I love most animals, like many of you reading this article. Other than birds, the rest fall under the umbrella of warm-blooded. Dogs are number one, but a close second is the elephant. They are amazing and share some of the same emotions we experience. I once read these gentle giants can suffer from a broken heart. We find them enchanting and would even have one in our family like the protagonist did in the story Water for Elephants, but that is why they call it fiction.
After Dogs and Elephants
My next choice would be dolphins, but again, another impossibility to imagine this fish-like mammal out of water. Finally, owls are so intriguing and enigmatic that they mesmerize, but who would ever have the opportunity to see these primarily nocturnal, who-sounding birds? Also, like the other two, they need to remain free as we can admire from afar.
What About Cats?
You must wonder by now why I have not mentioned cats. Let me share with you that I tried very hard to have a close relationship with cats. Honestly, I did, but to no avail. It was not in the cards. Before I reached adulthood, I had a pretty good connection with our purry pals. As we know, some are aloof, but the ones that were not would find their way to me.
Suddenly out of nowhere, a funny thing happened on the way to my trying twenties. Cat allergies emerged. I never imagined this kind of allergy would reveal itself at the ripe young age of twenty-something, but it did. I remember a remarkable event that occurred in that period when I went to a hairstylist’s apartment to have my feathered, Farrah-Fawcett hair trimmed. Yes, once upon a time, I had almost black, curly hair, and now I have honey-colored, Keratin-straight hair. Who would have thought, but I digress? So there I am having my hair trimmed surrounded by a long-haired breed of cat and, I believe, a Siamese. As they sat there, stoically observing the scene, my face was puffing up by the minute with sneezing and eyes increasingly reddening and tearing up. Finally, when the trimming was complete, I left with a beautiful crown of hair, almost covering an unrecognizable face. It took a few hours for me to return to normal. You would think that would be the end of my affiliation with cats, but no!
Tried To Make It Work
Around that same period, I was working in a mental health clinic. One summer day, an unusual-looking cat started visiting. She, I think she was a female, was grey and had the most glorious green eyes, almost emerald color under a particular light. These visits became regular for a few weeks. All of us working at this site concluded that the cat was orphaned. I had been living alone at the time and desperately wanted a pet. At the time, a dog was out of the question, and even though I was allergic, I decided to retrieve this cat. I did, and I named her Rapunzel. Why Rapunzel? Thirty-plus years later, I don’t remember. I was the one with the long hair, not the cat.
I put Rapunzel in a box, and we drove away. I was so pleased. I decided not to tell my family because they would have been worried about the allergy situation. As I was driving, I noticed Rapunzel was becoming restless. My windows were halfway down, so Rapunzel would have some air. All of a sudden, I came to a red light, and Rapunzel leaped from her box, and out the window, she went. I quickly parked my car and shouted, ”Rapunzel, Rapunzel, ” and it was not followed by ”let down your hair.” There she was at the top of the bridge. I looked at her. The royal felineness returned my gaze with a haughty glance before turning the corner and vanishing in thin air. That was the end of my relationship attempts with cats. Like I said, it was not like I did not try.
Since that time, my cat allergy remains but less intensely. Cats are still attracted to me, and I continue to respond. I will not, however, attempt another close connection again.
No, my devoted pooches remain front and center, as will be the case all of the days of my life.
Dogs Remain Front and Center
As I wrote in a recent piece, the word dog spells God backward for a reason. Like you cat lovers, we dog lovers can give you a run for your money. For those of you who enjoy both, I am sure it would be difficult to choose your favorite.
During these difficult times, we must continue to celebrate the comfort, joy, and unconditional love our four-legged friends provide. Therefore, I would like to express a “woof out” to those whom I had the opportunity to meet through LinkedIn. Hugs to Redford, Eddie, and his feline sibling Sammy, Gibbs and Duke, Bishop, who still counts even being inanimate, Layla, Scooby, and sibling Sasha.
Now, I will go and pet Winston and Churchill, both on the mend. As I wander over, I experience a warmth and a sense of gratitude, knowing I am blessed to have them in our lives. When I am feeling stuck, I look at these two, smile, and suddenly I feel unstuck.
What About You?
During these tough times, do you experience comfort having the presence of pets? What joys do they offer you? Are you a cat person, a dog person, or both? Do you have entertaining stories involving animals? Please feel free to share.