Do Pets Make the World a Better Place?

August 12, 2011

By Julia Williams

If you’ve ever shared a special bond with a pet, that question probably seems a bit silly. Of course the world is a better place because of pets, you’d say. As a lifelong animal lover, I wholeheartedly agree. However, I also know there are people who have no use for pets. Just as I can’t fathom why anyone would ever want to live without a pet, the non-pet people don’t really understand how humans can form strong bonds with animals, or why they would want to. I suppose the universe is big enough for all kinds, but just between us, I am eternally thankful that I’m a pet person. My world is absolutely a better place because of my pets, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I am the polar opposite of the cat-hating boyfriend featured on Must Love Cats, who demanded that the bedroom be a “cat free zone.” I have very few cat free zones in my home. For sanitary reasons, I do try to make the kitchen counters and table cat free zones, but Rocky challenges that notion daily. I don’t have cat free zones because my home is their home too, and they should be allowed to live in it.

I certainly could have been – but sadly wasn’t – the person who came up with the funny saying, “If you don’t want pet hair on your clothes, stay off my furniture!” True, this policy of letting my pets sleep wherever they feel like it does present some moments of embarrassment. I’ll never forgot the day a visitor turned to leave and I discovered he was wearing what amounted to “half a cat” on the seat of his pants. It was mortifying in the moment, but I laugh about it now. I came to realize that if he was a pet person, he’d understand, and if he wasn’t…c’est la vie. I don’t much care.

“I could not imagine my life without pets” was a recurring comment in response to my article “My Best Friends All Wear Fur.” Nor could I imagine life without my cats. Well, actually I can imagine it, and it’s certainly not the life I would want for myself. I find that no matter what might be wrong with my life “in the moment,” a head-bump from my heart cat Annabelle can make it right again in an instant. I think I love her exuberant kitty head-bumps more than anything else on earth, and I simply can’t imagine life without them.

When we lay together on my bed, me with brush in hand and she with rumbling purr, I tell her, “This is the best part of my day.” And I mean it. As I brush Belle, she drools in a way that only a truly contented cat can. We settle into the rhythm of the brush-brush-headbump ritual we’ve both come to love and need. People who believe that felines only tolerate people for the food they provide, have obviously never had a cat like Belle. They’ve never experienced the sheer delight of a kitty headbump, or the amazing, transformative power of the purr. I have, and I can say without any doubt, there’s nothing quite like loving and being loved by a cat like Belle.

Sometimes I wonder if I might love Belle too much. She is only 8 and in very good health – thanks in part to her wonderful Felidae cat food! – yet now and then I have fleeting thoughts of how much I will miss this beautiful soul when she’s gone, and it scares me. It doesn’t seem fair that our animal companions have such short lives compared to ours. I don’t want to outlive Belle; I want her to be with me forever, but I know I can’t change what is. I can only enjoy the special kitty headbump moments we share each day. I can only love her with all my heart for as long as I am able. And each day that Belle is here, I say a prayer of thanks for this special soul that makes my world a better place.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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  1. Mom says that fur on the FURniture is a sign of a house well lived-in, and a house filled with love. (Although she does cringe a bit when I skid across the hardwood floors with my nails.) But really, what’s a little wear-and-tear in exchange for an endless supply of unconditional love?!?!?

  2. Mr Puddy says:

    MOL.. My mom couldn’t live without cat’s fur on her clothes any more !
    Actually, she love it because my fur remind our a sweet cuddle time : )

  3. Simba says:

    “If you don’t want pet hair on your clothes, stay off my furniture!”

    Ha, ha: we will have to adopt that as our new mantra. Why I persist in buying navy and black pants still, I do not know. I guess because tan and gray are not always easy to find.

  4. this was beautiful. I completely understand. When my Angel Bobo was alive (and I had him for 18 wonderful years) I also used to get the same “fleeting thoughts” about what I would do when he was gone. I used to worry about it more than I can say. I also used to think that I “loved him too much”

    When he passed (and we had the vet come to our house) I literally laid on top of him crying into his fur. I was shrieking in pain. It was awful. Even thinking about it and reliving that moment tears me apart. 18 yrs, that’s a long time, but in hindsight it was the blink of an eye.

    Savor every moment. I miss my “boy” every day. He was my true “soul kitty” He lived for me and I for him

  5. Ha ha ha @ the “stay off my furniture” line! Good one!

    Yeah, I’ve given up on the off-the-table stuff. Because you know what? Spitty does what Spitty wants when his Human is off at work. I’ve had cats all my life & none of them ever made me or anybody else sick.

  6. BeadedTail says:

    Well of course we make the world a better place! Our mommy has had pets since she was born so can’t imagine life without any around! Daddy didn’t have pets until he met Mommy and now he’s hooked too!

  7. Fin says:

    Hi Julia! So nice of you to invite me over. I think I’ll just have to follow you.

  8. I (Frankie Furter) had a special bond with my furends Charcoal and Charcoal, butt they have both left me now. SIGH I really miss them. THEY enriched my life… well, except fur the day that Charcoal jumped on my back and made me Scream like a girrrrrl. I’m just sayin.

  9. Oh we think pets make the world a better place!! At least we have made our mom and dad-guy’s world a better place!! 🙂

  10. Lori Lankhorst says:

    You bet they make it a better place… And when people come over and want to sit down, they need to remember that this house belongs to my pets and they can sit on the FURniture … lol… Love this Julia

  11. I have two dogs and four cats. The cats are more cuddly than the dogs and are very sweet. They give me the unconditional love I don't get otherwise. At times when I've woken up I've found a cat on my back. They just love to cuddle. Heck, you are just like the rest of us.

  12. I have two dogs and four cats. The cats are more cuddly than the dogs and are very sweet. They give me the unconditional love I don’t get otherwise. At times when I’ve woken up I’ve found a cat on my back. They just love to cuddle. Heck, you are just like the rest of us.

  13. Kea says:

    Yes, amen. IMO, humans forget that they, too, are animals, simply another species on the planet, and no more worthy than any other Being. We might be the dominant species on the planet *at this time*, but dominance doesn’t equal superiority in my books.

    My whole life I’ve had a better connection with four-leggeds than with most two-leggeds. I’ve had two horse soulmates and 2 cats (Chumley and Annie) that saw me through terrible emotional/psychological times. Without them, I might well have committed suicide, or at least made the attempt.

    BTW, Derry’s favourite bugs to crunch are moths and “dragon flies” (look like real dragonflies but are smaller, not sure what they are).

    -Kim (Fuzzy Tales)

  14. meowmeowmans says:

    Well said, Julia! We *would* say that, though, since we are pet people. 🙂 But seriously … we couldn’t fathom what life would be like without Moosey and Sammy, and all the other animals in our lives. 🙂

  15. Marg says:

    As you know, we totally agree with you. It would be a horrible horrible world without animals in it. What would I do if I didn’t have to worry about some animal in trouble. Have yourself a great week end.

  16. Brian says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen to that!!!

  17. All my sweet woofies and kitties for sure make my world a better place. I really enjoyed reading this post. Snookums gives me head butts…love it! I agree with all you said. Hugs! Give Belle some nose kisses for us.

  18. Pets aren’t for everyone, just as kids aren’t either. But the Momster says she doesn’t think she could ever be without a dog in her life. Lucky for her, she has all of us:)

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  19. I couldn’t agree more. And people ask how I get through losing pets….I have been lucky in that I have had foster kittens – and while they are no replacement for losing a pet, it is hard to be terribly sad through their antics. The cats are allowed wherever – since the argument to keep them off isn’t worth it. My house would seem empty without them there. And if you don’t like it – stay home! 🙂