How our animals and kids heal us
I adopted a kitten yesterday.
I have a mini-Doberman mix named Nalla (you can see her at the bottom of this page) and she needs a friend. (I hope she thinks so too. We’ll see on Saturday when I go pick up Skye.)
I don’t feel up to handling two dogs so I decided to get a kitten.
I have been saving and adopting kittens since I was a girl.
When I was around six years old, a large black/calico cat starting hanging around our yard. My neighbour named her Booh, but couldn’t keep her. I begged my parents, likely mercilessly, and they finally gave in.
Booh was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever had. She often sneaked into my room at night when I was going to bed and hid under my covers. My parents didn’t let the cats sleep with me at night, but Booh loved me and wanted to. I can remember many a night I cried myself to sleep and she used to come up to my face and lick my tears. She would cuddle with me and purr. She really helped me get through those very difficult years.
Booh was the beginning of my love for animals, and I have saved and adopted many since.
So it was natural to go on Petfinder and look for Skye. A local vet, Pierrefonds Animal Hospital, had taken her in when she was 5-weeks old. She stayed with a foster family and was recently back in the hospital to be fixed. I pick her up tomorrow. I’m seriously excited.
I’m going to get all the kitty supplies I need today and kitten-proof my house too.
I took my teenage son with me to meet Skye. He wanted a kitten too, and I like bringing him with me to help make the decision. I did that when I adopted my dog Nalla from Gerdy’s Adoption in August of 2014. We met two dogs and Nalla was the one we loved. She’s amazing. So it was natural to bring my son yesterday to meet Skye.
As we were jaywalking across Pierrefonds to go see Skye, my son was shocked I’d even consider crossing such a busy boulevard. It’s true, it’s four lanes and it was when school had gotten out and people were coming home from work, so it was busy. For me it was so normal, a challenge, and hearkened back to my risky days as a rather self-destructive youth.
When we crossed it actually wasn’t too busy, and I didn’t think too much of it.
When we came out after saying we’d adopt Skye, my son said, “Let’s walk up to the light this time and cross the safe way.” At first I thought he was joking, but then I thought, “Wow, if my teenager wants to cross at the light then he’s teaching me a lesson and I totally accept that.” So I said, “Sure, you’re right. That’s a good idea.” And we did.
And I thought about that whole scene afterwards. I have saved many animals from very nasty lives because I value life and I have a gentle heart. My animals have healed me, I know that. But my son has too. He very clearly showed me that what I’d done, really without thinking, was risky. And he didn’t feel comfortable behaving that way because he’s careful with himself.
I cannot describe how overjoyed I am at finding out he respects himself already as a teen. And has likely always respected himself. He is not repeating my risky behaviour. On the contrary, he’s correcting mine. And I love him for it!
So not only am I being healed by the animals I save and love, but also by my son, in his infinite wisdom and gentleness. I feel so blessed that I think I’ll just explode with it (but maybe not, that would be messy).