A dog is never, just a dog and a cat is never, just a cat. When a cat or dog in your life passes away, you lose a friend. A friend that doesn’t say much back but understands beyond words what you are feeling. A friend that doesn’t judge when you speak but listens with a loving heart. While it may seem to some that our furry friends reap all the rewards of the friendship because we see to their needs, it is realistically the other way around. The spiritual and emotional factors that a companion animal brings into the life of an individual or family is invaluable. It's a bond that doesn’t have a price or a condition attached and when that bond is broken, it can be difficult to move on.
I’ve been reflecting on these thoughts a lot this past week, due to the passing of a foster kitten. Gladys was one of three foster kittens, I was temporarily caring for. Sometimes even the shortest lived of bonds can leave a deep impact, Gladys was not the first foster kitten in my household to pass way. I previously cared for three very sick little kittens, but her passing was significantly marked because of it’s unexpected nature. Whenever, we find ourselves at a loss, we think of what we could have done, what we didn’t do or wonder what might have changed. How do you get past that? I think the best way to memorialize our companions, is to focus on life.
By caring for another companion animal or giving a homeless pet a loving home, you memorialize the pet you lost. Strong grief is felt because of the love you were able to give, a love that never dies but continuously re-lives in other companions and your heart. No pet can replace another, it’s merely that you never let the burning flame die, you keep passing the torch. It may take time, but a fire isn’t meant to die out; it's meant to keep giving warmth.
In Gladys’s passing I have been trying to focus on her siblings instead of focusing on what could have or didn’t happen. When helping or caring for homeless animals, tragedy isn’t something you can necessarily escape and each time it happens you may want to give up. However, it is the happy moments and the prospect of giving a pet the love you had while you could, that is the most anyone can do for any companion animal.
From Left: Gladys, Domino & Jettie
I have known a young healthy well bred dog to pass away from a brain hemorrhage and pets who have passed away from cancer or sudden ailments. There are NO guarantees in our life, each day and moment should be cherished. The moments with our families and the moments with our furry companions, who are family. That may be a hard lesson to swallow, but it is what makes life both wonderful and at times, seemingly fleeting. This is especially true, for our furry companions, whose lives are significantly shorter, making them that much more precious.
HELP FOR GLADYS
In an effort to keep celebrating life, I wanted to share pictures of Gladys and her sibling, who are looking for a home. Funds are still being raised for Gladys’ vet bills, which total around $900.00 and proceeds from my Etsy shop will be going towards the bill as well. The bonds between us and our companions may be invaluable, but when they fall ill it can be expensive. There is nothing worse than not being able to afford emergency care. We wanted Gladys to be able to find her forever home and while she may not be able to now, she deserved the chance despite the costs. So please share so that Barrington TNR can continue to help kitten like Gladys have a chance at a home.
Gladys & Her Sister Jettie
Fox & Feline Fur-Files is a pet blog dedicated to the challenges and highlights of a multi-species household. Featuring cat hacks, our favorite pet products, education and furry mayhem.
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