likely that she is referring to bald patches appearing on the cats who began to over-groom themselves to alleviate the stress of losing Jamal. Grooming is a pleasurable experience for a domestic cat.

They stayed outside Jamal's bedroom door for ten days after his death waiting for him to appear as the door was kept closed for the entire time.

Tiny and Tempa
Tiny and Tempa. They have to be siblings. Image: Instagram. They are Ragdoll cats.

With respect to Brenda, I think it was a bad idea to keep Jamal's door closed. Left open the cats Tiny and Tempa could have entered and snoozed on the bedclothes which would have provided them with some comfort.

She added:
‘Tiny’s getting better, but Tempa – who was the main cat that he used to love and stroke – she’s still missing hair.’
She took them to the vet who recognised that something had changed. He diagnosed stress. You can alleviate stress by increasing interactions and play. You can add some artificial pheromones to the environment which may reduce stress.

It seems that she did not do these things. She didn't know, I guess. But the story does remind us that cats grieve on the death of a close companion (or do they?). Although this is probably anxiety more than pure grief. It is one of the more sophisticated emotions.

It reminds us that cats are sentient.

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