Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Publish Day - saying goodby to a pet

My latest column, Pet's death teaches kids about life, was published in today's London Free Press.

Thankfully, the kids seem to have adapted well to Shadow's passing. My wife and I, on the other hand, still have pangs of missing him. When we returned home from a weekend trip, we missed his incessant meowing at the door. Sometimes we think we see him around a corner. I find myself getting up in the morning, half-expecting him to be waiting at the bottom of the stairs so he can lead me to his food bowl. I guess it will take a while before we adjust to the emptiness.

Zach is already working on us for a dog. I think we'd have to be nuts to bring home another pet anytime soon. I'll entertain a turtle if they can still be legally sold in Canada, but that's about as far as I'm able to go right about now.

Looking back at almost 13 years of having our cat, what sticks out in my mind is how much compassion our kids learned from growing up alongside him. The way they played with him, held him, and touched him was so gentle and caring that you have to know they're better people as a result.

Sure, when they were toddlers they also rode him like a rodeo bull and yanked enough fur off of him to make new pillows for all of us (I'm only being hypothetical here: tell PETA to go home), but they always loved him in a way I simply cannot describe - you just had to sit and watch in wonder whenever they were with him. I'm glad they had him at this stage in their lives, and I hope we can similarly fill their lives with another furry friend sometime soon.

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