If you know me in real life you will know, without a doubt, that I like animals. Puppies, dogs, kittens, cats. If I see it, I will pat it, I will talk to it, I will point at it from a car and make you look at it.
(At this point, I’d like to both apologize to and say thank you to my friends and family for putting up with this behaviour).
To make use of this obsession, and to think more deeply about animals and the roles they play in my life, in society and in our world, I’m starting a new series of posts called Animals Abound.
To start off, in this post I’m going to introduce you to my own animals; my cat and my dog.
These are my animals.
Leo is a six year old border collie-kelpie cross RSPCA rescue dog. He enjoys being with the people, walks and barking at the dogs that walk in the park behind our house. Leo was adopted by my family at eight weeks old, and promptly stole the heart of every member of the family. He’s not a brave dog or a sociable dog, but he is a good dog – he is loyal and loving and just always want to be a part of things.
Siri is a three year old RSPCA rescue cat. She enjoys sleeping on the deck, stalking the dog and trying to kill birds with her mind. Siri was almost 2 years old when I adopted her, and had spent most of her life waiting at the RSPCA to be chosen. She’s not exactly a friendly cat, but she is entertaining and beautiful and full of life.
I mentioned in this post on Simplicity that I have a very simple mental health plan: medication, exercise, writing and animals.
Medication keeps my brain balanced. Exercise keeps my body healthy and the endorphins flowing. Writing gives me a release and a chance to get it all out of my head. Animals, my cat and my dog, give me a routine and responsibilities, which keep me sane, as well as making me feel less alone and giving me joy and laughter in the things they do.
My animals keep me sane. They help me keep things in perspective, with their simple needs and wants. They remind me that I am dependent on God for life, just as they are dependent on me for their next drink of water or meal.
They provide company when I am lonely and help me feel safe when I am home alone or out for a walk. They motivate me to exercise by walking them (Leo) and to keep my room clean for their safety (Siri).
These two weirdos, Leo-pup and Siri-cat, are key parts of my life, giving me routine and stability. More than anything, they give me an emotional connection with another living creature, even when I don’t have to energy or capacity to talk to or interact with other actual humans.
Over the next few posts in this series, I’m going to be talking about animals and their importance in the world. If there’s anything on this subject you’d like me to write about, leave a comment below!