The cats helped me wrap holiday presents yesterday. By ‘help’ I mean, they hid the tape, wrestled the bows, and left scratches in both the wrapping paper and on the presents. A little vexing, but mostly lots of fun. The presents got wrapped, and in some cases re-wrapped, and we all had a good time.
I’m sure that we’ve all read articles or studies that show that having an animal in your life makes you mentally healthier. They bring you peace and happiness at those times that you are feeling your worst. Animals know when you’re sad, and will come comfort you in their own ways. They also know when you’re happy, and respond to your moods accordingly. I’ve even heard that people with pets live longer.
And maybe that’s why it’s so awful losing a beloved pet. Your ‘pal’ that has been at your side for so long is suddenly taken ill themselves. Those of us who have pets have many fond memories of them that are not easily explained to someone else. Especially because a lot of pet interaction is one on one. And when you lose a beloved pet, sometimes it can be devastating – especially when you don’t know if it’s ok to be sad about it in public, or whether anyone will understand.
Surprisingly, a lot of people understand. Those who have pets, or who have had pets know how deep the pain can cut and are very supportive of those who have lost these beloved family members. Because that’s what all pets become – members of your family.
If you’re going through this now, you’re not alone. Almost 2 years ago I lost a beloved friend who had been by my side for twenty years, and it still hurts. She used to be the one who helped me wrap presents. I have yet to form as close bonds with the new kitties in my life, but I’m sure grateful that they’re here and part of our little family.
We always joke about the ‘crazy cat ladies’ in our society. As long as someone is taking good care of their pets, and has the means to do so, I say more power to you. Nothing is quite so lonely as living a life without the love of these little friends.
And my heart goes out to those of you dealing with this grief now. Please remember, there are many animals that need homes, and in time, maybe a new furry friend will help ease the pain of your loss. Not replace it, just ease it in their own special and unique ways.