My mom loved animals. She passed this wonderful gift on to me.
Growing up, our house served as home to all sorts of critters. We owned hamsters, bunnies, an ever-expanding tank of fish and a parakeet named Snickers. When my fourth grade teacher needed a home for our classroom mice, guess who cleared a shelf for the beloved rodents? My mom.
When I was 10, my sister and I saved our money ($17.50 each) to buy a white toy poodle. We named her Princess. (Why not?)
If it crawled, crept, chirped or barked, chances are we experienced the joy of that kind of pet. We had everything – except a cat.
My mom loved cats. They were her favorite critter in the whole world. She talked often of the cats she had while growing up on a farm. We even owned a kitten for a short while when I was very young. I vaguely remember the soft ball of purring fur, but not what she looked like. I do remember her name: Beauty. Our kitty lived with us for only a week before we had to give her to another family because Beauty made my dad sneeze.
Even though my mom loved cats, she loved my dad more. Our household moved on to other furry and fuzzy friends. We were critter people – just not cat ones.
My mom never forgot about her love of cats and she was (I believe) happy when I married a cat person. My husband and I got our first cat shortly after getting married. I became a full-fledged, card-carrying cat-lover.
The years went by. In addition to our cats, we got fish, tree frogs and a dog. My mom got Alzheimer’s. She passed away two years ago, and for months afterward I sensed her presence beside me.