My family has always had pets. We believe that they bring joy as members of our family. The provide unearned love and caring. While I love my kids, my pets have shared my tears and my joys with conditional love. They do not complain, they talk to me, the grab my attention (sometimes in very annoying manners) and they make me laugh. Ultimately, as in life, death creeps up upon us. My orange cat, Pre-Pre, passed away Saturday morning. She has been ill for awhile. Saturday morning she decided to leave and join her family in heaven.
Two years ago during a very stressful time in our lives, our 14 year-old Jack Russell/American Toy mix, Andy, got ill. At the same time, my then two year old grand daughter, Aiden, was faced with a fight against neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. Aiden survived her struggle, but Andy was too old to survive his fight.
Sunday morning, Aiden was visiting. Mommy and daddy had explained what happened to Pre-Pre as best they can to a four year old. Recently Aiden went with me to help chose a new puppy. We selected a tri-colored Sheltie who Aiden named, Cella. Naturally, short for Cinderella. I knew I needed a puppy and I also knew Pre-Pre was ill. Cella is a joy and so much fun. However, Aiden told me, “Nini, I wish Cella and Princess were in heaven and Andy and Pre-Pre were with me. I miss them both. I love them. ” Princess, my son’s cat was in the hallway and Cella was with Aiden in my lap. I looked at my puppy and Aiden and gave them a big hug. I told her that we cannot make that decision, but it was really sweet. Now she wants a puppy just like Andy when she gets home to Adelaide, Australia. Did I mention that she also wants a baby brother.
I agree that Andy and Pre-Pre were amazing. Like the dogs and cats I have had before they were really, really special. But I will admit that these two family members were the sweetest of them all. Both were the first pets that Aiden really had. Pre-Pre was the cat that my mom gave me when she needed a home and I needed a cat. Andy was the last dog that my dad picked out for a family member. He was my son’s 10th birthday gift, but ended up being a gift to us all. Both of my parents are with them frolicking in a park, or on a beach, or out in the woods, playing ball watching my dad build me a roller coaster. I am sure that both of them would be proud to say that their legacy is one of love, comfort, joy and compassion.
The next chapter is Cella. I am sure that she will be the best doggie I have ever had too!