An average human lives for over 70 years yet they don’t seem to make half the impact on our lives as cats do. I remember I was five when we first adopted rusty. She was only three months old and I couldn’t sleep that night with excitement and 14 years later I still cannot sleep when I think about her. People might say “it’s just a cat” and I ask myself then why does “just a cat” make me cry each time I think about our last goodbye?
She was eight years old when we had to move out of the country and because we could not take her with us, my family decided to leave her at the animal shelter. I was there the day we put her in her little basket while she looked up at me with her uncertain blue eyes just the way she looked at us when we first got her home eight years ago. When rusty was transferred into the cage in the animal shelter, I remember calling out her name many times but she did not turn to look at my face. That was my final goodbye.
What greater gift than the love of a cat.
― Charles Dicken
It’s just a cat most people say yet she felt the same pain as I did. “It’s just a cat” they said even though she showed such strong emotions. People don’t think even once before they let their pets go, the emotions of animals don’t count before their selfish human needs.
How easily do we put out adoption flyers when we can’t keep the animals we once adopted, so simple it is for us to forget but is it the same for the animals who once gave their complete trust to us? The cats that lie down on their backs with their bellies exposed right under our feet trusting the fact that we won’t step on them. It is easy for us with our busy lives but is it easy for them to let go?
From the day I left rusty, the regret kept growing inside of me, her blue eyes followed me where ever I went. The crushing feeling changed the way I see life drastically. The reason I think four times before I make any move is only because pain cannot be driven away by pain. At present I rescued a cat from an abandoned house and I have made sure that she will stay with my family till the very end.
Here I am writing because I love cats, writing because cats are not “just cats”. They are selfless lovers and it’s not easy for them to change homes and adjust to a new life like us human beings.
Adoption should become a term for permanence because once you adopt you must make an invisible contract for life. This is just one of the few reasons I am thankful to my cat rusty because she taught me that ‘’just cats’’ are so much more than that and animal adoption is an important responsibility, it is a commitment for life.