Thursday, December 2, 2010

How My Pet's Love Is My Holiday Gift



I don’t need much, never have, never will.

But what I DO need are animals in my life.

I have been blessed.

For 18 years I experienced the love that a true soul kitty could give.

I was loved, protected, adored, licked, rubbed on and adopted by a handsome tabby boy who became my “Baby Bobo”. Bobo was my life and I was his. I cried into his fur so many times, too numerous to count. He would lay with me as if he knew that it was his place to comfort me, and comfort me he did.

Bobo passed at the age of 18. A piece of my heart went with him.

I missed Bobo with all of my heart and never thought I would ever get another cat but two weeks later while visiting an adoption at a local, major pet chain, I met who would be my next lover boy, my crazy, cuddly and curious Cody.

Cody seemed to sense from the first time I held him that I was hurting.  When I picked him up he curled onto my lap as if he had already found his forever home.  He knew I needed him and he needed me.  I must have held him, petting him gently for nearly a half hour. My fingers missed the soft feeling of cat fur, the two weeks since Bobo passed seemed to be an eternity, I longed for the comfort that only the love of a cat could bring.

I felt so guilty adopting another cat. What would Bobo think? Should I have had a longer mourning period?

My vet comforted me by saying “you aren’t replacing Bobo, you can never replace him. But you CAN create new memories with another cat. Bobo would want you to give some of the love that you gave to him to help another kitty in need”.

Cody has never ceased being a “gift” in the nearly 4 years that I have had him. He still wraps himself around my neck like a furry boa, he is my little “close talker”….he asks for nothing (well maybe a big bowl of kibble) but gives so much in return. There isn't any gift I could ever purchase at a store that would even begin to compare to the love from my cat.


He is a gift to me as well as being a gift to our crazy Sheltie (Dakota)…he is patient, never once hissing but accepts Dakota never once seeming to realize that Dakota is NOT a cat!

I owe it to both my Cody and Dakota to return the gift of unconditional love that they give me every day, not just at the holidays but EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY they show me they love me by their kitty purrs, doggie licks and cuddles.

There is nothing like coming home to fur babies that give me a standing ovation...just for being ME!

Some of the gifts I can give to them are the best quality food that we can afford,  a variety of fun and stimulating  toys, comfortable places to snooze, a soft, warm lap to cuddle on, human kisses, quality vet care, love and a  safe haven to live what will hopefully be  very, very long lives.

Another gift I need to give to them both is the gift of pet insurance. I am going to  make 2011 the year I show my Cody and Dakota even more what they mean to me by giving them the gift of good, quality pet insurance. When I make that commitment Trupanion will be the place I turn to.

It is one of many ways I can return the unconditional loving gifts they give to me every day of their lives and for that I am furever grateful!


61 comments:

  1. What a fantastic and heartfelt post xxx

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  2. Wonderful post. :-)

    Without Chumley (who passed in Jan. 2007) and then Annie, I don't know that I still would be here. I adopted Chum after the ex moved out of the house back in spring 2001 and both he and Annie were there through all the dark months...years...and kept me from suicide. I'll never be sure I actually would have acted on my dark thoughts at that time, but I do know I wasn't going to leave my fur companions. So I do believe they saved me.

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  3. Thanks for telling us the story of BoBo, Cody and Dakota. Wonderful post.

    Max

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  4. A beautiful and touching post, Caren!

    Your vet is right. We don't replace our pets but create new memories with another pet. I'm so glad you had BoBo for 18 years. I secretly wish I could have a few more years with Laura and Hana too! I still miss them but I also love those who are with me at home too.

    Cody is so lucky to have you and he is so sweet and understanding. You have Dakota who is a handsome guy too. They are completely different from each other but both of them bring you joy and happiness everyday.

    I think a warm loving house, lots of love and care, best quality food, plenty of treats, toys and quality pet insurance are the bestest gifts Cody and Dakota!

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to Bobo.

