I believe in having pets. They are the most forgiving things in the world. Whether it is a dog, a cat or even a fish in a bowl, when you come back home, they are happy to see you. Many dogs come rushing to the door with their tail wagging hoping you will give them lots of attention, or maybe even take them for a walk. Cats are happy, because it means they don’t have to sleep on that same old blanket. Instead, now they have a warm lap to purr on.
During the summer before first grade, my sister and I begged my parents to get kittens. On Mt. Riga, the Moore family always had a new litter during the summer, and it was about time that Jessie and I got to have our own. My sister picked the white/calico female in the litter and named her Moonlight. The other three all looked similar, but for whatever reason, I knew that I wanted to have the one that had the white spot in the middle of his back. Naturally, I named him Peppy, because he looked like a skunk, and frankly I was 6 years old so the only skunk I knew was Pepe le Pue.
These two kittens became great cats. They loved the outdoors, they loved hunting, but more importantly they loved being home with the family that took care of them. Mooney lived until she was 15, making me 21. The day my sister called to tell me that Pop had put her to sleep was one of the worst I can remember. I cried for hours, and could not even imagine what home was going to be like when she was not there to greet me. In high school or during the beginning of college, I used to get home after my parents were asleep from time to time. No matter the circumstance, Mooney was always there to greet me. I would grab a bowl of ice cream and go to the basement. It was the only time she was allowed down there, but she always waited for me, because she knew that after I was done with my ice cream, she would get to lick the bowl.
In the fall of 2006, when I first started working at IMS, Peppy began to get very sick. My parents had the decency to call me ahead of time and let me know that two days later, they would be taking Peppy to the vet so he could be put to sleep. Peppy was my cat. Although he always followed my mom around the house everywhere, Peppy was the one I chose 17 years earlier. Instead of letting my parents put him to sleep, I went home to do it myself. About an hour after I got home, while my parents and I were talking in the kitchen, Peppy passed away. He waited for me to come home to say goodbye. My dad and I took him out back and during the middle of a horrendous rainstorm, and we buried him. It was an extremely sad night, but reflecting on it, it was sad, because Peppy and Mooney were great pets.
They always were happy when we were there to be with them. If we got mad at them for scratching the furniture or bringing a rabbit to the foot of the bed, within minutes they forgot about it. Pets are tremendous things. If you give them a home, if you feed them, and if you clean up after they have done their business, they will love you. Other than the fact that they are hard work at times, pets are simple. Show them love, and they return it unconditionally. I believe in pets.