Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Tribute to Pets

I often wonder how boring my life would be without my crazy little cat, Sambo.  He has been my companion for about two years now.  Yes, I complain now and then about him.  He gets into all kinds of trouble, makes a mess, and I am forever tripping over his toys in the middle of the night.

I have been living alone for a few years now. My son is grown and on his own, I have no husband or live-in partner.  I suffered from empty-nest syndrome for quite some time.  I hated coming home to an empty house so I would stay out--ALL the time.  I would go to my job earlier than I actually needed to, stay at the office later than everyone else, and then stop on the way home and shop, visit friends, or hang at the local bar until I was so exhausted I would come home and fall into bed and pass out until morning.  I eventually realized how unhealthy this was for me.  I needed to rest, eat good, home-cooked meals, and just stay home once in awhile. Not to mention, I was spending so much money and accumulating all this stuff from hours spent at the shopping mall. I needed a reason to come home at night.  I wasn't about to share my home with a room-mate ( I like my privacy) or have a man move in (I don't want to be controlled, owned,  forced to surrender my TV remote, or HAVE to come home and cook and clean for anyone).  Someone suggested I get a dog but I just don't have time for a dog. Dogs need to be walked at certain times every day and demand a certain amount of attention that I just can't give.  I spend too many hours away from home and it wouldn't be fair to the dog.

Sambo was a friendly, black, ball of fur who won my heart in a matter of moments.  He was in need of love and because I couldn't bear the thought of him possibly being homeless, I took him in.  He made himself at home in my place in about an hour, taking over my spot on the couch and stealing my pillow from me in the middle of the night.  He sprawled all over my white chairs, completely covering them with little black hairs.  I am forever walking around with a lint brush. He has more toys than a young child and they are scattered all over the house. He jumps up on counters no matter how often I scold him, attempts to take the food right off my plate while I am eating, and tracks litter all through the house.  I can never leave food out for more than a minute or a dish in the sink. He comes running the minute I open the fridge or if he hears me programming the microwave. I have no need for an alarm clock.  At 5AM every morning he wakes me by wacking me in the face with his paw because he wants breakfast.  We have our little rituals. He eats while the coffee brews and then sits in my lap as I sip my coffee in the morning. Like clockwork every night at 9PM he joins me on the couch and demands love, hugs, and kisses. He's a creature of habit and a bit of pain-in-the-neck, but I love every minute of it.  He gives me a reason to come home every evening, is always happy to see me, has specific times he wants and needs love and attention, and then he just leaves me alone to do what I want to do.  He's the perfect mate.

You might think I am just a little crazy going on and on about my cat.  I have always been more of dog lover and never really had much use for cats but in all honesty, Sambo has been my salvation in many ways.  This is not the first time a cat has saved me.  Many years ago, I was suffering from major depression.  I was under a doctor's care and had lost all hope and my will to live. A neighbor knocked at my door one morning with a tiny cat in her arms. She told me this cat was wandering the neighborhood and needed a home. The minute that sweet little cat's eyes met mine, she leapt into my arms. I gave her a home and she became my companion for years. She never left my side and contributed greatly to my healing and my journey back to wellness. I wept for months when I left my husband years later and could not take her with me. 

I am an animal lover and always have been. I can't imagine my life without Sambo. We are the perfect pair and I need him as much as he needs me.  If you don't have a pet, I highly recommend you get one.  If you do have one, take a minute and give your cat or dog an extra hug, a belly rub or a treat today. They are wonderful companions. They love us unconditionally. They seem to sense when we are happy or sad and are always there when we need them.  As humans, we like to think we have rescued them when it's really the reverse.  They rescue us and fill our lives with joy and laughter. We can scold them, ignore them, even mistreat them, but they always love us and desire our company and our touch. 

This week, we mourn the loss of Benny, the most wonderful dog in the world.  Benny was my brother, Joe's, companion for years. In his lonely hours, Benny was there.  I know there were times that Benny was my brother's only friend.  Benny needed to be loved, fed, and cared for.  My brother took on this responsibility and no matter how tough it got, Joe cared for him.  In exchange, Benny gave Joe his unconditional love. 

The photo I posted here is of Benny and Joe.  I am thankful I had the opportunity to get to know Benny and spend time with him. He truly was a wonderful and amazing creature and now he is in a place where he can run free forever, a place without pain or suffering. 

We love you, Benny. Thank you for being a wonderful companion and the joy you brought to my brother's life. We'll see you soon...........

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

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