    And we are so happy you gave Cody a loving home.....mama says it should be a law that every household should have at least one kitty that is totally loved.

    xxxxxxxxxxx

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  6. Mario's mom here: I'm with you - can never be without an animal in the house. The love and joy they bring is never ending. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  7. Caren,

    This post was so touching, and as I read it I was nodding my head with tearful eyes. I can totally relate to all that you have said. I could do without many things in my life (maybe even a few people as well) but not without my pets. Thank you

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  8. NOTHING beats a good PET cuddle.
    Love Noodles

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  9. @The Paw Relations, thank you sooo much!

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  10. @Kea, your comment completely ripped me apart. I am so very, very sorry. I do understand. There were times in my life when I was extremely depressed (not suicidal as you were, thank God they were there for you!) but very, very down....my Bobo pulled me through many, many awful times in those 18 years. God Bless you and thank you for sharing your heart. I am soooo happy to know you! xoxo

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  11. @Priscilla, THANK YOU!!
    I am so sorry because I know how deeply you loved (and miss) your beloved Laura and Hana....I am soooo sorry....Hana DID leave you a beautiful gift though....the gift of GORGEOUS EVA!!!! What a bundle of fur-love that SHE is!
    Of course you also have the handsome Mika with the perpetual smile....(Eva too for that matter is always smiling!)
    They are smiling because of YOU (and Rosie and your husband) and the HUGE amount of time, care, concern and love that you give them!
    You are truly a gift! xoxo

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  12. @Sammy and Andy....THANK YOU!!!!! I agree with that law and I would definitely help to put it into action!!! :)

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  13. @Mario...that is sooooooo true!!! Thank you for sharing that wonderful comment and I am so happy you enjoyed the post. Thank you! ((((hugs))))

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  14. @Diane...OMG...I soooo agree.....it is sad but you are sooo right! Pets ask for nothing but our love and care......some people are waaaaaaay too high maintenance and don't offer much in return! ((((((hugs)))))))

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  15. @Noodles....you are a wise doggie!! sooooo true! xoxo

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  16. Great post. Our Homie passed away in October at 14 years (we adopted him less than a year ago) and now my 20 yo Stubbers is pretty sick and I'm concerned he's on his way out.

    Stubbers and Buddy just yell for food and attention and share their love and entertaining behavior to me and my hubby. They understand what we're saying and we get them too. My hubby got Stubbers for me and brought him home in his pocket.

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  17. Caren, thank you for your touching post. Your fur babies are lucky to call you their mom.
    ~Heather

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  18. Awwww how sweet!! What a great tribute to beloved Bobo! And thank you for sharing a little bit of adorable Cody and Dakota with us. They truly know the meaning of unconditional love! Take care
    x

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  19. Hey Caren,

    You look good draped in fur. :) I've met people who claim they do not enjoy the company of animals. I don't get it! Thanks for sharing your story with us and I hope your fur children live many happy years.

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  20. That's a beautiful post and a wonderful testimony to the fact that pets are loving, healing beings. Bobo sounds like a very special kitty :)

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  21. @Linda B....ohhh nooo...I am so sorry about your "Homie" passing in Oct and oh noooo Stubbers is sick too? Wow 20 yrs old is quite old...I am sooo sorry....is there anything I can do? If you need to talk I am here xoxoxo

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  22. @Trupanion/Heather....thank you sooo much, I am lucky to call them my "kids" :)

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  23. @Old kitty, thank you!!! I always try to put Bobo in a post...he was my first kitty of my own and you know what they say about the "first children" :)

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  24. @Kurt thanks!! lol! At first when I read that I was thinking "what the hell is he talking about?" lol!! I forgot I had the photo of the 3 of us on there! That is the ONLY fur I would EVER be draped in! :)
    Thanks so much for the kind wishes for my babies!

