A few days ago a friend of mine honoured her beloved dog on Facebook when he passed away.
I’ve never met the dog, or in fact, met my friend, but I know what a support he’s been to her over the years. Her albums are full of this gorgeous hairy chap, and I know just how much unconditional love he’s given her at her darkest times.
I’ve had pets my whole life; cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, and at one point, 4 ducks.
My parents hearts must have broken over and over again when a pet rabbit died and I was inconsolable. Their own hearts must have been shattered when cats fell foul of the tragedy of roads.
I remember our dog Tally with great fondness. She was a Lassie dog and a big ball of fur. I was only 13 when she got old, and probably far too self absorbed to take into consideration my parents feelings.
However I was in my 20s when Millie burst into their lives. A crazy crack pot labrador with a tendency to steal scrunchies. When they were in my hair… She was always gentle though, and no harm was done when Dad took her for a walk, stopped to give someone in a car directions, only for Millie to pinch the passenger’s scrunchie….
She had a thing for socks too. The ones on your feet! With tiny delicate nibbles, she’d ease off the toes first, then whip off the sock and stuff it all in her mouth while going off to ‘hide’ in what she hoped was the start of a game.
And then there was Cin (Cinnamon) a hoity toity siamese cat who would walk along garden walls with Dad when he took the dog for a walk. His sister Min and her daughter Purdy, sock stealers!
My own first best friends were Willow and her daughter Putan, 2 burmese cats that were Mum and Dad’s that I claimed from them when I moved back to Wales.
They were there through my first pregnancy, often vying for space on my ever growing bump. I’ll never forget Putan leaping off my bump in shock when she got kicked from the inside!
Wills used to follow me all over the house when Jack was born. She would sit at the doorway to the nursery unless I was sat in the rocking chair feeding, then she’d come in and sit by my feet until I had finished.
That new year’s even when she didn’t come into the room will always break my heart.
Putan was such a wonderful guide to Fennel who is sitting on my lap as I write this. A feisty kitten, Putan had no problem boxing her ears. She had no problem boxing Mum and Dad’s dog’s ears either!
Fennel is such a tolerant cat. She won’t take any nonsense from the children, and though she’s wary of Macy, the big dopey labrador living in Mum and Dad’s heart and home now, She’s a real flirt. Any man that comes into the house will find a cat parading round their legs within minutes. She thinks my Dad is the best thing since sliced bread, the only person she ‘talks’ to is my husband. And invariably, if she’s missing, she’s bound to be on Jack’s bed.
Not to be missed is Raisin, my beautiful baby girl cat who came to us as a kitten but turned out to dislike noise (not ideal when there are 4 small boys in the house), but lives a very spoilt life with my parents. Sleeping in the airing cupboard by day and the dog’s bed at night.
I know that a day will come when my heart will break once more, but until that day comes, I will relish in the unconditional love that these wonderful creatures give me. Their sixth sense that brings them close when I need them; that extra nudge and slightly closer cuddle.
So for Tally, Millie, Cin, Willow, Putan and the Hairy Hoover, who are off somewhere stealing scrunchies, boxing ears and running free, Thank You.