Oliver is my 13 year old Siamese mix cat. He has been in my life for only slightly less time than my husband. He (along with a few other kitties) was our baby for years… and he has been neglected a bit in the onslaught of stress (including parenting a human baby!) over the past few years.
Today I have thought more than I wanted to about how life will be without him around. Tonight he is staying at an emergency clinic after having some breathing problems earlier today. We are hopeful there is nothing terribly wrong… but I also know that there is a great chance that something *will* be terribly wrong over the next few years. Today I had to face my fears and a 4 year old’s questions at the same time. It was tough. I’m so hoping that tomorrow brings much more hope and answers than I have tonight.
I’m probably over-reacting… but this is the kitty who listened to me sob for months when I didn’t think anyone else would care about some huge things going on in my life. This is the kitty who has slept with me since he was a tiny kitten –the one who roams the house making sure everyone is in bed before he goes for a final midnight snack and to bed himself for a few hours. This is my lap kitty… the one who loves to read over my shoulder… the one who was so super-gentle (if a bit jealous!) of the baby we eventually brought home. The one who didn’t take long to fall in love with that baby too… and now wants to sleep in his bed more often than mine, much to Andrew’s chagrin (Mommy! Oliver is in my bed! Make him GO AWAY!). They love each other though. The picture at the end of this post proves it!
Life has been chaotic the last few years, to say the least. Tonight I got a reminder that relationships, even those with pets, are more important than the things that tend to demand my time. Right now, I have 2 kitties who are getting older… a little boy who is rapidly approaching kindergarten and new freedoms, regardless of schooling decisions we make… and a husband who doesn’t need to be forgotten in the mix either. I’m looking around my messy living room (and remembering that I never did switch off the crockpot that has been keeping dinner warm for too many hours now) and hoping that tomorrow I’ll remember that snuggles are more important than sweeping and reading a book to my 4 year old (hopefully with a cat nearby) is more important than reloading the dishwasher.
Tonight, I am so thankful for those reminders. I am so thankful for my kitties, who all have their own stories of how much they have enriched my life. (And, I am also so thankful that Andrew was amazingly patient during the oh-so-long waits to see what was going on with “his kitty”). Give your kids and pets extra snuggles from me today!