Monday, January 26

A Pure Love

I found myself trying to make somebody feel better about my situation after having to put my cat down, and I actually ended up making myself feel better.

We were on the subject of pets, how hard it is to lose them, and how much we love and get attached to them being part of our lives. In my friends upset after hearing the story of me putting my 15 year old cat down at the vets, I said something that felt profound, but at the same time—obvious.

Animals don’t know how to love a little. They don’t know how to be conditional with their affection, and frankly, they don’t even have the concept of needing to be forgiving. Their love is so genuine, so pure, all they know is to give and receive it.

This is why it’s so hard to say good bye to a pet we are attached to. Any attachment, whether it’s 7 months, or 15 years, has happened because you and an animal made a connection and started loving one another.

Not all pets seem to be interested in having a connection and a real loving relationship. I have a cat like that too, but most animals bond to us, and we to them. The reason we find it so easy to love them is possibly because they don’t have the human qualities that mean we get into arguments, struggles, or uncomfortable situations, so what a pets relationship is built on is “I love you, you love me, and I appreciate you feeding me.” Not only is it simple, but the simplicity allows the love to be pretty huge.

My Super loving cat “Phish” was with me for all 15 years of his life. He was a kitten when I took him into my arms saying “No, no, no, we can’t have a pet, it’s a commitment, but man he’s cute.” He and I became buddies immediately, playing all the time, and teaching him all the do’s and don’ts of living in a house with me.  My husband at the time joked “I can’t believe how that cat will do anything you tell him.” To which I replied by telling the cat to do something, and he did. Phish and me had a connection, we had that mutual love thing going on, and it was cool.

It will be a week tomorrow since I put him down, but I still have a painful lump in my throat as I think about him. In this week without him, I’m realizing I need to put more thought toward all the hours of love Phish invested in me. I shouldn’t be concentrating on his old age and how possibly uncomfortable his body was getting over time. That was a fraction compared to all his years of genuine love and obvious happiness.

Animals have a skill we don’t, maybe it’s more evolved, and maybe it’s less, but what I do know is the love is encompassing. They don’t get bogged down by all the other emotions out there: anger, jealousy, sadness, fear, and the like. It only takes a second to look them in the face, and stroke their body before they begin to exude a love exchange.

Phish was amazing at being a cat, and even better at showing me pure love.

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