“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Over the last 18 months, my family has lost three beloved members. It doesn’t matter these members were not human. A horse, rabbit and cat we called Slick, Bob and Marm (or to some, Freddie) spent years living with or near us.
We got Slick, registered name PF Centari, in 1996, for my youngest daughter to ride and compete in Arabian horse shows. He was 1/2 Arabian, 1/2 National Show Horse and knew it. While he could sometimes give my daughter fits in training and the practice ring, it was in the show ring he shined. He knew he was on stage and let all who watched know it, too. Proudly lifting his feet and changing gaits on command…well, most of the time. Neck positioned in the lovely Arabian curve. My daughter and him made quite a team for years.
A few years later, my eldest daughter (I only have two), and I went to a cat show in Syracuse. She roamed and enjoyed visiting with all the cats but kept going back to this one little orange and white kitten. The breeder let her hold her for a bit and I could see she was in love. The kitten was too young to leave but I made arrangements to bring her home as soon as she was. My daughter named her Mamalade and the breeder’s wife thought Blaze was also a good name because of her very white face and breast. That name stuck as well and she was registered Marmalade Blaze of Big Tree Cattery. She is a Main Coon cat who grew to a large size and liked to crawl on top of you to prove it. For years she was my morning companion as I went about my routine. I’m sure I entertained her as much as she did me.
Bob the Bunny joined us last a year after Marm and lived in our cellar mostly but came up to visit once in awhile and never missed a Christmas opening up his stocking gifts with the help of my daughters. Marm and Bob were a bit leery of each other.
These animals, our pets, gave us love and companionship for years and will always be loved and remembered in our memories. Slick left us in 2007, Bob in June this year and Marmalade just two days ago. May their spirits be free of pain and joyous romps over rainbows bridge.