I have to admit, I am a lover of animals.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, birds- most any kind of domesticated animal. Being a nature girl, I am also drawn to wild creatures, especially deer and turkeys (yes, I especially love turkeys!), and beautiful birds like cardinals and hummingbirds.
Most of my friends have pets. If you want to get someone really talking, just ask them about their favorite Lucky or Lady. It’s the easiest icebreaker of all.
I have a special pet cat. His name is Casper. He was a birthday present to my daughter from her girlfriend, probably sixteen or seventeen years ago. I’m guessing that “Casper, The Friendly Ghost” was probably the big movie hit at that time. We have had numerous other cats and dogs but Casper has survived them all.
What amazes me is Casper was diagnosed years ago with feline AIDS. How he has ever lived this long is a true mystery to us. He is free to roam our large yard, eats mostly dry food, gets plenty of fresh water and sunshine. He has rarely taken medicine. Perhaps this is the key to kitty longevity.
Lately, we have been especially mindful of Casper simply because of his age. He doesn’t see well anymore but he keeps eating and, he keeps performing all of his necessary bodily functions. To me, this means he is doing ok. He doesn’t cry and he still loves to be stroked and scratched lightly.
I have been watching Casper in the morning as he searches for the sun. He will find it and either he sits very still or lays down to soak it up. I watched him this morning and the one word that came to my mind was prayerful.
I can take a lesson from Casper on being still. Sometimes when I am worried about something or a bit knotted up, he reminds me to take it easy, one day at a time. He clearly has the mantra down pat; he is the walking poster child for serenity. In his younger days, he climbed trees and was an excellent mouser. Now he is content to spend his remaining days in luxurious devotion to the sun.
No matter what animal we love, we are the lucky ones, aren’t we? My husband loves the saying, ” I want to be everything my dog thinks I am”. My son John, as a child, would lay down on the ground to be at face level with Casper. He would lightly stroke Casper’s head and look lovingly at him. I believe we can feel the soul of an animal if we are quiet and take the time to connect.
“With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?” –Fernand Mery Her Majesty the Cat