Thursday, January 10, 2008

What Love Looks Like

My name is Debbie, and I am an addict. Yes, I am admittedly addicted to the unconditional love which animals can provide. My family knows this. My husband was fully aware of it when we got married twenty-three years ago and I moved three of my childhood cats and our college kitty into our new marital home. Some people would say that I have a problem. I would say that I am extremely lucky. Not only do I have the benefit of having four amazing daughters and a loving husband, but I also have in residence right now, five cats, one dog and two birds. Each one, regardless of how small or seemingly insignificant they might seem to other people who do not share in my addiction, is a family member. And each one, as does our sweet little Lovebird, Kiwi, who passed away last week, will forever hold a special place in my heart. Like any addiction, it might be difficult for someone who is not afflicted to comprehend, "Why?". My answer is simple, unconditional love and companionship. Oh and one more reason, I think that this particular addiction is a healthy one.

The kitties above, Callie and Jersey(named after the states my children and my husband were born in), are Cornish Rex. They were a gift from my husband in December of 2006. Most of our pets have been "rescue animals", including Kiwi, our beloved Lovebird whom we captured and rescued from certain doom, while she was dive-bombing my children in the pool. It was one of those, "Mom, Mom, come now! There is a bird who keeps dive-bombing us in the pool!!!" moments, when my reaction was something like, "That's nice girls. Now go back outside because you are dripping all over the floor." When they finally convinced me that I had to check out what was happening, there was, indeed, a bird who was deliberately trying to get my children's attention by dive-bombing them in our pool. We captured her, but she never protested, and she was The Queen of the Kitchen, until she sadly passed away, last week.

Back to Callie and Jersey, we had a twenty-one year old cat who I had rescued from the side of the road when she was a newborn. I had her for twenty-one years, and she passed away in September of 2006. For some reason, I just could not shake the grief that I was feeling after her loss. My dear husband witnessed the pain that I was feeling, and decided that I needed some "fresh" unconditional love to help me in the healing process(a bit of enabling is okay, every once in a while). And so, he did some research, contacted a friend who owns a pet shop about friendly breeds, and surprised me with two beautiful, albeit kind of funny looking, kittens. Short of a painting he had commissioned of an angel painted in my likeness, one year for our anniversary, these little babies were one of the very best gifts that he ever got me. Their entrance into my life was just what I needed at the time. What made it even better is that my husband, the man who sometimes has to threaten me with divorce to keep me from bringing another animal into our home, was the one who brought them to me.

And so, as I stand before the world and admit my addiction, I must also share my visual of "love". The love that these babies reflect back to me with their beautiful, albeit unusually large eyes and ears. The love that looking at them makes me feel for my husband who loves me enough to indulge me in my healthy addiction. The love that can be touched and cuddled and kissed, unconditionally, and just because it's there. Right now, if someone were to ask me what love looks like, I would have to show them a photo of these little, furry kitties. They are love personified.

May you enjoy whatever your healthy addiction might be. May you have someone in your life who loves you enough to enable you to fulfill that addiction. Most importantly, may you have your own definition of what love looks like.

I would be honored if you would be willing to share what love looks like to you. Truly honored.


Alison said...

Debbie, you did it again..tears in my eyes!! You could be talking about me and my husband!! I feel the same way and I am always bringing home strays. My husband is allergic to cats and we have 2, one who sleeps with us!! That is love!!

Humble Origins said...

...Awww, those faces! I've never seen cats that look like that - and those ears! Gotta love 'em!

...Well the love you see in their eyes is the love you've given them - they are lucky pets! I love the way you wrote this Debra...

...So sorry to hear of your loss of your bird - losing a pet is so hard... I had to have a dog put down several years ago and have never gotten past him. His name was "Forest" and he was a Schipperke, he was his namesake - life was a box of chocolates to makes my heart ache just typing this...(*sigh*) :o/

...Anyway, thank you Debra for sharing your lil' critters! They're adorable!

...Blessings & {{hugs}}... :o)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

You have such a way with words...

If someone were to ask me wht love looked like I guess I would have to show them a pic of my Dad after his heart transplant.

A family, somewhere out there, loved their 21 year old son to honor his memory by giving my Dad his heart.

That is the purest picture of love I know....


Debra w said...

What a way to begin this new day...By reading your beautiful stories.

Alison, it sounds like your husband loves you an awful lot to put up with cat allergies!

TJ, Forest sounds like he was a very special dog. We lost our big goofy dog, Elijah, last May to Lymphoma. For three years, my dear husband schlepped him to chemotherapy every other week. He was only supposed to live for 18 months after his diagnosis, with treatment, a month without. He stayed with us for three years. Such a trooper and such a big loving dog. Like your Forest, he is sorely missed. TJ, I am so sorry for your loss, too, my friend. It hurts because I know just what you are feeling. Forest was a very lucky dog because he had you as his mom.


WOW. I just finished reading a book called Sick Girl about a woman who received the heart of a 13 year old girl. The book really helped me to understand what people who go through transplants must live with afterwards. Although I don't know your dad, I think he is a hero. So is the family of the boy who donated his heart so that your dad could thrive. You are so right. That is an amazing picture of love.

Once again, I am getting so much more back on this blog, then I could ever have imagined.


Wonderful World of Weiners said...


You get only as much as you give...which means you should get A LOT...

I mean it :)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irene Latham said...

What love looks like... gosh, I'm gonna have to go write a poem now. :) What a great thing to think about. Thanks!

Ness said...

Debra, you really touched my heart as always. I have always had an affinity for dogs. I jokingly(sometimes) say I love dogs better than most people(people outside my blog friends and family, of course). When I miscarried my quints, my then-husband couldn't be bothered to leave work to pick me up the day I was discharged, so my dad dropped me off at the house and went to pick up my 6 y/o at school. I walked into that house and Brittany, our Lassie collie, greeted me very gently. I sat down on the floor and she came and put her head in my lap after looking at me with those big brown eyes full of love and trust. I just melted into her fur and cried until I was spent.

That was pure love.

I'm blessed to be able to read your blog tonight as I'm fighting a fibro flare. It has helped immensely. Bless your heart for your love of animals. You are the real deal.


KellyJean said...

Your posts are so heart warming and thought provoking. I am sorry about Kiwi. I complain a lot about Paco, the terrorist, but I will be sad when he dies. Benny's first birthday is on the 1st of this month. My dog Eve died on January 23 of last year. Eve... was my once in a lifetime dog. I will be posting about her on the 23rd.

Janet said...

I understand the love of animals. My "new" cat Sophie is right here next to me snoring! Such a sweetie, but so shy.

Thanks for stopping by my blog for my giveaway.

Patriot said...

Congrats!! You're one of the winners from my giveaway last week! I will send you an email with the details. Hope this is the start to a great week!

Alison said...

Hi Deb...thanks for your wonderful support and words of encouragement and love on my means alot to me! I have not read about your friend..please send me the link.

Mary said...

Ohhh, how cute! I always wonder why some people think that cats are aloof. All the cats I have ever had have been sweet and loving. My cat sits on my lap every evening, and greets my husband when he gets home from work.

Alison said...

Hi Debbie, here is my email address - blessedfamm at

thanks so much!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails