Appreciation to my dear friend Tara ~ yes, the goddess, but cleverly disguised in human form and currently living just outside Edmonton ~ for pointing out that the first week of June is Pet Appreciation Week.
Many shelters celebrate by offering reduced adoption fees, especially for older and otherwise 'less adoptable' animals, including those with known health issues, behaviour problems requiring some extra patience to help resolve, and the black ones, apparently. This is amazing to me, as I think black animals ~ dogs, cats, horses, bunnies, everyone ~ are amazingly beautiful!
In fact, last time I was looking to adopt cats, I was looking for two, and I wanted them to be older ~ partly because of their mellower energy and partly because I knew they had a harder time finding a home ~ and for one of them to be black. I was looking on rescue websites, and saw photos of dozens of beautiful black cats needing loving homes, but none reached out to me ~ until I saw Benji.
This was Benji's 'Adopt-Me' photo (by Toronto Cat Rescue), and one look at this glowing boy and my heart just filled up with joy: I had found my cat! I was a little dismayed to find out that he was FIV+, diabetic in remission, and had some injury or stiffness to his lower back such that he wasn't flexible enough to clean himself all the way back, and his tail followed him around limp as if it was pinned on like Eeyore's.
However, after a little research into FIV, which is nowhere near as terrible as the human equivalent HIV, I figured I could handle all that, as every time I looked at his picture my heart swelled up with love again. So I went to meet him, and he greeted me so happily and with such instant recognition that I knew we had connected energetically, and he was, indeed, My Cat. (And that was before I took any Reiki training!)
I ended up getting three cats that day, not the intended two, all rescued strays, older, FIV+ and with another health issue each. They have turned out to be the most spectacular cats I have ever known, and well worth the extra care that has been necessary to get them as happy and healthy as possible. Benji's diabetes is still in remission three years later, his back supple and flexible, his tail active and snaky, and after dealing with his dental issues ~ a common result of FIV ~ he has had no further health challenges. We cuddle and play, and the cats all love each other too.
And it turns out that having pets provides a significant number of health benefits to us as well, so even more to appreciate! For links to some great articles on the subject, see Tara's latest post in Kali's Kitchen:
So I deeply appreciate my pets ~ past and present and of many different species ~ for their love and companionship, their wisdom and teachings, and the connection they give me to the other beings in our world. We are indeed all one consciousness, in such varied and beautiful forms.
Thank You Thank You Thank You!