We have a new baby in the house. Everyone is adjusting to new sounds, personalities, needs, expectations . . . it's a lot to process for anyone.
Our animal family is experienced. Rhys, our Dane, is ten years old. Our cats, Arden and Wean, are 16 and 14 years old, respectively. Rhys has been the "baby" of the family until this week, and although we've fostered animals since then, they seem to understand that this guy is family and here to stay.
Arden is known by our friends and family (and veterinarian) as a congenial cat. She delights in greeting visitors. When we brought home The Boy (our human boy), she was the first to curl up next to him and sleep.
As cute and as small as this kitten is, she's not opening her heart.
We've chatted about how he isn't a replacement for anyone. He doesn't require much in the way of resources and we have enough to go around, anyway. He was in a terrible situation and needed a home (much like Arden, who was a shelter kitten twice returned by families). He is young and wants to learn, and Arden's vast cat knowledge can help. She doesn't need to gush over him and our home is large enough they can have their own space if they'd like.
I want to see her stretch her compassion and remember what it was like to live in a cage, without a family. This guy came from a squalid environment we happened upon on the way somewhere else and I just couldn't leave him. He needs to be accepted as he is - a baby cat who deserves and needs love, shelter, nourishment, and care.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.