I haven’t had a dog since I was in high school. Through out my childhood we had two dogs a black lab named Shadow and a white mut named Misty. Both were good and loving dogs. Shadow moved on to a friend’s farm and Misty passed away when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school.
My mom did eventually get another dog but not until sometime after I graduated and not long before I moved out of the house.
For me, there was never another dog. Because really, I’m a cat person. My beautiful furry cat named Mama Kitty was my constant companion from the time I was around 11 until she passed away years later the same week my son was born. Losing her was more devastating than the other cats and dogs we’d had, the rabbits, the mice and every bird we ever owned.
If my son had not been born a few days later, I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten though it. But as any mom knows adjusting to the first weeks of a newborns life can pretty much zap every other thought from your head for the next 12 months. And by the time I came up for air, she had been gone almost a year. Her ashes are stored way up on a shelf in my room.
It would be almost 6 years before I’d be willing to give my heart to another animal again.
My husband and I were debating whether we wanted to get another cat, after having such a hard time losing Mama Kitty. But one day while looking through Tri-Valley Animal Rescue’s website, I saw a picture of the cutest little tortoise shell cat I’d ever laid eyes on. Instantly my heart began to beat and I knew that she was our cat.
I showed the picture to my husband who looked at me and smiled. He knew she was ours as well.
And a couple of weeks later Santa sent my kids Blossom for Christmas.
It’s been almost two years know and it’s hard to imagine our house before Blossom was here. She is as much the kids as she is ours.
Though the kids drive her crazy she loves them anyway (I can relate).
In fact right now she is lying patiently on Cheyanne’s bed waiting for her to get back from Kindergarten.
I don’t begrudge anyone who doesn’t own an animal. There is a lot of work involved and not everyone is cut out to be an animal parent.
But for me, it’s hard to imagine life without an animal. Not forever anyway.
For this month’s From Left to Write book club we read the book Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway. A beautiful book about the relationship between her autistic son and the wonderful golden retriever who helped pull him from his shell. When I sat down to write this post I fully intended to write about the book but instead found myself thinking about all the sweet animals who have touched my life over the years.
Any animal lover will appreciate this story and how much the mark of a beloved pet can forever embed itself into your heart and forever change who you are.