During the month of February people usually write about love, relationships and matters of the heart. February commemorates a different kind of holiday which still shares the spirit of love. Four legged, furry love that is.
One of my first loves as a child was my Siamese cat Meiling. I shared my entire childhood with Meiling. In fact she lived to be 20 years old, sadly, she passed when I went off to college. We all loved her, she was a little four legged bossy cat who ruled the house. She was so cherished that we commissioned a portrait of her which still hangs on our wall some 30-years later. Meiling was very mouthy. My older brothers were always up to no good and inevitably just as they were trying to sneak out she would start to meow at the top of her lungs. Meiling foiled many escape plans during their teenage years.
Pets were a big part of my life growing up. When I was a kid we always had several dogs and cats scampering about our house. Usually three or four cats and three or more beagles punctuated my childhood with memories of puppies, passing’s and special friendships.
I remember returning from a family vacation to Hawaii and one of our dogs had a litter of puppies. My dad allowed me to name one puppy Bubbles after Don Ho’s song “Tiny Bubbles”. All of his buddies would make fun of him whenever he had to chase down my dog yelling at the top of his lungs, “Bubbles, Bubbles”. After Bubbles, Dad named the dog’s rather boring and macho names such as Prince and Huey to save face.
As the youngest child, I had a special relationship with Meiling. She was a friend when I was a little pesky younger sister and gave me comfort when I was scared or lonely. Cats also can be a great judge of character. Meiling didn’t like one of my girlfriends growing up, later I found out she has stolen several items from me.
As we celebrate, National Love Your Pet Day, think of all the wonderful things your pet does for you on a daily basis. The unconditional love and the cute photo opportunities you can post on Facebook. One of my friends rescued a cat and now he has his own page and following just like Grumpy Cat. If your family doesn’t have a pet, perhaps you might want to consider adopting one at a local shelter. 7.6 million animals are sheltered every year and unfortunately approximately 2.7 million are euthanized. We share our home with two four legged family members. They cheer you up when you have a bad day and are always available to snuggle. Pets are a great source of companionship, they relieve stress and some statistics say they even help you live longer. You have the power to save a life and gain a best friend too.
Jodi Cross is a marketing consultant, speaker and writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.