Friday, 4 October 2013

The Joy of Animals

It's the beginning of October and it's safe to say it's the start of my favourite few months. As much I love summer, once you feel those nights draw in, you are ready to say your goodbyes to a warm, festival season and welcome autumn with open arms! Why? Well who doesn't love sitting next to a blazing fire in a house that smells of cherries and honey; drinking hot chocolate and adorned in knitwear, fur lined boots and hats!? 

October is the season of pumpkins, fireworks, mulled cider, frights and forest splendour with its rich, vibrant colours of gold, red and green. The falling leaves make beautiful cushions streaming through parks and a fresh, misty air surrounds us. I love love it! This said, the chill of winter is on the horizon where the skies appear greyer and a time of reflection comes to the fore. 
       These colder months always fill me with excitement for upcoming festive events, which are evidently a big thing for me: Joy of Christmas It is even more so exciting now I have my beautiful Mr KB to join with me :-)
With autumnal reflection close to mind, the season also encompasses sadness for me. I'm 100% an animal lover and am a happy furry baby mummy to two pets. I love cats (crazy cat ladies unite!) and in 2009 I adopted a gorgeous black boy: Billy. However, last October my precious one sadly passed away at aged 3. It was sudden, acute and terrible. Not a period I like to relieve, and like many tragic events, they end up in a box in my mind. He began sneezing and looking 'off colour'. Numerous visits to the vet and money spent on treatment & suchlike, an illness was not determined! A few weeks later, he was rushed to an emergency vets whereby more money was spent. Eventually, I had to make the decision to euthanise him. Heartbreaking. He was like a child and so I endured grief for my loss.  
For those people out there that cannot comprehend why people grieve the loss of a cat.. I say try having one then you'll see! It's equivalent to any animal, or human for that matter. Everyone has a unique reaction to the death of a beloved pet. My reaction: unashamed crying. My family and I buried Billy in our front garden with his favourite toy. My father made a wooden cross for him and planted three rose bushes. I miss his loving, wild, hunting nature and mysterious 'black cat' mentality. 
       I couldn't live without my cat, thus, I had to fill the void.  Along comes Matilda (tilly). A beautiful little princess with an obscure, somewhat aloof, personality: now 1 & 3 months. I'm not sure how long you should wait to mourn until you get a new cat, but she doesn't replace him at all and I'm so glad I have her! 

Our family cat is Tabitha, a 16 year old tortie. She's lived with us for 9 years. She 'adopted' us in 2004. Like a stray she'd venture in our house for food, however, she wished to always stick around longer. She was a large lady! We in fact made a nest for her believing she was pregnant. Eventually, we found the owner who claimed we could have her as Tabitha wasn't a lap cat and she didn't like that. Shameful woman!! Well, a year on from losing Billy, we're pretty sure she's on her last legs as her organs are failing right now :-( 

I believe people like to nurture and care for pets like children.  They share our homes and we form bonds with them, they provide us with heart-lifting pleasure and in fact, they comfort us. Tabitha came to my family at a perfect time: First introductions She looked after me when I was at my most vulnerable and helpless self, giving me purpose, happiness, love and positivity. As ridiculous as this may sound to some, I'm grateful for her and losing her will be heart-wrenching. 
       Animals provide mental and emotional benefits. The release of endorphins when in the company of an animal improves mood, alertness and health. There's no wonder cats and dogs are brought to ill patients in hospitals or retirement homes. The joy they give humans is so simple; all they ask for is food, shelter, affection & play. Their unique characters provide hours of entertainment and aid companionship. 

A month ago I've added another creature to my home. A cutiepie, golden syrian hamster named Pippin. Again, he keeps an inner child's sense of amazement alive in me and lightens any darker moments I might have :-)