Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Importance of Pets

My cat, Bernie. 

I was at the post office when I got the call from my mom. "You have to get home right now. Something is wrong with Bernie. He is crying and meowing. Hurry!" I half thought my mom was over reacting, since that is what she does best. But, I hurried home any way, just in case.  I walked in the door and my mom was crying and my dad was just saying he was sorry over and over. 

I was crushed. 

It is fair to say that I adored my cat more than you. If you have pets, you understand the feeling. If you don't, let me try to explain it to you. Pets, whether dog or cat, or bunny or whatever, are the ultimate in unconditional love. Your pet doesn't know that you bombed in your interview or the drama with Donna in accounting. Bernie used to sit in the window until I came home from work and rushed to meet me at the door. He would look up at me and meow until I acknowledged him and snuggled him. 

In this ever changing online world - everyone and everything at arm's length, pets are a fantastic companion, a compliment to the people type companions. 

Bernie looking in at us. 

Sometimes, a pet is all that someone has. 

Last week, a coworker brought a customer over to me, pointing at me and said, "she loves cats too and her cat recently passed away."

Oh, boy.

Coworker left me with an older lady that was upset. With tears in her eyes, she went on about her cat that passed away and showed me pictures of him on her phone. Her dead cat. THE CAT WAS DEAD IN THE PICTURES. The lady was trying desperately to keep it together, sharing with me that she is terminally ill. The only thing in her life that she had to look forward to was the cat. Her greatest worry was when she died, what would happen to the cat. Who would take care of him? She cried, making me look at the pictures of the dead cat again, upset that the cat died alone, in a cage. 

Our conversation continued for about 10 minutes, and I tried to be as sympathetic as I could without crying myself. Admittedly, I did lose my noodle after she left. Why would she do that to me? Why would she dump all her emotional upset over her pet on me?

That night, I was chatting with a friend and relayed the story. My friend gave me some insight that made me feel a little better, albeit sadder. 

My friend told me that the lady was lucky that I was there to listen for her because she obviously needed to talk to someone. This lady had no one else. She told me she didn't have any family around, just this cat. I hope I was able to provide a little comfort for her. I can't imagine being terminally ill and alone. 

Pets can add to our lives as well as fill a void that may be there, left by family or friends. 

I miss my little Bernie all the time, but I'm thankful I have family and friends in my life...and a new addition, Omar!

My new kitten, Omar. 

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