Pets are a constant reminder of how life should be. Whether you love dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, raptors or guinea pigs, life would be a bore without them. I marvel at the love a pet shows toward a human (even the reptiles) for nothing in return except some attention, and, of course, for food!
Some people are not pet people. That is okay. For those who are, and have lost pets, it’s tough to want to replace the void felt with a new pet. I had a cat for 13 years, and when that kitty died, I wasn’t going to go through that loss again.
Little did I know several co-workers knew I needed another cat, and they had a plan.
It was a fiercely cold, windy March day when a co-worker brought me to a pigsty, on a hill, above a barn in Gilford, NH. Three of the most adorable kittens were batting at each other in a bunny cage. My friend said, “pick one!” It was freezing, the sun was shining, and the kittens were happy. I watched the two larger ones scrambling over the runt. Holding each kitten was like choosing the best chocolate in the box. The first two were quite squirmy in my arms. When I held the third one, she snuggled into my chest. She picked me!
We put the kitten in a cardboard box on the passenger seat of my car. She didn’t like being confined. As I put my car in gear, she leaped onto my lap, firmly placed her paws on the steering wheel and meowed, quite loudly, the whole way home. My only thought was how to explain to a police officer, if pulled over, why I had a screaming black and white ball of fur teaching me driving skills!
The first night, she didn’t hide, like some kittens do in a new environment. She snuggled beside me on the bed, and purred, almost as loudly as her meows during the drive home. She wanted to be near me. I knew her name at that point. She would become Chloe, because she reminded me of a sassy television actress I admired.
As the months wore on, Chloe, was wild, funny, happy, cheerful, playful, and social. When I came home from work, she would be right by the door, vocalizing her happiness that I was home. I should have known that first night with the piercing meowing, she would be talkative, and that meow would be the constant keeping me sane every day.
Chloe is the most content member of the family. Her life is one of leisure and rest, of meditation and demands for food, and sometimes for a little attention. She is a reminder of how life should be. Our world is hectic and chaotic. We are overloaded with technological messages, deadlines, commitments and responsibilities. Chloe wakes up, stretches, looks out the window, watches the birds, the raindrops, the snow, or the sun rise. She greets me with a kind look, that loud meow, and then she plops down on the heated floor, and rests. I’m convinced her bucket list was completed in her second year of life, after she stopped climbing curtains and window screens.
Am I jealous of her daily schedule? Absolutely! Every day, I look at her and tell her I want to be more like her. I’m pretty sure she understands. Over the years, I have made it a point to find time to sit beside her on the heated floor, or by the window when she’s watching the chipmunks and bluebirds. It might be as simple as a quick pat on the head or scratch behind her ears that slows me down for a minute.
As I sit here tonight, Chloe is lounging in a box top on the floor near me. She keeps me company when I’m working at night. From time to time she raises her head and gives me a look. Her expressive eyes speak to me saying, “be like me, relax, and take time for yourself. It’s the way life should be.”