Have You Ever Had “Just a Pet?”

August 22, 2014

just a pet mclemoreBy Julia Williams

Not long ago, an interesting bit of writing popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. It was a short piece titled Just a Dog – not really a poem but not a “story” either. It was, however, a very moving tribute to man’s best friend.  I really wanted to share it with you, but there was no author listed, nor any indication where it came from. I’m no stranger to the copyright law, and I’d never post it here (or anywhere) without permission from the copyright owner.

So, I did a little digging. I found Just a Dog on hundreds of other websites and blogs, and some had even taken artistic license and changed it to Just a Cat. A few had the supposed author’s name – Richard A. Biby – but I couldn’t find the man or where the piece was originally published. It’s definitely worth a read, though, so I would encourage you to Google it. Just not before you finish reading my post. LOL.

just a cat sheila sundThe poignant piece brought to mind the times in my own life where people have said things like, “It’s just a cat. How can you spend that kind of money on a cat?” “It’s just a cat, it doesn’t love you like a human child can.” Or the very worst of all, after a beloved cat had died, “It’s just a cat. You can always get another one.”

You’ve probably had similar things said to you about your own dog or cat, because the world is filled with unfortunate people who have never bonded with a pet. They can’t possibly comprehend the depth of your love for “just a dog.” They don’t understand why you would consider “just a cat” to be a beloved family member that you’d do anything to keep safe, healthy and happy. The non-pet crowd often trivializes our relationships with our furry friends, because they don’t get that our pets will never be “just” anything.

Just a Cat has been there for me during my darkest hour and my happiest. Though I don’t live with other humans, I am never lonely, because Just a Cat is always there to offer a comforting purr. Just a Cat gives meaning and purpose to my life, a reason to get up every morning. If I am feeling sad, Just a Cat’s headbonks never fail to bring on a smile.

just a cat nina picJust a Cat may not say a whole lot, but she is a wonderful listener. Even when I tell her tales that would bore another human silly, she listens intently to every word. Just a Cat never rolls her eyes at me and tells me I’m being “too sensitive” or “too picky” or “too” anything. To Just a Cat, I am perfect just the way I am.

Just a Cat knows instinctively when I am ill, and she keeps a vigil by my side. She administers Purr Therapy, her special brand of medicine that hastens healing like nothing else ever could.

Just a Cat’s presence brings an immeasurable amount of love, joy, hope and positivity into my life. Just a Cat’s loyalty will never waver, and our friendship will endure, no matter what trials and tribulations we face together.

Because of Just a Cat I not only want to be a better human being, but I am.

Top photo by Andy McLemore
Middle photo by Sheila Sund
Bottom photo by nina_pic

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  1. CATachresis says:

    Lovely post Julia. My “just a cat” would never let me treat him thus! They have a way, don’t they!

  2. meowmeowmans says:

    We have never ever had “just a pet.” Thank you for such a beautifully written article, Julia. You have put into words just how we — and so many other people who are blessed to have loved and connected with their animal friends — feel.

    Hugs to you.

  3. Very touching post, Julia and I couldn’t agree more. As a matter of fact, I have just made eye contact as I write this, with my beautiful mancat, one who meows and trills as we have conversations, trying his best to communicate his thoughts. I tell him I’m preoccupied for the moment and he has just sat by my side.

    I am very grateful that I don’t possess the mindset that an animal is just an animal because I wouldn’t want to be that sort of human, not knowing any better and lacking in all those elevated, spiritual moments that enrich our lives and give us peace. I am a much better person for the love I share and comforting purrs I receive, given because they know they are understood in a uniquely, special way.

    I’m now turning to my Tinker and notice he has fallen asleep, content in companionable silence.

  4. DMatsuura says:

    A very touching blog today. Thank you Julia for saying what we all feel so well.

  5. Fuzzy Tales says:

    I don’t think I have it in me to have “just a pet.” I mean, neither Nicki nor Derry is my “angel” on earth the way Chumley and Annie were, but I love them beyond words, they’re not “just” pets. They’re equal Beings in my care, and while I feel the weight of responsibility for that care and say so many times that I won’t do this again because it’s too hard on the heart, they never will be “just” pets. Without them, there would be little to keep me going, other than a sense of duty to pay the bills. That’s not quite enough, not even for my own small life.

    I don’t have the capacity to have “just a pet.” Whether that be horse, dog, cat, or even a rabbit or hamster (never had a rabbit or hamster), they never can be anything but separate, equal Beings, sharing part of the journey of my life.