As an animal lover, I was recently reminded by the brilliant folks from the Best Friends Animal Society in Utah that love alone isn’t enough to provide for our pets. It’s a great place to start, but pet ownership brings with it immense responsibility as well as enormous reward. Animals need much of the same nurturing, care, and protection that many people reserve for, well, other people. It’s an important concept and one my husband and I take seriously…our three rescue cats are our kids.
We adopted our first kitten 14 years ago – she had been abandoned at my mom’s vet. My husband and I were both new to cat ownership, but we promised the vet that “Mopps” would only be an indoor-only cat. Period. "Gates" and "Stray Cat," our two other rescues, are also indoor-only cats, too.
We found some great vets and cat sitters, learned as much as we could, and have protected our cats from the stresses of kitchen remodeling, a few lengthy vacations, a couple of potentially serious illnesses, various teeth extractions, and the trials and tribulations of finding the right food, cat litter, scratching posts and toys.
In return, we are so fortunate that the three feline members of our family -- all between 14-1/2 and 12-1/2 years old -- are healthy and happy. Each day, I am grateful for the company, comfort, love, and fun they provide us. They have changed our lives for the better, and I will ardently argue with anyone who asserts that cats are nonchalant, aloof, or disinterested in the TLC of a good owner.
I would also like to apologize to my mother-in-law for sharing with our cats, the blanket she gave us for Christmas. This is the same blanket she said was too expensive for them, but they love it as much as we do, and are only laying on it, I promise. I would also like to share these essential pet care tips provided by our friends at Best Friends…
- License your pet and provide permanent ID.
- Spay and neuter your pets.
- Provide training, physical care, socialization, and attention their entire lives.
- Don’t allow pets to become a nuisance or threat to the community.
- Procure your pets only from a responsible and ethical source.