The following article was written by Ashley Palmer.
I know I'm not alone when I say that my
cats are my children. Many of us have little "fur babies" we share
our homes—and our hearts—with. My kids are Gracey and Bo, and they're the
rescued loves of my life!
Until recently, I would have always considered
myself to be an excellent cat "parent." But Gracey (pictured to the
left with her favorite toy mouse) recently had some daunting test results at
the vet, and that's when I realized that I
can do better. Just like any relationship that becomes neglected over the
years, I've noticed that we also often overlook relationships with our animal
companions for the same reasons: because we're "too busy," "too
tired," or otherwise distracted.
Those test results made it abundantly
clear that I didn't have forever and that my time with Gracey was limited—or
could even be tragically cut short.
It was then that I began spending a
little more time scratching her behind the ears, wiggling her toy mouse, and making
sure her litter box is extra-tidy. These
may seem like small things to you, but they mean the world to her. Luckily, a
second round of tests concluded that Gracey's condition was not as grave as the
vet and I had feared. But that doesn't mean that I'll fall into my old habits.
Why do we often wait until our loved
ones are sick to show them how we really feel? It doesn't have to be this way.
If you're lucky enough to have a cat or a dog in your life, then give them big
hugs, special treats, and plenty of attention. You never know when it could be
your last chance. Luckily, we all have the opportunity to be better guardians to
our animal companions. It's an ever-evolving process, and we should cherish
every minute because the seconds go by too fast.
Do you have a cat or dog? What will you
do to be a better guardian? Share your story in the comments section below or
on PETA's "Confessions"
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.