On cats and dogs…


I haven’t written much since I found out my cat Sneaky was sick again. I knew there would be no recovery this time, because neither of us was strong enough to make it through the treatment again. I finally had to let her go on New Year’s Eve; a fitting time, I suppose, to end the old and begin anew.

I had told my son that when Sneaky was gone, and we were below the 2-pet limit imposed by our apartment management, I would let him find a larger dog for a companion to him and Ling Ling. I had no idea that it would happen so fast—and so I had barely 2 days to mourn the loss of my dear friend and sleeping partner before we added a beautiful, smart, and rowdy dog into our household.

There have been a few quiet times, when I have thought about what I’d like to write. But they don’t usually last long enough for me to get my laptop and get started.

I have discovered that cats are much more contemplative animals than dogs, and they allow you to reflect on your thoughts while they snooze quietly or sit and think their own mysterious thoughts. Dogs want you to pay attention; to play with them or pet them, or take them out to “do their business.”

I have had at least one cat for more than 20 years, except for about a year when I had only my aging Rottweiler, Baikonur. He was so old that he wasn’t very interested in playing, and didn’t really care what I was doing, as long as he could see me doing it. He didn’t jump on me, or demand my attention; he just greeted me happily at the door when I came home, and followed me quietly from room to room, sleeping as near me as he could.

Sneaky was very much like that. She was very shy when we first got her years ago; but at the end, when she was an “only cat,” she was very social and (almost) outgoing. She would even greet me at the door sometimes, or come when I called, “Sneaky-poo! I’m home!” Her favorite spot was either on my lap, or in the space between me and the arm of the couch. She was consistent, peaceful company. We let each other be whoever we needed to be at the time. At night, she would lie quietly beside me on the bed and loudly purr me to sleep as I laid my hand on her back to feel the soothing vibrations. I miss that very much. Sometimes it’s still hard to sleep.

I can’t say I’m a cat person or a dog person. I love them all for their own unique personalities. The dogs give me that unconditional love and enthusiastic greeting that only a dog with a wagging (or wiggling) tail can give. But when it’s very quiet…I still miss my cat.

I always will.

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