2007 brought with it my most precious gift in life, my daughter, Olivia. But given the Yin and Yang of life, it also brought with it one of my darkest moments, the passing of my beloved best friend, Shazaam.
Thinking about writing this post all weekend gave me a lump in my throat. I still think about Shazaam every day and often imagine her still scurrying by underfoot or screeching into the kitchen at the mere tapping of a can of tuna. I always wish she was still curled up on my lap, her warm body still, except for the constant hum of her purr. She was the ultimate companion in life. She gave me unconditional love, comforted me during times of sadness or anger, and she always knew when I needed a hug. She was my soul mate when I lived alone for a decade, a constant trooper, moving with me from city to city, flying in the seat next to me from Los Angeles to New York while I tried to "find" myself, she was the lovely answer always waiting for me at the end of every day. As people came and went in and out of my life in droves, she stood by me, an open door.
Her meows no longer fill our home, but her memory still fills my heart every day. In her final moments, my husband told me that "God must have wanted the best cat he could find on Earth for his own." I told Shazaam that her seat in Heaven would be on God's lap, and I am sure she sits perched there now. And another perk of the afterlife will be meeting up with my old friend again.
Thankfully, I didn't have to look back and wish I had been nicer to Shazaam, as we were the best of friends and I showered her with love every day. But, this Christmas, I urge you to pamper your pets, and to remember to appreciate them. Bring them inside to sit with you by the fire, take them for a walk even though it's cold outside, buy them their favorite toy and feed them tuna as a special treat.
I also found an eco-friendly pet bed that would make quite a Christmas gift. If Shazaam were still here, I'd buy her one. They are currently on sale too!
So squeeze your furry friends a little tighter every day, and enjoy all they have to offer. I really believe they are here to teach us about the brevity and preciousness of life. Lesson learned.