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  25. That was a wonderful post about the power of love from your furries to get us through the sad/bad times - they never question our actions and love us without once doubting us. You had such comfort from yours as so many of us have from ours.
    You asked where I got our boing boing - I got it from our local RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) - I hadn't gone in to buy a toy but to order some flat scratchers to go in two carpeted doorways where Lucy like to sharpen her claws (despite two scratching posts!) While I was waiting for the assistant I had a nose round (fatal for me) and saw it and £8 sterling so bought it. Now I have to go and collect my scratchers tomorrow so must keep my head down and eyes closed or I shall come home with something else too.

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  26. @Angie, thanks much!!! Yes...Bobo was such a good boy...a real "Mama's Boy"....Cody isn't that way AT ALL....they are all so different. Bobo was literally rescued from frigid temps....Cody was much younger (only about 8 wks old) when I adopted him....Bobo was approx 6 mos old...have no idea how long Bobo had been outside.
    He was eternally grateful...Cody never had it that rough to make him care :)

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  27. Agreed! A life without animals is just incomplete. I just love your posts Caren, so genuine and from the heart.

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  28. That was such a touching post...I can feel the love clear over here! If I didn't already have a wonderful home I'd be wrapped around your neck too!

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  29. A good heart warming post. I am another grateful human owned by my cat, Kassey. I'm so blessed having rescued her at the shelter after about a month of visiting there. It's always hard to leave the others there as you choose the one meant for you.

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  30. That was a great tribute to your fur babies. There is nothing like the love of a pet..I can not wait to come home every night and see my babies at the top of the stair case waiting for me to rub their bellies!! OBTW ...

    Happy Hanukkah

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  31. Oh, Bobo would want you to share your amazing love and respect for furries with another! No doubt. And that would be his gift every day onward, for you - and for Cody and Dakota!!
    Happy Hanukkah!

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  32. You are a wonderful person. I hope you know that. Bobo sounds just like what my Beloved Cassie was like. xxx ))HUG((

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  33. @Hannah and Lucy, thank you so much! yes all of us get such wonderful unconditional love from our babies!
    You are a good Mama too...the fact that you have to walk in somewhere and keep your head down to not come home with more toys, proves it!
    Thank you for telling me where you got that wonderful toy. I am going to have to google it and see if I can find it here! :)

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  34. @Weetzie, thank you so much! When I talk about my babies....(mainly Bobo because he shared so much more with me and literally "grew up" with me in a sense) it is easy to speak from the heart. I adore my Cody and Dakota but Bobo truly was an extension of ME. ((((hugs))))

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  35. Caren, you are definitely touching so many people today. You are spreading a lot of love during this holiday season!
    ~Heather

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  36. @Brian thank you! You are sooo darned cute! If you ever need a babysitter I am available! I will just have to fly on down!! :)

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  37. That was a poignant and touching post, Caren. Made me want to hug Sophie!

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn

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  38. @GreatGranny, your Kassey is certainly a lucky baby to have YOU! I can tell! I know what you mean. When I go to Petsmart or somewhere and see the kitties there up for adoption it is soooo hard to leave! When I adopted Cody I wish I had been able to adopt his 2 litter mates that were left with him but I couldn't. If I ever win the lottery and have a larger home I will have many more cats! :) (another dog too!)

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  39. @Catsparella thank you! I "heart" you too! :)

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  40. @Shawn thanks so much for the holiday greeting! I know your babies are sooooooo lucky to have you as well! xoxo

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  41. @CindyLu, thank you sooo much for the Chanukah greeting and your beautiful sentiment!
    I have to thank you too for posting that great card today. Thanks to you I will have one up on my blog soon and I mentioned where I originally saw it and linked back to you xoxo

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  42. @alittlesprite...I just want to give you the BIGGEST HUG EVER!!!
    You are an AMAZING and STRONG woman...thank you for your kind words.
    I am honored that Bobo and Cassie were so much alike. I am sure they are playing together and watching over us from The Rainbow Bridge xoxoxo

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  43. @Heather...thank you! As you know, all of us love our furbabies sooooooooooo much!!! We are a special bunch! :)

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  44. @Dawn, give her a big hug from me as well and thank you!!!!!! xoxo

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  45. What a beautiful post! I feel the same way about my furbabies. I don't know what I'd do without my three babies.

