Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Comfort of a Pet

Apparently International Cat Day was on August 8th, so I thought I'd post this blog entry that I've had in my drafts and in my mind for a long time. :)

I have a vivid memory just a few days after Lily died, when my mom and I needed to get out of being constantly in the house. I was grieving immensely and my body was healing from birth, but I just needed to "get out." So we went for a long drive.

Anyways, I remember thinking on this drive how desperately I longed for something to fill my empty arms. I obviously wanted my baby girl to fill my arms, but knew she could not. I was single and had no other living child.

I am a cat lady, so I wanted a kitty. I believe that if I had had a cat during the first days, weeks, and months of grieving, it would have helped me tremendously. But because of circumstances, I was unable to have one at the time.

In October 2012, my mom and brother spent the night at a random hotel in South Carolina, on their way home on a trip. Joseph was in the parking lot when he heard a cat crying in desperation. He brought the cat into the room and gave her something to eat. She was so hungry and in need of attention and affection. They let her spend the night in the room with them and then decided they were going to bring her back to me. When I heard the news, I was thrilled!

As they were getting in the car to come home, the cat jumped out of my mom's arms and almost escaped forever, but my mom was able to somehow grab her before she was gone. Most cats get sick in the car and hate riding, but this cat loved every moment of the trip.

The next day, my kitty was in my arms and just as quickly, in my heart. It's been almost 4 years since she came home. She needed me and I needed her. Scripture talks about how a sparrow does not fall to the ground outside of God's knowledge. My God who sees and knows everything and cares about and for all of His creation, led my mom and brother to stop at that "random" exit so that He could provide a kitty a home. And to bring healing to my heart.

Having a cat to hold, kiss, squeeze, and love has been a treasured gift. My arms are no longer empty. My cat is sweet and spunky and brings much joy to my life. She makes me laugh with her unique personality. 😻 

We got her in October, so I named her "Pumpkin." Now she has a first and middle name - Pumpkin Muffie. She also goes by a million nicknames that are ever-changing and evolving and she has her own whistle that she responds to. Some of her nicknames are Cookie (because she's the colors of a girl scout samoa cookie), Angel Kitty, Muffie Lee, Miss Muff, etc. I love my lil short-tailed kitty (vet thinks that's how she was born) and I hope and pray she lives a long life.

Not only does a cat help with emotional health, but they are also found to help with physical health. A cat's purr can help lower stress and blood pressure, among other health benefits.

It is incredible how much of a blessing and part of the family animals can become. For anyone who is walking through loss or pain, I strongly suggest getting a pet: a cat, a dog, a turtle, a hamster, whatever is your type of animal. ;)

I will end with several of my favorite photos of Muff (yes, I am "one of those people" who takes photos of my pet frequently haha. After all, I am a self-professed crazy cat lady). She even has her own hashtag on Instagram, if you want to check her out: #PumpkinMuffie🐱


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