Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Neediness of Pets

I am sitting here writing.  There is so much to write about these days.  I haven't been blogging as much and I'm sorry.  My head is like my messy room where I know where everything is and I have to get rid of stuff.  I am sorting through things.  I am not one of the ones who have it all figured out.  I am the hotter mess.  I am the hotter mess with three pets that I have had since they were babies. 

Next to my foot is Barkley.  He is my papillion spaniel.  I wonder about his boredom.  Is he bored sitting by my feet all day long?  What does he think about?  Is he happy?  Barkley is a very needy kind of dog.  Very anti-social when it comes to other dogs; he prefers the company of humans.  He loves long road trips and riding in your lap.  He likes running short distances away from the house and in a race, he will win every time.  He always wants attention and anything, anything you drop when it comes to food is his.  David considers Barkley his dog.  But it is Barkley who stays by my side.  I am just now starting to understand dog people.  

I have two cats, both of them males.  Samson is a Blue Russian.  He is my oldest.  I call him the old man.  He is 13 years old.  He loves to talk and tell you things.  He used to be this big cat, defining alpha of the house.  Compared to Midnight, he was the tough one.  Midnight is a snuggle bum. Midnight likes to be carried.  He will climb up on you and hug you.  Sometimes I find David just sitting on his bed with Midnight on his shoulder being loved on.  Samson is not like this. I thought Samson wasn't as emotional, but then Santi died, Samson went to pieces.  He understood that his master was gone.  He lost weight.  His fur became matted.  One day, someone left the window open and while we had gone to church, the cats escaped.  Samson was by the window, our loyal boy, he was waiting for us to come home.  Midnight was out and about.  Picture me roaming the neighborhood crying for Midnight, an all black cat, in the dead of night.  How was I suppose to see a shadow?  David still makes fun of me, as he was the one that walked with me and held  my hand as I looked for Midnight.  In the morning, I got up and looked out in the backyard with thoughts of Midnight.  I saw him climbing over the fence.  I went out with bare feet in my nightgown and I picked him up and brought him home with tears (a picture of how our great God welcomes us when we have a "night out").  I called to the children when I brought him in but who was there waiting anxiously?  Samson.  When I put Midnight down, Samson sniffed him and kissed him.  I was able to witness the love between two adoptive brothers.  Samson missed Midnight.   

I thought I would lose him when Santi died.  It became clear that he relinquished his place as Alpha to Midnight.  When they were fed, Samson waited until Midnight ate first.  If Midnight was someplace, Samson would be the one to leave.  I can learn about submission from these animals.  I bought a special brush.  We cut away the really bad matted parts.  We rubbed him and bought him liquid food.  Samson may not be alpha in the rest of the house but as my favorite, the old man has free reign in my room.  In the mornings, Samson sits with me as I drink my coffee.  He likes to throw himself against you and he is the best purrer.  He is not as insistent as he used to be but he wants attention too.  He meows at you for it.  He wants to be pet and he wants to spend time with you.  He likes things that we have worn.  He likes laying on the bed because it smells like us.  I know that his tenure on this earth is shorter than the others.  I am thankful for this cat and his dependence on us.

Then there is Midnight.  His story I can save for another time.  Midnight doesn't ask permission.  He is Janet's favorite.  He will climb up on your lap and then stay there with his sticky claws.  He is more insistent on being taken care of.  There is not one hair of his that is not black.  He has greenish yellowish eyes.  He is big.  He is our hunter.  Don't let anything smaller come into the house, Midnight will hunt it.  His coat is so shiny!!!  He used to be only my cat.  Now things have changed.  Janet claims him.  In case you were wondering, Barkley is David's and Samson is mine, but David is the one that feeds all of them and takes care of all of the pets the most.  Midnight is very social.  He will play with Barkley where Samson avoids him like the plague.  Midnight doesn't worry as much as Samson does. 

These pets and their need of us.  They are our companions.  They teach us about ourselves.  I always feel astutely when I learn of the passing of a pet.  I understand that this demise can be much much greater than losing a human sometimes.  I don't think of myself as a pet person.  If a pet, then a cat person.  And yet... I have three..  The other day we were all in one room, the children, the pets and me.  David made a comment of how many of us there were.  We are technically not a small family of three but a big family of six. 

I look down.  Here is my boy, Barkley.  I call his name and he looks up, his tail wags.  He is happy.  I am petting him.  He puts his two little paws on my knees and sneezes (he sneezes when he's happy).  He is a good boy.  Maybe I'm not such a cat person after all... 

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