To My Future Self: (On the Subject of Pets)

Sign inside our local pet store

I hear people talk about raising kids and caring for their aging parents, but does anyone talk about raising their pets?

Dear Future Self,

Someday — even though you have already sworn that these current pets will be your last — you will get the urge to be a fur baby mama again. (History suggests it.)

Whatever you ultimately decide, let me remind you what it is like; let’s make sure you have all the facts. . .

You will love them incredibly much, as if they are your own offspring. You will gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, and your heart will open like a flower.

They will also frequently drive you to madness.

Depending on what age they are when they come to you, you will likely catch their younger years. Their most playful years and their cutest years. These are also the years when they will chew up your playing cards and your glasses.

They will race for your lap any time you take a seat (providing a great “cat in the lap” excuse!) & snuggle with you at night (sometimes boxing you in!)

They will bark their head off at anything crossing within a mile of your house, but they’ll also introduce you to your neighbors and new friends!

You will pay nearly as much for your food as theirs, and they will keep you on your toes with their emergency vet visits and dental work.

They’ll also know when you’re sick or upset. They will nuzzle you and press their body into you and hold space with you until you feel better.

You will comfort them during fireworks and storms. You’ll snuggle them and send them prayers and healing light when they’re sick.

And you’ll also throw a fit with all the paw-licking they do. And all the whining they do. And ALL THE BARKING!

You’ll also never feel alone.

You’ll also NEVER BE alone. (Even the bathroom isn’t safe!)

They’ll never be self-sufficient enough to feed themselves or clean up after themselves. Some days you’ll feel like you’ve spent the whole day cleaning up their poop . . .and hairballs . . .and mess.

They will tear up your rug and a couple of your couches. You’ll have to remember to close off the bathroom . . . or else come home to some disgusting surprises.

You’ll also find it adorable how they much they enjoy empty boxes and string and laser pointers and their “dollies.” Sometimes they’ll even chase their own tail! You’ll love how much they love kids and how excited they get when Grandpa visits.

Sometimes you’ll slip and leave food out on the counter, and then the cat will get to it and then knock it down for the dogs.

Other times you’ll leave snack bars, nuts, trail mixes etc in a bag, and they will be sniffed out, pulled out, and eaten by the dogs.

Sometimes you’ll need to just sit in the car for a while at night before you go in, just to get some personal space.

But you’ll also buy a papoose so that you can keep them right against your hip. You’ll pet them and give them scratchies and go gaga over their smiles and chirps and purrs.

You’ll be tired of arranging your schedule to take them out – but they’ll also be a great excuse to leave early!

They’ll shed so much fur and track in so much mud that you’ll ultimately live in a mud, fur hut.

But they’ll also take care of flies and any crumbs on the floor!

They will teach you unconditional love.

They’ll amaze you with how easily they forgive and forget.

They’ll chat with you.They’ll listen to you. They’ll love just being with you.

They’ll be sad every time you leave . . . and overjoyed every time you return.

Time will pass, and you’ll watch them get older. It will shock you at first. And then you’ll learn to accept it.

You’ll wonder when they’ll finally go and be devastated when ultimately leave.

None of you will ever be the same.

(I hope this helps!)

Sincerely,

2022 Teri

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