Unconditional Love

I spent yesterday with Nephew, his partner and their baby. We walked and talked and ate, cooed over the baby, talked about dogs we’d like to have, cooed over the baby again, talked about love. The usual. Quite a lot of people talk about their pets giving them unconditional love as though that is a rare and wonderful thing. It’s definitely wonderful, but I should hope that the humans getting a pet are also giving unconditional love, and that parents would not have children with the love conditional on their exam results/looks/sporting achievement or whatever.

Among some papers I was sorting last week I found this photograph.

I’d say it’s around twenty years old, one from the early days with Cat. He’d be about three, half the age MasterB is now. He used to love snacking on that spider plant. It’s sitting on Mother’s old nursing trunk. I have neither plant nor trunk any more; I don’t recall who I rehomed the plant with, but the trunk I gave to Nephew. It’s a sort of heirloom. Of course I don’t have Cat either. He died six years ago tomorrow, about this time of the day, on a Sunday, so although I had intended to post about him earlier, maybe it’s appropriate that I am doing it now.

Tomorrow is going to be pretty busy with work, then a brief stop at home and some food before heading out to hear Celia’s Charlie give a talk. There will be time for thoughts about Cat though, and play and cuddles with MasterB. I hope both my cats have known they are loved, that that love is unconditional, though I should be plaesed if wrecking the furniture came to an end, and while I’m thinking about it, five a.m. demands for breakfast could go too. I’ll probably light a candle to Cat, look at old photos, and raise a glass to his memory. I shall be in Ireland next weekend and out on Sunday evening, but I shall try to do something there too, as since Cat’s death in 2011, the following Sunday evening I have remembered pets, my own and other people’s, I have loved. Some of you have joined me in this, and it has become a shared ritual of loving memory, a reminder of how much our pets have meant and mean to us, how they enrich our lives and how the pain of losing them is as great as when anyone we love dies.

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10 thoughts on “Unconditional Love

    • It has and it hasn’t. When I think of what was happening at the time he died, it seems a very long time ago, but the idea that in a month MasterB will have been living with me for six years seems incredible.

  1. I agree with Sophie, the time has passed so quickly.
     
    This June it will be 10 years since I said my last farewell to our beautiful Squeeky, Timmy’s predecessor. If I’d known at the time how long she would be with us, I’d probably have changed her name, especially once she became more assertive and no longer as timid as in the early days.
     
    In any case, I have found that the passing of time does ease the loss, and the subsequent animal smooths the rough spots that are left as we think about the ones that are no longer with us.
     
    But there is no doubt – pets are family! Unconditional love certainly works both ways. Please give MasterB some scratches under the chin, and Timmy sends purrs. Enjoy your time in Ireland!

    • Yes, it does hurt less. Pictures of him still tug at my heart. He was my companion and solace during the very difficult days when Mother developed dementia and her physical health declined so much, unknowingly giving me support that easily equalled that given by humans.
      Knowing that had he not died when he did MasterB would have gone to a different home also puts a different perspective on things. I had fourteen good years with Cat, who was already about three when he moved in with me. I am hoping for longer with MasterB, despite the fact that he woke me up at four demanding breakfast. He didn’t get any! Chin scratches duly delivered. 🙂

  2. Time really does move so quickly….Sammy died in early December last year and sometimes it feels like it was so long ago – I think having Teddy, whose demands for time and attention are all-consuming, has helped us deal with the loss of Sam. I will, however, often wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts of him that only a good cry will soothe. Cat was special – and MasterB is too – our ginger boys leave their mark indeed. I will light a candle for Cat, Sammy and everyone who has lost a pet. Hugs to you and MasterB…………have a good time in Ireland!

    Pam and Teddy

    • Thanks Pam. I shall think about Sammy too, and Fiona’s Westie Jake who died last month. Yes I agree a new cat helps. It cannot replace, even you wanted it to, but it needs your love and attention, and it’s good to learn a new cat’s ways and character.

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