Thursday, April 11, 2019

In Honor of the Pets Who Have Changed Our Lives

Through the years, I've posted quite a bit about Ringo the Wonder Retriever and my fabulous cat collection. In the last year and a half, I lost three of my cats--Snoopy, Sammy, and Cubby--at the ripe old ages of 18, 19, and 20. Losing them was so tough, but damn, did we all have a good run!

Lennon is the last of my feline buddies. I found him ten years ago when he wandered over to the restaurant/bar patio where I was having drinks with a friend. This little guy--still a kitten at the time--was skittish but so hungry and desperate that he survived for months by eating popcorn from bar patrons. Within a couple of days of spotting him, I returned, managed to catch him, and brought him home to enjoy a safe and loving indoor home.

Lennon remained nervous and nocturnal through the years, mainly coming to me for attention and affection during the night. His M.O. was to wait until I was asleep, and then to crawl up and softly paw my cheek to awaken me.

For some reason, he was immediately drawn to Ringo and has adored him ever since. Ringo doesn't know what to make of him, and whenever Lennon tries to cuddle with him, Ringo peers up at me nervously, as if saying, "Umm... What do I do now?"

When Cubby died in February, leaving Lennon as an Only Cat, everything changed. I haven't yet decided whether he misses the other cats or whether he is thriving on being an Only Cat and getting more attention--or maybe it's a bit of both. But he's now frequently by my side, following me into the next room and lying next to me on the couch.

I'm so pleased to finally be able to provide the attention and affection I always wanted to give him. And it's been beneficial to me, too, after losing the other cats who had provided me with great companionship all those years.

Life works in weird and often wonderful ways. Our relationships with our pets help remind us of that.

I'm happy to honor Lennon, the often silent and seldom seen pet, on National Pet Day. Finally, this is his moment! He might not look like it in this photo (Get that camera away from me, Mom), but I'm pretty sure he's awfully pleased.

Any warm and rewarding pet stories you care to share? Please feel free to include a photo!