So this isn’t really an RV issue. It’s a pet owner issue. Pet owners – no matter where you live – understand this. We had a lot of loss over the last six months. We lost Nala in December 2016 and six months later we lost Ally. Starting as far back as Bailey who passed away in 2009 (our first adoptee, our first loss), we always had the internal struggle of “Should we adopt another?” We always opted against it since there were so many pets already, so many personalities to meld and age.
When you have a pet with special needs, after they pass away there’s not only hole in your heart but there’s also a kind of hole in your brain. The constant thinking of “I-have-to-give-her-pills-and-then-take-her-to-the-vet-and-then-have-to-keep-an-eye-on-her-eating-and-make-sure-she-doesn’t-do-something-that-will-hurt-her” is no longer needed. On the one hand, the constant worry is gone and you have to retrain your brain to stop it. On the other, you didn’t mind it so much because they add so much to your life.
We thought about adopting another pet after Ally died. There was a hole in our hearts when Nala died but with Ally, we knew there’s no way she’d accept any new kitty. When Ally died, the hole became bigger. We hadn’t had only two pets in over 18 years and it was a bizarre feeling. So we looked. Y’all! If you are just thinking about getting a pet, do NOT go to petfinder. It will break your heart. You will want to adopt 50 animals. There’s a reason why rescue groups have high standards, to stop the bleeding hearts like us from adopting them ALL. We were binge watching Leverage at the same time, and as fate would have it, there were three cats who fit our criteria (older, special needs in some way) in our area with the names of characters from Leverage: Nathan, Sophie and Parker. Kismet, right?
Notice we kept talking about us during this time. We wanted to adopt. We wanted to give a needy pet a home. But what about our other pets? We knew Piper would be fine. She’s kind of a lil’ thing, small enough for a cat to ignore or care for. Sommer, on the other hand, was trying to figure out the order of the household still and she is also a special needs kitty. She has hyperthyroidism, a heart issue and because of the latter has a history of seizures. We didn’t want to adopt and give her a heart attack.
So we asked the vet. At first, he gave us the line of “Well, all kitties are different and you can’t predict their personalities.” Then he looked again at her records and said, as if realizing her age for the first time (as she looks pretty darned spry for her age) “This cat is 18 years old. Unless she is showing that she wants someone else, or is trying to walk with you in a pack, or seems to be looking for something she can’t find, let her just live in the status quo.” Sommer played, slept, ate, drank, talked, living her life happily. She even learned some new tricks by jumping up on the bed (this hasn’t happened in years) and making a new sleep nook there. She seemed to be kind of enjoying the new world order. Nope, she didn’t want it. And being 18 years old, we can respect that. Without introducing anything new, we’re happy.
So we will continue life as we know it. We love our pets and will continue to be content with them. They are both our joys. Every day they make us smile. A flick of the tail, the look of wonder, a peep of joy…these are things we get simply by entering a room, or holding a ping pong ball, or simply stating their names.
With that, if you are looking to add to your own brood and you think “it’s time”, we recommend Nathan or one of the many other adoptable kitties looking for a loving home. There are so many of them and there is so much love just waiting for you…at the right time.