Category Archives: Dogs and Cats

The 4 legged variety have always been a companion of mine, whether it’s been a cat or a dog. Many have come and gone and I’m sure many more have yet to come. The animals in our lives provide us with a sense of stability and responsibility, and also maybe a little sanity. So here’s to the furry friends in our lives.

Yin

Few cats have intrigued me as much as my cat Yin. In the previous post about our cats, my girlfriend kindly reminded me that we found our precious black feline ball of fun a year prior to what I had posted. Oops! Let me just change that…there. That prompted me to think about how long I’ve actually had Yin here at the house. I couldn’t believe it’s been over a year already! So that means it’s going to be 2 years that my helpless dog was robbed of his life by a misocynist? Time sure keeps moving, doesn’t it?

I remember that weekend. It was about the 30th of October, 2011. It could have been the 29th, I guess. I’m not good with dates. I do remember the feeling I got when we found this little guy on the road; the kitty had wanderlust in his heart, paws tired, his eyes heavy. Ok, maybe I romanticized a little. I often ruminate on that day, though. He jumped into my now girlfriend’s arms (literally, jumped) and we all (there were 6 of us that day) searched the locals for an owner in search of their kitty. There was no answer on the doors of the houses, empty and silent. A cold feeling of “what now?” crept in around our ankles and we froze there in the street as we took a moment to decide what to do.

We all took turns holding him. We walked to the nearby park where my son and I played as the others talked between themselves of the midnight-oil colored cat’s future. When my son and I rejoined the group there was not much of a decision. I knew I couldn’t let this little one suffer an ill fate, there must be something I could do. The shelters were closed by now and I had to work in the morning. The others were also incapable of bringing him to a shelter due to work or college studies. The evening was setting in, darkness spreading across the sky like a blanket over a candle, a cold chill blew threw the playground equipment. I looked down at my son’s bright eyes, full of wonder, amazement and, most importantly, hope. I knew there was hope in this world, but it was not until that moment that I knew where it came from.

I have hope in God and I do not speak of that hope. That is a different hope. I speak of hope in humanity. Often, my Facebook brings up posts by friends and other people who say there is no hope for humanity. Their wrong. There is hope. We are the hope. We install hope in others by our actions.

Yin was my hope for humanity. That is, at least, my humanity. But more on my humanity later…

As my son was petting the coal black fur of this pretty kitty and saying all sorts of things toddlers say to cats in a very, toddler language, I realized then, hope for humanity comes from humanity. Obviously, I’m not philosophical or intellectual. But can’t something simple like taking in a stray (or even bringing a stray to a shelter) be the seeds of humanity that we plant for our children and friends? I knew taking Yin would be a bit of a responsibility but not nearly the responsibility my son was, but maybe taking Yin would show my son one simple way of having a heart and caring for the world God gave us. Maybe. Or, maybe I just stole some poor kid’s kitty from off the road which means I taught that kid to hate. Crud.

Regardless of the negative consequences that I knew where unstoppable, like a storm rolling over a ship with a single seafarer, I also knew the long term positive effect: planting the seeds of hope for my son, for my friends, but most importantly, for myself.

Today, Yin is a healthy, strong (very strong!), companion of mine and I wouldn’t want it any other way. He’s my little buddy and I love waking up in the morning to hear him tell me his stories through the day. Which he does very eloquently and passionately.

~B

…and then there were 3

Well, it’s been about 7 months (5 or 6 to some people’s count) that I’ve housed and taken care of the kitten that (for the purposes of privacy) we’ll call Kitty but the time has come for him to explore his new home with his new owner. A friend whom I’ve known for a couple years asked me to house a kitten for her while she found a place of her own that would accept cats and, of course, she agreed she would pay for all the medical bills, kitty litter and cat food. But as these agreements usually go there is a high amount of risk of financial loss and property damage (cats chew and claw things) but the probability of financial loss increases when the vet bills go unpaid and the kitty litter needs to be changed…yesterday. But Kitty is in a new home now. So my girlfriend and I console our other cats as they start to cry and try to persuade us to reclaim Kitty.

Yin, whom I’ve had since November 1st of 2011, seemed to be the most distraught. He must have known what had happened. He walked around the house a bit and meowed, looking in Kitty’s favorite spots, hoping to find his friend. Kitty and Yin would play what seemed like an endless amount of hours. Jumping on top of one another, cleaning each other’s ears (yuck!!!) and of course curling up on the couch, burrowing in the blankets together on these cold Wisconsin days. After what must have been forever in his mind, Yin curled up on my lap as I sit on the couch and without a purr looked up at me with big, sad eyes. Feeling sad for the loss of his friend I could only say “It’s gonna be fine, boy” and start to pet him. He laid his head down and meowed softly, motionless.

Funny how we can personify a cat’s (or dog’s for that matter) feelings and become so connected to animals. Their emotions seem to be so real and raw that it’s unmistakable. Maybe because they don’t deal with the drama and politics of not hurting other people’s feelings? Maybe just because they are animals…

Whiskey, on the other hand, didn’t seem to mind too much. He had only known Kitty for a little while, maybe a few months, if I remember correctly. He and Kitty did NOT get along, I DO remember that…oh boy. The drama! But as time usually has a way with things Kitty and Whiskey became great friends. But even after a wonderful bath given to Whiskey from Kitty I don’t believe the plump, long-haired black cat had too much to say to Kitty as he left. Well, I guess some animals do have drama…

I’m sure Pounce (my girlfriend’s 14 year old cat) was glad to see him go though. Not that she hated him or that Kitty had anything against her, though Kitty was a very curious cat and this annoyed Pounce to no end.

Kitty will be missed by everyone in the house…well, maybe not by Pounce. But I think I will miss him the most. You see he came from my family farm and had an excellent demeanor. I woke up early in  the mornings to feed, water, play with and clean him (he had a fecal problem that seemed to never end). But time has a way with things.

~B