Hedgehog, Chinchillas, And Cats... Oh My...

My pets keep me home. At the very least.

Since I was young, I've felt the need to escape- getting up and walking out of my room and out into the street in the middle of the night... then, when I was old enough, getting in the car and seeing how far I could get before my conscience (or lack of gas...) would bring me back again. I had an abusive childhood, which I've said enough times in my life now that it sounds like a throwaway phrase. Like it happened to someone else. Funny how things can fog over in your mind over time, isn't it?

But even though I don't tend to dwell, I've dealt with a lot of pain and abuse, I've been in therapy, I've moved forward in my life and am happy and successful... sometimes I still feel the desire to leave it all behind and just... drive.

This is a problem now that I have the money in the bank to support such a destructive habit... because, truly, a part of me really wants to bolt on the job, the rent, the life- start over as someone else, or just... not start over again at all. Just keep moving.

So I got a cat. And then I volunteered at a shelter (bad idea) and the two saddest sad-sack cases I ever saw ended up coming home with me. So then I had three. Then the hedgehog and the chinchillas followed. And now, I have six (I know, I know, a 1:6 ratio of humans to pets is appalling, but there were circumstances for all of them that really couldn't be helped...). And three of them are exotic animals that take a great deal of care and commitment to keeping them temperature regulated and safe. I can't leave them alone for more than a day or two without having someone watch them.

So now, when I get that urge to throw everything away, or to just end everything in a hopefully cliff-less Thelma & Louise esque freedom venture... I remember those sweet little faces that depend on me. That are waiting at home for me... that NEED me. Never underestimate the power of need, what it can do to save your soul. They love me, and I've made a commitment to take care of them.

So I take a drive around the block instead... and go home to the little furry saviors.
Sweetgrey Sweetgrey
2 Responses Jul 20, 2010

It is well documented that having a cat (vs. a dog) in your family actually improves one's well being. <br />
My wife & I have a cat named Zeke who wan born beside my wife's bed before we met, & has "adopted" me! <br />
Zeke is a very loving friend, & when I feel bummed out, Zeke always helps me out of that particular funk.

I loved your post ! I live alone , but with 5 cats ( indoor) and 2 visiting cats. I love them immensely, and I never looked at their need for me quite like you described.<br />
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All my furry companions came to me through one rescue situation or another. I had one at the Vet the other day and I casually looked at a chart on the wall to discover that even *my baby* is classified a senior now!<br />
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My eldest is 16 and my youngest is 7<br />
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My eldest is named by my son after a character in a pre-school tv program. I told the vet " my cat is only 2 years younger than my son..... would you ask me to 'put down my son' "