Thursday, August 26, 2010


2004 was a very difficult year for me. In March of that year, my father passed away. I was the one who had to take him off of oxygen and watch him die. Less than a month later my 21 year old nephew also passed away from suicide. I was executor of my family's estate, had never done that before, and the complications from that were mind-boggling. I was also putting in 60-70 hour work weeks, and recently evicted a friend of mine because of his drinking.My father's bills were piled high with no idea how i was gonna get them paid, and there was so much legal stuff that i didn't know. I had no idea how i was gonna keep all of this together, and i was wearing down pretty fast. The stress from all of this was giving me insomnia, which in turn made me even more tired and run down.

One night i let it all get to me. I sat on the couch with my legs crossed and my face buried in my hands. I tried to fight back the tears, but the moment i let the first one out the rest just came in a flood. Soon i was sobbing uncontrollably, afraid that i really was going to fall apart. What if i fell apart? Would i then be able to compose myself and get on with things, or would i just sit there and fall to pieces? I felt very alone, very sad, and at my limit.

As those thoughts, and about a million others, flooded my mind, i felt these little whiskers brush up against my right arm. It was Zara, my black kitty. I stayed blocked off, not even wanting my cat to see me cry. She would have none of it. She pushed my right arm to the side just enough so that she could get onto my lap. Slowly she sat down, found a comfy spot, and looked up at me with these slow blinking loving eyes. Then she gave me a very soft but deliberate "reower" and just kept my eyes focused on her. She just sat there purring and looking up at me and talking to me. It was as if to say "Papa, i'm here, no matter what happens i love you and you can always count on me to love you and make it better".

Well... the sobbing stopped and i started to laugh a little bit. Zara is affectionate, but never forces herself on me. She's always near by, but never has she done that in the past, nor has she ever done that since. But it seemed she understood what i really needed at that moment, and she fought me to get to me to comfort me. From that point on, my stresses seemed a little easier. It was one of those moments that are so complex, and yet so simple, that has resonated in my mind and heart since then.

The power of love from a pet...

Perhaps your friend is waiting for you. Would you please find a shelter and help save a life? They just might save yours as well. If you can't adopt a cat, perhaps a donation so that others may find their bestest friend and change two lives? Sometimes the greatest gifts are life and love.

Thank you...

Paul Zimmerman

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