Did you know that cats have scent glands just inside their bottoms that are constantly being filled with liquid and are squeezed as their poos come out, and if their poos are too skinny the glands are not squeezed enough and get over-full making them very painful and inflamed? Neither did I, until my cat Tabitha Brown started bleeding out of her bottom.
The vet literally reached into Tabitha’s bottom and squeezed the glands, making scent-liquid squirt all over his face (I have very great respect for vets, especially this one!). Then he told us some very useful things about how to look after our cat properly, such as the fact that many cats need Metamucil (yes, human Metamucil) every so often.
The point of this story is that we would never have known about how to look after our cat properly if she had never been in this pain. Because of her bleeding bottom, we now know for her, and for any future cats we might have in our home, to keep an eye on the size of their poos and give them Metamucil if the poos are consistently a bit skinny. All because of her bottom.
As always, my life makes me think about my teaching…
Students often say that I am a better teacher than their own lecturer, and it has become clear to me that the main reason this might be true is because I spend so much time with students. I am there when they have problems, and so I am able to see the problems students might have, and thus I am better equipped to help future students. There are so many things about the way people learn or don’t learn that I would never know if not for me being there when the students were in pain. Not that I wish anyone pain of course! I’m just saying their pain helps me prevent unnecessary pain for future students.
So thank you to all the students who were in pain and let me be there when they were. You make me more able to help others.