This past year has not been an easy year; in April our 3 year old chihuahua, Jim, passed away after an inoperable blockage made him unable to go to the toilet. In August, Jester, our 9 year old Labrador died unexpectedly at the vets after a day of being very unwell, and 2 weeks ago, I said goodbye to my 17 year old Siamese cat, Malty, who was gifted to me on my 6th birthday and has been my best friend and family for all those years. Having had pets my entire life, I have never experienced a year like this year in regards to my animals. They all live incredible lives, being well-fed, with treats galore, well walked, a box full of toys, and unlimited love and care. They aren’t just pets, they’re family.
Having animals brings so much joy and comfort, but when its time to say goodbye, it is heartbreaking. The warm greetings when coming home, the night time cuddles, the comfort that comes from one single hug – knowing that the familiar cute fluffy faces will not be there anymore leaves a void that feels as if it can never be filled. In another post I wrote earlier this year, I spoke about my anxiety; there are few things that ease my anxiety, but my pets are always able to calm me, and make me feel better. In a world that at times seems unbearable, and humanity is always turning on itself, pets make it seem bearable. They provide love and comfort in a world where, at times, there doesn’t seem to be any. I wish my pets were able to understand when I tell them I love them, that I depend on them as much as they depend on me.
Although I cannot understand what happened this year, although there is a lot of emotional pain, I would not take back a single moment with my animals. The many times Jim needed to be showered because of his white fur, the constant cleaning of the patio when Jester peed on it and the years spent cleaning Malty’s ear when he had ear polyps, I would not take back the time I had with any of them. Every animal I have ever had, has had their own personalities and quirks, every memory is precious. They’re family.