Isn’t it funny how pets can work their way into our hearts? I once had a dog named Tag. I was small when Tag was my dog, but I can remember him so clearly. What I cannot remember is the day Tag followed me into the woods behind my house. I was just a preschooler when I slipped past my mom and went on this little adventure. It wasn’t too long before my mom discovered I was missing and sounded the alarm that brought neighbors out to help look for me. When they found me out in the woods, my loyal friend, Tag, was right there watching over me.
Tag was my first pet. I have had many more pets over my lifetime; each one special in their own right; each one making their mark upon my heart. Each one making my life just a little bit brighter for being in it.
Matthew and I have had lots of pets together over the years. The first house we bought came with a pregnant cat. I was amazed by all the arms and legs I could feel as she would stretch out for a belly rub. When the kittens were born, I was right there to be her midwife. She didn’t need me, but I wasn’t going to miss that for the world. Five kittens were born in my laundry room. Each of them different except for two, who looked like twins. I asked the vet how this could be… and he broke the news to me that she likely had more than one suitor for that pregnancy. Great, my cat was a floozy. I loved her anyway.
We’ve had several cats, birds, a rabbit, a hamster, and various fish and two hermit crabs since that day in my laundry room.
I will never forget the day Brownie came into our lives. Tucked inside my husband’s bomber jacket, Matthew brought him home. He was so cute. Matthew was always partial to Siamese, while I loved longhaired cats. Brownie was a kitten with the best of both. He had Siamese markings and long lush hair; he was the perfect compromise. Except that the last thing I needed at that time was another baby. I had only just given birth to our daughter a few weeks prior. I was not happy about the timing.
Truth be told, I didn’t love Brownie from the start. Aside from the terrible timing, he was annoying. He had the loud, obnoxious meow of a Siamese, and he was very vocal. He constantly jumped up onto the kitchen counter, and tried running out the door at every opportunity. He was always underfoot and demanded a lot of attention.
But he stuck with us and I managed not to make ear muffs out of him. Eventually he calmed down, and did that pet magic, working his way into my heart. We grew older together. We made a lot of moves together. Both my daughter and Brownie celebrated sixteen years this year. That’s not so much for her, but for Brownie it was like one hundred and twenty years.
A couple of months ago we noticed that Brownie could no longer see. It was a sad day, but only after a few days, Brownie had adapted and was doing really well. He paced our house until he had the lay of the land and made his way around like a pro.
But as the days turned into weeks, Brownie wasn’t fairing so well, and we had to make the hard decision to let him go. If you have ever loved a pet and had to let them go, you know how we felt. Saying good-bye to a furry friend is never easy. Truthfully, it’s heart breaking. Pets love us no matter what. Pets think we are great even when we know we are wretched. Pets listen to us when we cry and join us at every pity party. They play with us, nap with us, and love us. They do these things to ensure we over look the times they poop on the rug.
No, they do these things because they don’t know how to not do these things. Animals have a distinct advantage over us. They can only be what God created them to be. They were created for our pleasure and they do their jobs superbly. Unconditionally, they stand by us.
We could learn a lot from our furry friends. Brownie never gave up on me. Even in the early days when he got on my last nerve. As I held him in my arms yesterday, and said my good-byes, I was thankful he didn’t give up. We had a lot of great years with Brownie, and on days when I was the saddest, he was always there to jump up in my lap and sit. He didn’t require anything of me, other than a scratch under the chin. It was a pretty sweet deal, really.
I will miss that cat. I had had him longer than most other things in my life. Most people, too. It’s silly to cry over a cat, I guess. But I do. I am. Eventually I won’t, but he will always be special to me.
Here’s to our pets. Pure unadulterated joy with fur on.