I’ve heard many of my friends talk about the emotional impact pets have had on their lives, especially since those friends have become senior citizens. In most cases, the kids are gone and, unfortunately for some, the spouses have passed away. With crappy TV and often no means to get around or explore too far from home, the days loom large. Pets who depend on us and love us in return make a huge difference in the happiness of a senior’s life.

Me and My Cat
I’ve admitted many times here just how over the top I am about my precious cat, Kali. Because I’ve never had children or step-children to spend time with daily, I’ve transferred many of my maternal instincts onto my pets all throughout my adult life. I’ve spoken here about how I unabashedly anthropomorphize my pets and imbue them with human feelings and emotional characteristics.

My friend Sue’s dog, Toby

          And I am not alone. Go to the dog park, any dog park, and watch the pride owners have for their animals. They are proud of how Sparky or Bessy stays close by while off leash or runs away returning periodically to check in with their owners. See the love and admiration in their faces as Toby or Cosmo checks out other dogs with a friendly perked-up tail.

          And if, for some reason, our animals disappoint us by shredding the toilet paper roll, or chowing down on the corner of a kitchen cabinet during the frenzied noise of 4th of July fireworks, we manage to forgive them quickly. We know their behavior was out of boredom or fear and not meant to hurt or anger us. 

Unconditional Love
I love Kali, unconditionally. I love her without question, and I know she is attached to me as the main human in her life. I’d like to think of that as her loving me back. While Kali spends so much of her time showing devotion to me, it just makes sense that I want to show her that devotion in return.  For instance, something that may be too expensive for me may be a necessity for her.

          I wish I could love people the easy way I love Kali. I wish I could suspend all other motives and emotions and love them purely, without question ALL the time. I wish I didn’t get P.O.’d sometimes or hurt by the actions of other humans. 

          In spite of my lack of perfection in the human love department, I can learn from Kali. She can teach me to strive to love others the way she loves me. I am made better by her love.

Contact Antonia at antoniasseniormoments@hotmail.com or