Monday, October 4, 2010

Best friends are a wonderful thing...

Last week, my best friend from Guadalajara arrived here in Phoenix for a visit, and I couldn't be any happier. We met 25 years ago and sometimes we don't see each other often, especially since we live in different countries now, but that really hasn't changed the fact that we're best friends and we have a very special bond that will last forever and ever!

Friendship and companionship are not exclusive needs to us people, many species create such bonds with other animals and with the humans in their lives... and this is the case for most of our pets.

Sometimes these friendships come naturally, they just meet and click, sometimes it takes a little more time for them to get to know each other, but at the end, a very special relationship can happen and enrich their lives just like our friends enrich ours.

This is why i think that ideally, we all should have at least a couple of pets, make sure they have a very best friend living right beside them...

The very first time we thought about adopting a cat, I did not understand this very well, I remember that my intention was to get A cat, having more than 1 cat never entered my mind... luckily, my husband was there with me when we went to see cats and he twisted my arm a little bit until I accepted to adopt 2 cats. I accepted not because I really got it, I didn't, but because he was so sure that was the best thing to do and I don't know if he said or just felt like he said "just trust me", so, what was I to do?...

... Adopt 2 cats and as the weeks went by, I really got it, getting the 2 cats was the best decision we could have made.

These cats were Benito and Gatilla, they were not siblings, they were in different enclosures at the adoption center, Benito was about 6 months of age, Gatilla was about a year... and since we didn't know a thing about cats and introductions, we just bought a carrier, got the 2 cats in there together and headed home.

Even if Benito was just 6 months old, he was never a true kitten, he spent his days sleeping and Gatilla spent her days around Benito, licking him, cuddling with him, very maternal. And we thought it was all normal behavior, but less than a week after we adopted them, we noticed one morning something like a thick and brown paste was coming out of Benito's ear, so I headed to our very first veterinary appointment.

He was running a fever, which we were told explained all the sleeping and lack of 'kitten' normal behavior... plus he had a full list of infections and illnesses, I have to admit it was a bit overwhelming, especially when they told us he may not live much longer. So it started a period of about 5 months when we were in and out of the vet's office, but after that, we were happy to see how he was feeling much better.

During this time, Benito and Gatilla's bond grew by the hour, Benito wouldn't be just the recipient of her caring, but now he was reciprocating, he followed her around, played with her, it was really special to see them together and how Gatilla played a big role in helping Benito recover.

During these months, they bonded with each other, Gatilla bonded with us, but Benito kept a little distance, he probably thought I was just a big walking medicine dispenser.

After another 5 or 6 months, we noticed that now it was Gatilla that wasn't feeling very well and we were told the scary diagnostic, She had Feline Leukemia. We couldn't understand why, in her adoption papers it said she had tested negative and after she had all the boosters/vaccines appropriate for her age, but that didn't change the fact that she was sick and could only stay with us for a very short time.

During this short time, their roles reversed, it was now Benito that seemed to take care of her, he even stopped trying to play with her, he knew somehow that she wasn't up to it, it was all hugs and kisses.

The very first night she was no longer sleeping beside me, to my surprise, Benito did, and I cried, and I felt he was also missing her, mourning her... after that, he slept with me every single night, right on my pillow where Gatilla used to sleep, I think that was the very first moment when Benito and I truly clicked.

Theirs was a very special friendship, even if it lasted only a little over a year. They were there for each other in the good and the bad times, and during the bad times, they provided such love and comfort to each other. We loved them dearly, but I am not sure we could have provided them with what they got from each other, it was truly special to see them together and the lessons I learned from them, invaluable.

We missed Gatilla terribly and it was sweet and sad at the same time to see how much Benito
was also missing her, so it didn't take us long to decide that he needed, we all needed, a new friend in our lives.

Benito and Gatilla took a pair of inexperienced, amateur cat owners and turned us into pet parents for life.

I would whole-heartedly say to any parent of a single pet, to go and find that perfect friend for your pet or if considering adopting a new pet, get at least two, it is hard to put into words how rewarding friendships are for our pet kids, but again, I don't have to put it in words because we all have that best friend that helps us understand and feel how awesome best friends are.

I heart best friends ;D


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