Strays and Why I Love Them

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Strays. There is nothing more that tugs on my heart than a pair of sad puppy dog eyes. That may explain my lack of poor judgement when it came to men as well. I always had a soft spot for those down on their luck.  Staring into a pair of sad eyes that light up when you give them just a little bit of attention and love well there is no feeling on Earth like it. Makes me take a few steps back and realize that maybe just maybe what we are doing here as humans have skewed our better judgements. Could it be maybe after all this time we have totally missed the meaning of life. Could life just simply basking in love and quite possibly adoration when you simply just save a life.

Part of the reason why me and my husband had foster failed so many times is because there is just this incredible wave of emotion. When you see those sad little eyes lite up when they realize that you have in fact saved them. From whatever abuse they may have endured or simply that their owners new lives didn’t have room for them anymore a pet knows when they have been abandoned. If you have ever been in a shelter or rescue there is that feeling of outer despair and desperation. These animals have done nothing but commit their undying love to you and now it’s like see you later baby. I think that is the number one draw to us in our marriage. We may not see eye to eye on lots of normal relationship problems and we may fight like cats and dogs. There is just this bonding experience that comes with rescuing an abandoned animal.

Our first foster after Herbert passed… Herbert was our beloved lil Tripawd who taught me right then and there that it was possible to connect with an animal on a deeper level. Watching him in the last week of his life and the amount of love that came from him. Letting him go was the hardest thing we as a family ever had to do. We spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to save him but some things are never meant to be. I guess that was also my first lesson in having faith and letting things flow naturally. I mean I went into a deep depression when we finally said goodbye. We never really connected all at once as a family but here in this time we just all mourned together. It was early in the morning when we bundled our son in his stroller and took Jeffrey’s first cat for a walk. It started to rain but we had already planned to get some snacks and watch movies in bed. It was incredible to think that all 5 cats that we had at the time just slept all day in bed with us. We all knew that there was a loss and together we cried.

Anyways lol our first foster was Smudge. He was a newly amputated tuxedo cat who was surrendered to the rescue I was volunteering at. His family couldn’t afford the surgery after he asked out of the house and got hit by a car. He lost his right back leg and half of his tale. When I found out about him my husband picked him up right after work. There was so many emergencies that day that Smudge was recovering right beside another amputation. Imagine the fear coursing threw your veins. I don’t care what kind of animal you are but I know that animals have feelings. You can feel their energy resonating through you. You can tell when an animal is happy and more to that you can tell when they love. Smudge took to us right away. He was always singing (what I call purring) and wanting to lay on top of you. Yes, yes I know already we are pretty crazy about our cats. I just love the way that they love and appreciate you for giving them another chance.

Take Sweet Daffodil. She’s a lil rough around the edges but she sure loves to snuggle. The poor gal has been returned twice for being too needy. Imagine that. Getting turned away because you loved to hard. She is very vocal when it comes to her snuggles. 9 times out of 10 she is just waiting in bed for you. She is like butter melting in your arms. Imagine that after a bad day. We had to give up fostering because we just didn’t want them to have to go through anymore hard times. Life is hard enough so why add to it for them. Some people will never agree with our stance on saving animals. To us there is just nothing else we would rather be doing. They take up such a minimal amount of our time….we are also homebodies so we can dedicate the 15 minute minimum when it comes to loving a cat. They are able to sleep with us in the bed so they essential get more than that.

The lifestyle and home life that we have though is only possible because one of us is the breadwinner. There wouldn’t be enough time in the day to ensure that all of their needs are being met. We are stretching that limit though with the addition of the mama cat who is expecting 4 babies. What else could we do though. We do have the space and essentially she would be having her kittens out doors. If they weren’t in a warm enough area all of her kittens would surely have died. Right now she is in our spare room and we have already had her checked out with the Foothills Animal Hospital (our regular vet). She is being treated for tapeworms and she had her x-ray done. Our vet is very eager to for the arrival of her kittens.  They know just how much we love our animals. In the spirit of Christmas how could you not open your heart and home to give them a great start. Plus the vet said they will help us in anyway in finding them a home.

One final thought in regards to losing a pet. There is no greater pain then connecting with an animal and losing them to their national progression through life. The love they give us throughout their whole life… well nothing on Earth compares. You never have to worry about their loyalty or if they are ever coming home. In fact they will spend the rest of their lives looking for you because you will always be their favorite place to be.  The loss of a great pet is incredibly tough. Just like in life though they teach us how to handle losing them and living a life full of meaning. At least for me that is what is happening with every sweet soul I meet. They are reteaching me to live with reckless abandon. That it is ok to love and lose and pick yourself up and love again. We are all living the same life together destined to end the same way.  Loving a stray also teaches you forgiveness. When a stray finally starts to warm his/her heart towards you you can feel all the walls starting to come down. You can see life flash through their eyes again like living for the first time. If you had the power within you to love with a full heart again would you? There is nothing that will light up your soul again like loving a stray. The only pain in trying is the not trying at all. Life is filled with chances and I will try to embrace them all.


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