Of all the places that I find inspiration or topics of interest to write about, I saw this Reel on Instagram…
‘There was a dog that I loved first.’ And it goes on from there to talk about that dog that you loved, whose life went by too fast. Who made you realize how much you loved him in that short time. This pet was with you in the worst of time and the best of times. So when the next pet comes along, you take more pictures, cherish and love that dog more because you understand how quickly the time goes before that pet also goes ‘over the rainbow,’ as they say.
One Christmas, my husband gave me a cat scratching post with a little cat house on the top. This was when he first began learning carpentry, so he built this and covered it with carpet. With this gift, there was also a gift certificate to pick out a pet. There was a little grey kitten that was turned down by a family wanting a kitten, so we were asked if we would like him. And so we got Riley over the Christmas holidays that year.
We had him before we had kids, so our two sons were born with Riley in the family. Riley did favour me. He adored me and when he was a few months old, our house was broken into and ransacked. He was missing for hours and then we discovered he had hidden in the box spring mattress, there was a tear in the thin covering and he climbed inside. He didn’t like other people after that, he would swat or claw at them, and was only gentle with me. We were a little concerned when the babies came. But he knew. He was very gentle and patient with them. He died at age 11. We were all heartbroken since we didn’t know why he suddenly seemed ill and wouldn’t eat.
Looking back, I wished I had been more affectionate, and loving and soaked up our short years together. It was over too soon. Months after his death, we adopted another kitten from the shelter. Hobbes. And he gets smothered with love. We don’t want it to pass by.
So, Riley “was the cat that I loved first. He was by my side through the worst times and the best times…. And he taught me how to better love the cat that I love next.”