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  46. I think cats are amazing, empathetic creatures and I feel privileged to share my life with them!

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  47. @Yvonne thank you!!! I know we all feel this way! :)

    @Cat....ditto! :)

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  48. Bobo sounds like a great cat! I was glad to read your post, because I feel like I have a different 'relationship' with each of my cats. The 2 boys I had who have since passed both were 'my best' cats, but for totally different reasons. My girl Fuzzy is also my best cat, but also for a different reason. I feel a little bad because as much as I love Zoe, I don't quite have that same feeling for her. But then again, I've only had her for a year - I have or had each of the others for at least 15 years. I'm sure in time I'll find that special trait of Zoe's that makes her my 'best cat'.

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  49. When I adopted a kitten three DAYS after my Clarkie passed away, like you, I felt a little disloyal, but the vet said that it was a tribute to my good-boy kitty that I could not live in a home without a kitty in it! Unfortunately, Spitty-the-Kitty has not exactly turned out to be a lover-boy, lol, but he has his charms ;-)

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  50. @OKcats I am glad to have read YOUR comment because you made me feel better about my "bond" with my Cody. I love him sooo much but it is a totally different kind of love than I had with Bobo. Cody is a totally different cat, with a different, much more independent, personality...he isn't "needy" like Bobo was. As you said they are all our "best cats" but in different ways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts because you helped me too!

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  51. @Spitty I hear ya!! lol. Cody isn't Bobo....sometimes he is downright maddening with his independence but like you and your vet said you and I just "can't live in a house without a kitty in it" and they are ALL special in their own ways!
    I love Spitty, I think he is adorable and if he is a little of a "bad boy" that makes him that much more lovable!

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  52. Caren, what a beautiful post.. I got teary reading it....From everything you have written, Bobo sounds like such an amazing cat. I am
    sure he was happy when you brought cody home...After all, he knows how much love you have to give! Cody and Dakota are very lucky guys!

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  53. Hilary thank you! Yes, Bobo was an amazing cat. After reading your comment I was thinking that Bobo really shared in my "history".....I found him when I was in my mid to late 30s....he lived thru the 1990s and up til 2007....he shared A LOT I had experienced in my life at the time. I think the fact that he was the "only" pet probably also contributed quite a bit to our closeness.
    Cody and Dakota sure don't act like they are lucky! lol xoxo

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  54. Such a sweet post... I really enjoyed reading about the many loves of your life.

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  55. Lovely post. In the past I've had a cat with diabetes and another with kidney problems, so now we always insure ours, was very glad we had it when Mrs Pod was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

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  56. Beautiful post. After I lost my tuxie Dodger after 17 years, a friend told me they don't really leave us because we have to find the right cat to maintain proper feline supervision. After all, we're not quite the same without our furry family around us.

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  57. That story gave me a tear. Very moving.

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  58. Wow how did I miss these additional comments? I am so sorry I didn't respond sooner!

    @Pup Fan, thank you!

    @Barbara, thanks for the "paws up" vote for Insurance. I think I am going to seriously look into it right after the New Year, BEFORE I need it!

    @Deb P, I am so sorry about your Dodger...he was nearly as old as my Bobo, they lived nice long lives. I love that comment "we have to find the right cat to maintain proper feline supervision" thanks so much for sharing that!

    @Heather, thank you, I am happy that it touched you!

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  59. @Heather this is too funny! I clicked on your name to see if you have a blog and it took me to your dog walking/pet sitting page. The funny thing is you live near my sister-in-law who lives in Plantation....she has 3 cats and one dog. Not sure if she needs a pet sitter but I copied your link and sent it to her!

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