I joined social media for the purpose of networking to encourage others on their weight loss and wellness journeys. One of the unexpected joys of my Facebook membership, though, has been to see how many of my friends are of like mind when it comes to animals and our pets. Truth be told, someone who doesn’t feel the same way about their furry or feathered family members as I do would probably not qualify for membership in my ‘friends’ club anyway. But I really have enjoyed the photos and stories of not only my friends’ pets but of their interest and activism in other animal rights issues.
These wonderful stories, photos and links have made my days lighter and brighter and I thank my friends for this. Our girls make our world brighter as well, and I shared a few pictures a few days ago. Their habits and craziness never cease to amaze and entertain.
I’d recently lost two of my beloved long-term girls. Mei Mei transitioned in August, 2013 and was my 20 year old Siamese. She’d been with me since she was a tiny kitten and was my best friend, little girl, sister and confidant for 20 years. She was there for me when no one else was – through divorce, struggles and she actually picked my husband out for me! How did she do that? When I was in my ‘dating period’, anytime someone would come to pick me up, I learned to quickly take a peak at the fluffy white rug in the bathroom before I walked out the door. If Mei Mei didn’t like him, she’d leave a special gift on the rug to let me know. I collected a number of gifts over the years, until she met Mark, who is now my husband. She immediately fell for him and made it clear that she wanted HIM in our home. I’ve always said that pets are the best judges of character and it appears she did well.
My other long-term baby was Maggie who transitioned in May of this year at the age of 20. She was a Conch kitty that came originally from Friends of Animals. She picked me out when I went to the now defunct pet store at Overseas Market for some treats for the parrots. She was an affectionate girl, but ridden with anxieties. We called her our paw-wringer (similar to a human hand-wringer.) She was gentle and loving and totally OCD. There was never a dull moment with Maggie. She was busy trying to take care of everyone, to the point she just made herself crazy. We miss her with all our hearts.
There was also another Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot prior to Sophie, named Keoke. Keoke was a mommies’ girl. Like Sophie, she was hand-fed from a very young age. Here she is with Mei Mei and clearly Mei is not happy about being so close to ‘that bird’. Keoke had been through the bad relationships with me but all it did was make her even more protective of me. Sadly, she died suddenly of a blood clot to her brain at age 14 in 2004.
There have been many others over the years. All but two have been girls but we inherited one sweet boy when we moved into the last house we were in. He was quite the old guy and lived with us for 9 years. From the information we had from neighbors and the owner of the house, he lived to be about 26 years old. His name was Tiger and we called him ‘The Tige’. He had a raspy voice and he seemed to very much be the ‘Captain Tony of the Cat World.’ He lived a good life with us, though. He was absolutely fascinated by the refrigerator. If he heard the door open, no matter where he was, he’d run to the kitchen and just sit there, gazing in lovingly. In the end, when he had no teeth, he was eating the best we could offer – ground buffalo, roasted chicken pate’ and crab meat pate’, all hand-made by ME. He was quite happy, it seemed, right up to the end. He had weekly fluids to keep him going as his body was failing him and then one day, he decided it was time to go.
They give us so much and love us unconditionally. And we do all we can to give back and to make their lives as perfect as possible. I don’t think we humans are ever able to really let go of them. Their love is always with us.
For this reason, I support many animal rights groups and rescue groups. It’s not just our domestic family members that need us. All of the animals on the planet need help right now and it’s up to us to try to do all we can to save them, their habitat and to protect them from deadly dangers such as dentists and ob-gyn’s with weapons and who wish to spend their money to murder beautiful endangered animals who are simply living their lives and raising their young peacefully.