Which is your favourite? Or are you not a fan of either?
I prefer cats as my sleeping companions, dogs as my outside companions (yes, they live inside with me – what’s the point of having them guard the back garden if someone gets into the house and threatens me from the front? Yes, it’s happened).
I like birds in trees rather than cages, and I prefer fish in the seas and rivers, lakes and streams – although I did have a set-up once for aquaponics (where the fish-poo feeds the plants and the plants clean the fish water – it’s a good system, and even a small space can be utilised for production, and yes, I ate the fish and the veg, although some people thought it cruel to kill the fish. Hey, we all gotta eat).
Most of my life has animals as part of everything. Working animals – dogs, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, etc. It takes a lot of work, and some of them were farmed for food (yes, did that myself, too), and some were pets. Some were both – why let an old hen live for so many years without friendly interaction before she ups the bandy legs skyward and becomes an ingredient in the food for other pets (it’s not a lack of affection on my part, only good economics when you live on a rural farming property – everything has at least two uses).
Soon, though, will come the time when the house will be bereft of pets. The old cat (aka Slim, named for Slim Dusty‘s singing voice) passed to the other side a while ago, and now there’s only Pepsi, the Tenterfield terrier, who’s on her last two legs.
The last time this happened – the house empty of pets after they cross that bridge to away – it took five years to talk SO into taking on another.
It was an empty time.
Sure, there were birds coming into the garden, neighbours dogs, visiting critters (even a snake, but we moved it back to the bush area) … but an empty goodnight ritual. The old cat liked to stretch out along my side or back as I read in bed before turning off the light. I always thought it was for my benefit, but his old bones needed the warmth. I miss him.
The dog before Pepsi was 20.8 years old when she decided it was too hard to go on. We broke then, but when her faithful companion cat of 15 years also died a month later, it was … well, words don’t do it justice.
And as I get older, I remember the pains from the losses, and I wonder if there will ever be another pet, whether furred, feathered, scaled or created.
All the toys, the bedding, the crates and paraphernalia that come to be part of life, the harnesses with so much fur it could make a fluffy toy, the leads of varying lengths and colours, the tags and rags and holey towels …
The house will be empty, and I’m wearing the pain before the event, paying taxes on money not yet earned, taking my memories and imposing them on the still-living.
That has to end.
Decision: make every day count. Make every moment of every day mean something. Get a camera. Record the moments that will make the memories linger, and will eventually bring light to the gloom.
Yes, that’s it. A camera, which means a phone, which means learning new tech to use to record snatches of memories.
Okay, that was a ramble, but this is still a pre-written and scheduled post because I needed enough to get me through to the end of April. This one should be out sometime near the end of March, but I still have to think of more posts for April.
Next week, you’ll see if it gets worse, or … what’s worse than worse? Lost? I’ll try to stay away from maudlin, promise.