Sunday, November 3, 2013

On Loving the Ones You're With

The internet is awash with images of cats.  Cats looking lazy.  Cats looking like they’re hiding a secret.  Cats looking peeved with whoever is on the other side of the camera.  Cats looking stupid doing things you know they’d disavow even if they understood you had preserved an image of them doing said thing.  Cats being gorgeous, adorable, regal, comical, clumsy, pissy, and all things in between.

It’s no secret that I love cats.  This proclivity is, admittedly, an odd and sometimes downright inconvenient addiction, given that I also possess an irrepressible spiritual draw to all things bird.  But what is life without a little dramatic tension?

Yes, nine felines reside in and around my household.  And one dog who was brought up believing she was at least half cat (and the other half human.)  My family ranges in known age from “the boys” who turned nine last month, to Bart, the senior member, at sixteen.  And we have several members, now, of undetermined age, because they were adults when we first made their acquaintance, and the vet tells me it’s impossible to accurately determine an adult cat’s age.

The downside of sharing life with companion animals is that you only get them for maybe fifteen years…longer than that if you’re fortunate, shorter if you’re not.  My life has been bracketed by happy welcomes and tear-drenched farewells to animal spirits I’ve been allowed to “borrow” through the years.  But, you know, the sadness of the many goodbyes has never managed to out-balance the joy bestowed sharing the lives of these amazing little creatures.  Amazing that, given homo sapiens' dismal record of cruelty and indifference toward non-human souls, these creatures choose to not only live with us, but so unselfishly give us the love and companionship natural to their sweet spirits.

A few years back, one of my sisters, ‘round about her 60th birthday, made the decision not to get any more pets.  She based this decision on concern for what would become of them if something happened to her.  I don’t know.  I could no more turn away a forlorn face at the patio door than I could stop eating.  I can’t imagine turning away a spirit sent to me by the Creator.  I’ll trust the universe to decide when I become unable to share my life with furry creatures.  I will continue to open my home and my heart to any and all,  until one day, I’ll give up my body and become one with all the spirits I have known and loved throughout the years of my earthly tenure.

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