Monday, December 29, 2008


Further to the passing of the estimable Baby Cakes over this past weekend, I have had people say to me in the past, “He was ‘only’ a cat!” to which I replied then and would reply now that our domesticated animals have been and continue to be a gift of God and there can be no heaven for me where those animals aren’t present and honored for their many gifts to humankind.

Certainly I look forward to seeing the full panoply of pets I have loved and lost over the years, particularly the much loved and still-missed BooBoo and Rocky who lived to grand ages of 18 and 15 respectively. Amber and Cassis were two golden retrievers I well loved. Gigi was an utterly spoiled, totally lovable kitty who was beloved of my sister until she left us at the great age of 18!

It is no accident that convicts are frequently helped by programs that involve them with the care of animals of varying sizes. It is no accident that our seniors and infirm are helped by “therapy” animals – both dogs and cats (although Sam the Wonder cat probably wouldn’t ever qualify for that job – he’s entirely too unpredictable and grumpy).

Our domesticated animals provide companionship, amusement, unquestioning love and a friendship that is difficult to equal. They keep us connected to what is the better part of our nature because we have made them dependent upon us and we therefore owe them an enormous debt of responsibility.

When I spend time with the deeply shy pit bull Zeus or the ever needy Corgi mix named Harley at my sister’s house, I am experiencing the uncritical devotion for which dogs are so well known. When the utterly adorable bluepoint Siamese Tim comes and sits on my lap, I am honored by his affection (although truth be told – his philosophy seems to be “any lap in a storm”). When Sam comes and cuddles up with me in the middle of a cold and stormy night, there is more comfort there than just the physical warmth he brings to my arms – albeit 26 pounds of purring cat is one hell of a lot of warmth!

I think that, in many ways, our interaction with our domesticated friends brings out the very best in our souls. And so, when a beautiful creature like Baby departs our midst, we are diminished in a very painful and very real fashion.

Farewell, beautiful boy. I truly hope that you have found my handsome BooBoo and the rascally and deeply lovable Rocky and that they are easing your transition until we meet someday.

1 comment:

Sissy Willis said...

Thank you so much, Gayle. I have posted an appreciation including your wordshere.