Furry friends bring amazing gifts

Inland Empire Girl gave us this week's sibling assignment. Here it is:
Think about a pet that has been a part of your life. Think about a significant event that happened with that pet that made you realize you were glad the pet was in your life.
Her story can be found here, and Raymond Pert's can be found here.
Emotional healing is a most amazing gift that's bestowed by our furry friends ... The choice to nurture a pet in our life can bring huge returns on our investment.
— Chelle Thompson, Editor of Inspiration Line

Jessie and Lynx

Here they are, my two furry friends that helped me survive life on my own my first year out of college. My first job took me 691 miles away from Kellogg, to the town of Glendive, Montana where I worked at Dawson Community College.

I had always loved animals. My first pet that I remember was a cat named Peter-Twinkletoes. Then we had a dog names Cleo. These were both before I was 4 years old. Both died by being hit by a car. We did live on a busy street, so no more dogs or cats at our house.

In later years, I had a white rat and two different parakeets. Mom, because she was a schoolteacher, also had various critters in her classroom.

When I moved to Montana, I knew I wanted some companionship, and I knew cats were a little easier to care for than dogs. Also, my fiance PKR (who was back in Moscow finishing up his education at the U of I) also loved cats, so I decided to get a cat to keep me company.

After being in Glendive a couple of weeks, I looked in the classifieds for kitten giveaways. I found an ad and went and checked it out, and decided which one I wanted. I moved to Glendive at the beginning of August, and decided to get my new kitten over Labor Day weekend so I could be around it for a few days.

Jessie the first day I got her

After I picked out my new little kitten, I met one of the new instructors at DCC, who also had a kitten she was trying to give away. She convinced me that two kittens could keep each other company when I was gone during the day and while I was traveling on the road for my new job.

So I gave in.

Lynx on his first day in his new home

And I am so glad I did.

They both arrived on Friday of Labor Day weekend, and boy were they cute. I named the girl Jessie P.K. Roberts, and the boy Lynx Firecracker Roberts, because he was born on July 4th.

Jessie getting a little bigger. She never was a very big cat.

With my other pets I don't ever remember making a connection or having them respond to my moods. The first time this happened with the cats, I was in my living room in Glendive, and a wave of homesickness overcame me, and I lay sobbing on the couch. Communications with PKR back in Moscow wasn't quite as convenient as it is today. We would write letters, and had limited our talking time on the telephone to once a week, mostly because of our financial situations. No emails or IM's for us.

So, this particular night, I remember Jessie jumping up on the couch, meowing and snuggling up beside me, comforting me during this sorrowful moment. I'll never forget the comfort I received.

Lynx was also a snuggler, and would sleep in bed with me and cuddle up. He was like a stuffed animal.

Lynx was a beautiful cat, and, at his peak, weighed about 25 pounds. He wasn't fat, just big.

We think he was part Maine Coon.

I remember Lynx was always on the lookout for me when I would return home to my apartment in Glendive. I lived on the second story of an old house turned into three apartments. Mine had a sun porch in the back, and Lynx must have known the sound of my car, because he would be at the back window when I drove up, and by the time I came in the front door, he was down on the post by the front door. He did that every time.

After PKR and I were married, they were our "children". We got more entertainment from those two. Especially when the cat nip came out. We loved them alot.

We were blessed to have Lynx in our lives for almost 11 years. He died February 14, 1996. Jessie lived until she was about 16 or 17.

Our family still has cats, five to be exact. And now we are also dog people, with two dogs. I couldn't imagine not having pets around the house. They are such a comfort and such wonderful companions.

They just love you, no matter what.


raymond pert said...

This is really heartwarming. I used to like Lynx the most. He was such a load. Kind of the feline version of Charles Barkley. It's a great story about your homesickness and Jessie comforting you. Animals have very reliable radar for perceiving and understanding the emotions around them. In turn, they help us understand a lot about ourselves.

Great post!

Inland Empire Girl said...

I don't think I ever saw these pictures of them as kittens. They were so cute! McDuff still reminds me of Lynx. I just remember being in Glendive when Molly was born and how shook up Lynx/Bubba was when you were gone. I tried to be a replacement, but I don't think it was the same. I can't count the number of times my dogs and cats have been a comfort to me.

Just Jen said...

They were so cute! My cat, Jackie Chan (my other cat, Demo died just this last year)also is very comforting when someone is upset. My youngest is always sleeping with Jackie at his feet, keeping him warm or being hoofed half way across the room when youngest son is dreamland...lol It's amazing how compassionate (and patient)pets can be!