Loving Animals Bring People TogetherPublished October 5, 2011
It's not every day my husband Marty and I go on vacation or travel long distances. We may take a day trip now and then, but leaving our beloved kitties at home alone for more than a few hours is something that tears at my heart. It just breaks my heart to be separated from them for any extended length of time.
However, recently we were invited to a family wedding in upstate New York. This was a very special occasion we looked forward to, but of course it necessitated leaving our kitties behind. And while we have the best cat-sitter in the world who takes excellent care of them and totally adores them, the moment the taxi arrived in our driveway to take us to the airport I started missing them.
In an effort to distract myself from feeling guilty for “abandoning” the cats, I struck up a conversation with the driver. I can’t remember how we arrived on the subject of animals and pets, but the way he described his relationship with his eight pit bulls, and how wonderfully they got along with his children, I could tell he was definitely an animal lover who totally understood my growing separation anxiety. Although we were strangers, our talk of loving animals seemed to quickly bring us together.
The conversation shifted to the remarkable joy we experience when pets love us unconditionally, and how wonderful it would be if people interacted in the same manner. But the incredible statement he made about his interaction with his dogs, which actually gave me goosebumps, is something I will never forget. He said, “I wish I was as good a person as my dogs consider me to be." I thought to myself, “what a profound observation," and gave him a hug when we arrived at the airline departure platform.
I must say flying is not my favorite mode of transportation. While I intellectually know it is the safest way to travel, every little bump or shake gives me the willies. So as we were preparing to taxi down the runway, I noticed a pair of love bugs annoying the flight attendant as they flew around his head while he read us those lengthy instructions. I started to relax thinking, “Hey why fly using your own energy when you can stow aboard to see the world” and silently thanked them for making an appearance, and happily our flight was beyond reproach.
And while the wedding was fantastic, I must admit I exchanged several text messages with our cat sitter during the luncheon, who assured me the kitties were happy and eating well. A woman sitting at our table must have overheard me telling Marty the cats were fine and shared she too was a cat lover with quite a story to tell. Years ago, she had been friends with the noted playwright and poet, Sean O’Casey. When he died, she inherited his cat. One night she was listening to tapes of his readings, with the cat on her lap. The moment the cat heard his former owner’s voice, he purred, closed his eyes and died. I imagine that O’Casey was overjoyed upon their reunion.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more of the amazing animal-related stories we encountered during our trip to New York.