Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Praise of Pets

Recently I had to say goodbye to my fourteen year-old yellow tiger cat, Mon Ami. She had been sick for over a year, and it was just time. Still, it was a very difficult decision.

It is always sad when a pet's journey comes to an end. Losing Ami was doubly sad because she had been my mother's cat first, and she helped me through the loss of my mom ten years ago. Perhaps somewhere they are together again, though.

That thought sustains me, along with my funny memories of Ami. Like the time she got stuck in my car all night. I never saw her get in the car, and that night I wondered where she was hanging out. When I opened the car door in the morning, she emerged sleepy-eyed from under the driver's seat. She had a habit of jumping into open cars. That is after all how my mother first met her. She arrived home from work, opened her car door, and a few-months-old Ami jumped in!

I am so glad Ami chose to spend most of her life with my mother and me. She was a wonderful cat.

Our pets add so much to our lives. I can't even begin to imagine not having a pet. I have two cats now, and they never fail to make me smile, no matter how crummy I am feeling. They keep me very busy too, which is a good thing.

I have fond memories of every pet my family ever had. One pet that stands out is a dog my grandparents had when I was little. Her name was Puppy (very creative name). Puppy had a great trick - she'd howl when you asked her, "How does the rooster crow?" I used to love that trick; I thought Puppy was a genius.

There are so many joys of having a pet. The free entertainment of their tricks and silly behavior, the softness of their fur. The slow, rhythmic purr of a contented cat sleeping at your side. The way your dog is always so excited to see you. That unconditional love that, at the end of the day, is so comforting.

Having a pet makes our lives so much richer and more fulfilling, no matter what obstacles we may be faced with. They are always there for us, and they return the love we give to them tenfold.

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