Reflections of a cat in hospital

Reflections of a cat in hospital

Diego Manca, veterinarian and writer, tells his book “Trilli. Reflections of a cat in hospital “. Protagonist and narrator of a cat hospitalized for several weeks following an accident. The volume collects hypothetical reflections that the” feline “mind has been able to elaborate, offering us an alternative vision and yet capable of giving life lessons and pearls of wisdom.

Cat in hospital Diego Manca

Territorial, fascinating, at times suspicious and a little mysterious. Much of the appeal of cats lies in their behavioral characteristics that are not always easy for humans to code. 


Starting first of all from the observation of the body language of the domestic feline, it is however possible to understand fears, habits and relational attitudes , becoming familiar with a very articulated emotional universe. 

Thanks to a long experience in the field, Diego Manca –  veterinary surgeon from Omegna (VB), health director and founding member of the “Lago d’Orta” Clinic   was able to imagine and put pen to paper the hypothetical reflections of a cat housed in long hospital stay following a serious accident. 

The result is Tinker Bell . Reflections of a cat in hospital (Ultra editions), book in which the reality of the veterinary office with her furry guests and their little, big dramas  is told through the voice of the cat herself.

Before “Trilli”, Diego Manca published about ten titles , which include: Coccole di gatto. Veterinary advice and aphorisms on the world of cats (Ultra editions), Lick your mustache stories; Cats told by the veterinarian (Ultra editions) and Manual (semi-serious) on dog education (Imprimatur editions).  

In May 2015 he received the Bastet Award for contributing to the spread of cat culture. He is collaborator and member of the scientific committee of the review Animali Informa. He collaborates with periodicals and portals dedicated to the animal world. In May 2016 he was awarded the honorary title of Academician of the Academy of Magical Cats.

We asked him some questions to investigate the reasons and intentions that prompted him to publish the story of Tinker Bell, and to better understand the complex feline universe. 

Doctor Manca, what can you tell us about the behavior of cats during their stay in the clinic?

The behavior is very conditioned by the background character , by the experiences that the cat has lived in the first months of life; for example if he has already been used to being “manipulated” by people, if he has already had experiences of coexistence with other animals, smells, noises.  

The cat is a very territorial animal and it is always advisable, for a better stay, that he has at least his box, bowls and a blanket with his smells with him, so he will feel less uncomfortable.

There are cats who are very suspicious at first and then, little by little, they understand (I am convinced) that everything we are doing is for their good; everyone thanks us in a very personal way, sometimes surprising us.

There is no doubt that there are somebreeds more tame and cuddly than others , but the most important component is certainly the individual one.

Do you find common behaviors among felines depending on the reasons for which they are hospitalized?

The pathology for which a cat is hospitalized greatly affects its behavior. Some diseases are more complicated than others and require more treatment (injections, dressings, etc.).

Fortunately, most cats usually behave in collaboration :  if they stay in hospital for long periods they can even get attached, displacing us with their pleasant purr.  

We come to the book. How did the idea come about?

The idea was given to me, unwittingly, by Trilli. In the course of many years of profession I have treated many cats, but such an expressive cat had never happened to me .

Her verbal language was obviously not understandable to me, but it was enough to observe her eyes and the attitude of her body, to understand that she reflected and meditated on the particular situations that occurred every day in the hospital room , the perfect place to “observe” life in every facet where joys, pains, hopes and regrets materialize and the feelings of the owners of the admitted animals are manifested without falsehood in the face of the sufferings of their pets.

In the narrative, the perspective is that of the cat. How does Tinker Bell relate to other animals and what is his opinion of humans?

During this long period spent in hospital, Trilli had the opportunity to meet many four-legged friends; with some the empathy was immediate, with others a little less . She always seeks dialogue, which often results in a relationship of friendship and esteem or in simple solidarity. She becomes aware of worlds unknown to her that she does not judge but respects, remaining amazed.

Even with the canine species she entertains interesting chats and reveals that dog and cat understand each other quite well even though they do not speak the same language . It is as if an Italian converses with a Spaniard: you can understand the meaning of a sentence, it is quite intuitive.

With humans, Trilli has a straightforward, direct relationship; with the veterinarians who look after her there is complicity and friendship, especially with the doctor who for her, she is convinced, has been a cat in the mists of time.

What can we readers learn from Tinker Bell?

Many positive messages such as: curiosity, listening, the desire to live and question oneself , the awareness that there is always the possibility of a revenge in life . 

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