Some Thoughts on Losing Pets

Yesterday my beloved cat Beezle died.  If you’re an animal lover, pet owner, whatever you want to call it, you’ll understand why I spent much of my morning in the bathroom at work crying when I lost the battle to keep it together at the front desk.  You’ll also relate to my referring to my cats as my children.  If you’re not, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about.  You may be outraged at my equating my love for my cats to your love for your possibly multiple offspring.    To which I say your value judgment is not welcome in my world.  

Don’t get me wrong. I love children.  I adore my nieces and nephews and have been known to go all gooey over cute babies.  I’m a wonderful babysitter, aunt and godmother.  I probably take more safety precautions when I’m looking after someone else’s kids than they do themselves.  I have actually been told to ‘chill out’ by some of these parents, who look at my constant scanning of rooms for potential sharp corners on which the child could be injured as kind of comical.  This is one of the reasons I don’t actually have any human children of my own. I’d probably drive myself — and them — insane by my ‘must wrap in cotton batting’ attitude combined with a singular lack of patience with many of the things that go hand in hand with parenthood. 

 On the other hand, I have what has been called a remarkable patience with felines (I’m not as good with dogs although I do also love them) and can put up with behavior and messes from my cats that would drive a normal person mad.  I don’t like the messes and both myself and Dave get tired of the cleanup necessary to live in a house with multiple felines without having our friends walk in and say politely, “Wow, cats, huh?”   But it’s worth it because of the love and joy our little furry darlings bring us.   Which brings me to the main point of this post. 

 Yes, there is a difference between losing a child and losing a pet.  No one expects to have a child die before them – it’s (in theory) a lifetime commitment and it’s also tied into issues of the parents’ mortality, their line carrying on, etc… We know our pets probably aren’t going to outlive us and that the time with them is finite. But it doesn’t mean the love and commitment we feel towards them is any less valuable than the love a parent has for his/her child, or the grief at their loss any less painful or real.  It’s just easier to accept because we know it’s going to happen and our expectations are set.  It’s not something anyone has the right to place a value judgment on in terms of importance or what we should or shouldn’t feel. Please try and remember this the next time someone you know is dealing with the death of a pet. 

And keep in mind that the words “What’s the big deal?  It’s just a cat (or dog)” won’t just make you stupid and insensitive, but will put you right up there in Major Asshat territory and you will deserve the black eye you might very well get from a rightfully enraged pet owner. 



Taking a breather…

I spent my three day weekend writing up all the posts for my Blog Book Tour for (get ready for shameless self-promotion here) my murder mystery MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon.  By me.  Dana Fredsti.

Google alert?  Are you paying attention?  Pingoat?  Say you’re there!

I have not had such a focused period of writing for ages.  It felt great, but dang me, my fingers hurt!

I’m saving my big thank you email till the end of my tour, but I just have to say that my blog hosts and their blogs are all awesome.  Or is ‘awesome’ too late ’70s/early ’80s an expression?  Oh well, too bad!  ‘Cause they are.  Please scroll down a post and check out the tour schedule, bookmark those blogs and visit them often!

I’m currently reading Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff.  She writes urban fantasy/…not romance, but…well…okay, I don’t know what genre this is.  But she’s now up there with Barbara Hambly as one of my favorite writers.  The books are funny, horrific, smart, and just plain fun to read.  My favorite line to date in reference to a character who’s a vampire (I’m paraphrasing here ’cause I left the book at work):  ‘Henry wore his blandest expression; blood wouldn’t clot in his mouth.’   I laughed out loud when I read that.  On the Muni.  People moved away from me on the train.

I just finished Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement and give it two thumbs up for mystery afficianados and animal lovers alike.  It’s easy to tell the author has spent a lot of time with dogs and cats and an equal amount of time honing her writing skills.  Can’t wait to start the second one in the series!

Speaking of series… Time for me to get to work on MURDER FOR HIRE: The Big Snooze!