Every day at the Children’s Surgical Centre is a dynamic and busy one. Patients flow up and down the stairs. Staff move in and out of the operating theatres, examination rooms and offices. However, life for the fauna of CSC moves at a different pace. I wonder what all our busy lives look like to these animals which stroll casually around the grounds. What does the slim grey cat (pictured) think as it strolls past the patients waiting to be seen in outside the main office? What does it think of the patients exercising with the physio or resting with their families on the wards? Perhaps he thinks that this is his home and we’re all just guests passing through. Or maybe he’s here for work too, making sure everyone’s doing what they’re meant to be doing.
The days at CSC are difficult; patients who have suffered life-changing injuries come through the door on regular basis. Seeing these harsh realities of life make me focus on questions such as ‘’Why did these injuries happen? How can we stop these injuries from ever happening?’’. In moments where these questions occupy my mind and bring me to a standstill, the animals sometimes offer valuable moments of reflection and peace. As the small grey, white and ginger cat (pictured) with the curved tail rubs against my leg during lunchtime, I am reminded that life is still constantly moving around me, even if my mind feels stuck looking for solutions. For that moment in time, the cat helps me feel some semblance of peace.
The oblivious nature of animals can also bring some much-needed humour to the days. On another day at lunchtime I saw two funny looking birds walking past. The staff I’m sitting there with look at them and laugh. The small birds doddle around with their little white hats and short curved beak. Their beady little eyes shine in the sun as their heads jerked around looking for the source of the laughter. I wondered whether they were friends going for a stroll during a hectic day of flying. Or were they parents looking for some food to bring back to the nest. My years at medical school had taught me the language needed to describe all the different parts of the body, but in that moment, I deeply wished that I could identify what those birds were, just so I could maybe understand what they were doing in that moment.
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