Author's Life

Mommies and Pets

I’ve always had pets. When I lived with my grandparents, the pets were goldfish. Later, there were cats and dogs, and even a parakeet. I believe God was using those years to teach me to be a mommy.

During the years I raised my children, there were still pets included. They seem synonymous with one another. God groomed me to be a mommy, and it stood to reason when my babies grew up and started their own families, I still needed some living being to care for. That person was my husband for a few years. Then God called him home.

I became a widow, living alone, but God…had provided three cats prior to my husband’s passing. I cared for them another nine years before they left after a long life to play at Rainbow Bridge. Yes, I know this is only a mystical place which came into being through the mind of poets sometime in the 1980’s or 90’s, but how better to think of a place where our beloved pets go upon death?

During the three months after the loss of my beloved Templeton, I felt a mixture of pain and relief. Caring for an elderly and sick animal can be heartbreaking, but it doesn’t compare with the pain and grief of making the best decision to let go. I didn’t want to go through that again, so I told myself I didn’t want to get another pet.

But God…mommies are meant to care for a living being. I had none. I did my best to convince myself life was good. I had no responsibilities except to care for myself. I filled my hours with hobbies to keep my hands and mind busy, but I knew this wasn’t enough. I wasn’t meant to live alone, no matter how many times during the busy years and moods of children I wanted to escape to a cabin alone in a secluded place.

Then came Finnegan. God put a beautiful cat in my life. A loving companion to fill the sometimes empty hours. And I realized God created me to care for others. He gave me a very compassionate heart for animals, and for people who cannot speak for themselves. My heart aches when I see a dead animal on the roads. The other day I traveled my normal route past a pond filled with Canadian geese and I saw one lying in the middle of the road. It had been struck by a car and left to die. The blood around its head was fresh. Tears spilled from my eyes. I don’t know why God created me this way, but I don’t question it.

God created me to love and care for others, whether human or furry or feathery. I’m blessed and I’m grateful.