|Purred: Tue Aug 5, '08 7:06am PST |
|I think most of us have gone through the pain of losing a beloved animal. It's happened to our family suddenly and over a long period, to illness and old age. It does not get easier when their time comes. However, it's never stopped us from getting another animal. In the back of our mind we know that we will most likely outlive our animals, but to let those thoughts stop us from having an animal in our lives? No way.
I feel truly sorry for people who have never opened themselves to the love an animal shows and the joy they can bring into our lives. My sister-in-law, for instance, thinks animals of any kind are "filthy little creatures". She expressed such to me once when, sitting in an outdoor restaurant, I gave a bird on the railing a piece of my dinner roll. In order to keep her picture-perfect house spotless and her children dog-spit and fur-free, she made her husband tie out their sweet Cocker Spaniel to the car bumper in the garage. In fairness to her, this was behavior learned from her mother, my mother-in-law. I am very proud of the fact that when my husband and I were married, I told him we would never be without an animal. I never thought we'd have SIX, but I know he enjoys the cats and dogs as much as I do. I'd like to feel that I taught my husband to love, respect and value an animal's place in our lives.
Catsters, especially those who "know" me (as Izzie or myself) understand what I mean when I say that when Ernie took off this weekend, I couldn't imagine worrying about a missing human child any more than I did about Ernie. Where was he, what had happened to him, was he alive or dead, being tortured, trapped, scared, injured, where could I go, what could I do...my God, it was awful and I felt so very helpless.
Is the pain of losing an animal worth the joy of having them? Absolutely. I could not, no way, no how, imagine my life like my sister-in-law's, in a perfect, fur-free, quiet, lonely and dull house...and with what would be for me at least, a huge, empty corner of my heart.
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