Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get…..we make a life by what we give.”

Our furry familia innately demonstrate this life lesson to us daily. They show up to heal us and to teach us life lessons, by giving, giving, giving.

From them we have much to learn. For instance, Salem, our black, handsome, abandoned cat, showed up in our life to heal my daughter Brenna, after she came forward about her sexual abuse. He slept on her chest every night until she was much better. He also talks. He says my sons name, “Carterrr”, he says “Noooooooo” and also says “Hellooooo” when he enters a room. If you are ill and sleeping over at our house, expect that a big black talking cat will be on your chest.

Our yellow lab, Lola, follows me around, sleeps by me, curls up by my desk when I am working, and yes, even guides me to bed when I desire to stay up and shouldn’t. She is my “mum,” even when I desire not to have one, and I love her with all of my heart. A bossy, beautiful, adorable soul she is. When I am sad or stressed, she won’t leave my side. Often a hug from, or a nap or a play time with Lola…. is all I need to lift my spirits and calm me down.

Sophie Tucker, is our latest addition. She is an alien, a good alien who also happens to be an adorable, grey, ticky tabby with one crossed eye. She was sent to Paws Animal Shelter in West Linn after being found on 131st and Division (imagine the wildest intersection in any town) in the middle of traffic at one week old.

One day, I took my then 21 year old stepdaughter Heather to the shelter because she was having a really challenging week. She held Sophie, who was smaller than her palm, and fed her a bottle. Sophie fell asleep against her chest and Heather left renewed.

Soon, we took four kittens home to assist the shelter, which was overrun with abandoned kittens and Sophie was one of them. Sophie is scrappy, she is street wise, and now she is ours. She isn’t afraid of anything, and instantly loved our large Lola. Lola is her mom. She barks at Sophie if it is dark and she needs to come in. She licks her and cleans her and gets after Salem if he is being cranky with her.

Sophie heals us by making us laugh. She is not a normal cat!

She sits up on her hind legs, like a prairie dog, flushes the toilet, turns on and off the faucet and jumps on my husband’s chest every night and does her little dove purr. She also cackles at birds and talks to squirrels and stands before our stainless steel refrigerator as if it is her mother ship calling her home. (Not on my watch).

I don’t know where we would be without our furry familia. We are blessed and more integrated because of them.

“Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative.” Mordecai Siegal (1934) ……funny, but we know different don’t we?” www.spiritoflivingwellcom

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