For those of you who have pets, you know what they provide. For those of you who don't, you should think about getting yourself a furry buddy. Without fail, always happy to see you when you come home. Don't care what you look like or how you dress or even what you say. They don't mind when you wake them up, and they don't hate your smelly farts (sometimes I think they actually like the smell). This is my good news on this Sunday, first day of 2012.
Sweet Ethel. My first cat as an adult. Thrown along the side of the road like trash at 5 weeks old. Had a meow like Ethel Merman, hence the name. Moved with me from PA to FL to UT to CA to NC. Passed away last August, the same week mom died. She was 16 and sweet as pie. I miss you little girl.
Bristol. Named after the town in FL where she adopted me. Licks my chin and has a purr like an outboard motor. Nickname, "Generalissimo" because she bosses all the other pets around. Chirps instead of meows. My shadow, my sleep mate. Just turned 14 and healthy as can be.
Kiley, also just turned 14. She was living in the culvert in the driveway of the house I rented in FL. Very chow in many ways, sweet when she gets to know you and knows she can trust you. Extremely grateful. Food motivated. Would die protecting me, of this I have no doubt. Former cat-killer, now rehabilitated (under protest).
Fred. 11 years old. Such a pain in the ass, but a loveable guy. Abandoned at 6 months old on the side of the highway in FL. Never thought a dog could be that emaciated and still be alive. Horribly abused. He's come so far. Hounds are difficult and we've truly had to adjust our lives for him (the houses and neighborhoods where we live). But he's also grateful and knows he's safe and loved despite the fact that he vocalizes EVERY freakin' thought that goes through his brain.
Lucy, the newest addition to the family. 11 years old. She was my mom's cat and we took her after a lot of family drama. She's not used to being around dogs or other cats, and we didn't know how she'd adjust. She's done very well, holds her own, and realizes the dogs are no threat. She's not real affectionate, doesn't want to be held, but when she is lovey-dovey I just about need earplugs because her purring is so loud. She is a wonderful connection to Mom, and for that I am happy Lucy is happy here with us.
Henry, my Henry. Showed up in our yard in UT in 2005 with a broken back. Permanent nerve damage resulted in amputated tail, amputated penis (really), reconstructed urinary tract. Also has herpes (contracted from his mom-cat) which thinned his corneas, each which ruptured resulting in corneal grafts. Still has some vision. Just diagnosed with diabetes. And, despite the shit-sandwiches he keeps getting served, is the most mellow, loveable boy of all time. He would convert the die-hard cat haters. Gives the best hugs and loves to be carried and held. (Recently asked me if Tink is his biological father. I quickly changed the subject.) His sugar crashed this morning, so he is at the emergency vet clinic today. Close call, but he's doing well. Never thought he'd live this long, so every day with him is a gift.
Happy new year, my friends. I hope you are all the recipients of unconditional love in 2012 and beyond.