Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pet Therapy

After three trips to the veterinarian and shelling out almost $1,700.00, my cat Mango is back to eating and acting like he owns the place again. For more than a week it was a roller-coaster ride trying to figure out what was wrong with him. When I brought him back the third time because he quit eating and vomited constantly, they took an x-ray and saw a foreign object in his intestines, which the vet thought was a sewing needle. He rushed him into surgery only to discover he couldn't find anything. They decided maybe it wasn't a needle after all. Since he was eating again, I got to take him home despite the mystery. Now my vet wants me to bring him in again for an x-ray to see if the object passed through his system.

I hope to do that this week, but for now all is well. At one point I thought Mango had cancer, which brought back horrid memories of my beloved cat Macavity that died of cancer back in 2000. When you decide to let a pet into your life, you must be prepared for the angst when they go missing or get sick. Yet as I weigh in on the benefits--the daily comfort they give me, the companionship--I would have to say its worth it.

My mother doesn't understand that. All she sees is hair that collects on furniture, chairs shredded beyond repair and the added expense of cat food, litter and vet bills. When she hears me crying over the phone because of my fear of losing Mango, she becomes all the more confounded as to why I would want the hassle of pets at all.

The daily emotional comfort my cats give me is an elusive concept to her that she just can't quite grasp. I watched the film Marley & Me the other night, and it felt good knowing there was a vast community out there that was just like me. The movie's message was clear to anyone who has ever owned a pet. The amount of destruction a pet causes is a meager price to pay when you are getting so much unconditional love every day. You can replace things, but you can never replace the personality of a pet that shows how much he cares in his own unique way.

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