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To My Furr Baby, Who Helped Me Heal After Experiencing Trauma

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All my life I wanted a pet. I just wanted a being to love unconditionally that would love me back. I’ve always loved animals. In fact, if I wasn’t blood averse I probably would be a vet now. 

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But that’s not how things turned out. I can remember the yearning as a child. I didn’t understand why I wanted a pet so badly. But now I do. 

As an abused child, I felt like love was a conditional state. I had to earn it. Or more appropriately, not be so bad that I would lose it.

So for me a pet represented the kind of unconditional love I so craved. The kind that couldn’t be taken away or abused or exploited. 

Well, I never got that pet as a child. I didn’t get it in fact until I was 26 years old. It was a runt. A Snowshoe Siamese. We visited him just after he was born. He was shy and vulnerable just like I felt as a child. I gravitated to him immediately and he did to me.

At 8 weeks of age, this little furr child came to live with us. Tiny, perfect, precocious. We adored him. 

He always had a mind of his own, but he exhibited his love toward us. In fact, in almost 14 years of being his mommy I have come to view him as my soul animal. He knows me the way I know him.

For all his moods, I recognize all his meows, his purrs, his movements, twitches. I know him like the back of my hand.

And he knows me. When I had my hysterectomy he knew I wasn’t feeling well and laid beside me. When I’ve felt depressed and anxious about my abuse, he has come to my side, rubbing his face against mine, purring, letting me know I’m not alone. Always a steadfast partner and “soother in chief.”

Sadly, in the last few months he had a mast cell tumor and of late things have clearly turned against us. As he continues to lose weight and get weaker, my heart breaks just a bit more daily.

I cannot tell you what this little man has meant to me in my life. I know all humans adore their furr babies and I don’t claim to own the sadness factor with mine. All I can do is share what it means to me.

My dear furr baby,

Fro the day I met you as a 3-week-old little creature, I knew I wanted to be your Mommy. At 8 weeks when you were the only one who came to me and your Daddy, I knew it was meant to be.

You were such an adorable baby. I’ll never forget how you liked to cuddle in Daddy’s pants while he went to the bathroom and the time you accidentally fell into the toilet while I was cleaning it, your white furr quickly turning blue from the cleaning solution. My reflexes never worked so quickly as that day wanting to clean your little body of the chemicals.

There were so many other memorable moments in our years together. You have always been so precocious and amusing. We always counted on you for a laugh.

You have always been a terrible hunter. I’ll never forget how you allowed a June bug to taunt you into retreat. It was just the cutest thing ever.

And your beautiful tuxedo body. You always had such an air of elegance about you. Even as your furr grew back from surgery it was so unique.

Of late, I have known you haven’t felt well. I’ve known things aren’t right. Your svelte body has become gaunt. Your meows have turned into cries. You’ve become frail.

My heart aches like nothing I can compare if to. I just want to be the best Mommy I can to you. I want to love you. Show you the unconditional love you have shown me.

I know the time is coming for you to part ways with me and I’m just not ready. I just want you to know how much you have meant to me. Being your Mommy has been the joy of my life. You will always be my first born. I will always see you as my soul animal for as long as I live. As much as my heart breaks knowing the end is near, I would never replace it. I love you and you made so much of my trauma bearable. Thank you from the bottom of my soul.

Your Mommy forever.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Image via Thinkstock

Originally published: February 1, 2017
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