Two months ago, my kids and I spent several hours at a cat shelter, playing with cats, in order to find the perfect cat for our family.
We adopted Betty Lou, a two-year old cat the size of a kitty. Petite. Sweet. Cuddly. Perfect.
I had forgotten how awesome it is to own a pet.
(Well, a pet that’s interactive – fish don’t count.)
Watching my girls light up with their new cat, I realize that she gives the something cuddly and playful to love. Something that is easy to love. (Except when she’s not – after all, she is a cat.)
It’s helping my kids express themselves emotionally. Saying “I love you,” has always been difficult for my oldest daughter – okay, she doesn’t say it. So it’s a joy to see her telling the cat that she loves her, and giving Betty Lou kisses all over her gray and black fur.
What’s more, Betty Lou teaches my kids life lessons:
- Not to take it personally. If she’s not in the mood to cuddle, it’s not because she doesn’t like you, it’s just her nature to need time alone.
- Unconditional love means we love even when someone doesn’t deserve it – like Betty Lou urinating outside her litter box or throwing up a hair ball on the kitchen floor.
- Persistence is important and necessary. We tried different foods to see what Betty Lou would eat. We tried different toys to see what Betty Lou would like. (Puff balls!)
- Happiness comes from giving to others. So true with a pet! Petting her until she rewards you with a purr is the best gift ever.
Of course, we, just like you, had to feel like we were ready for a pet. In retrospect, I wouldn’t do it differently. When you’re ready, you’ll know.