Apple or Android? For the longest time, I have overheard but carefully avoided being part of unending discussions between their sworn loyalists and believers. Even though each has their core competencies, neither party is willing to acknowledge or accept the other’s positive attributes. Most of you who have been there and done that surely know what I am talking about. 🙂 I have witnessed similar conversations between ‘Dog persons’ and ‘Cat persons’. Each finding it hard to imagine what the other sees in them. They are just more civil than the technology discussions! At least neither one takes it upon themselves to change your mind. They have the love for another living being in common, after all! Let us not even talk about the rare variety of switch-overs! My position here is a precarious one in both discussions. I own products from both Apple and Android and am able to appreciate each one’s benefits. As for the pet discussion, it is a harder explanation.
I have always been a Dog person. Ever since I was a child, we had Dogs for pets. Big, small, hairy, skinny all kinds. I had an uncanny infinity toward these furry selfless beings. I knew a lot about them at a young age. Thanks to books my father would get me about different breeds from around the world. My connection with them was deep and abundantly reciprocated. Almost as if they were reflecting my own inner self. They displayed loyalty, dependence, attachment and unconditional love, just like me. I experienced the heartbreaking, traumatic loss a dog at a tender age and then again as an adult. It feels much worse when you are responsible for their life. The sadness stayed with me. I was given advice to get another to fill the void. My children were listless without a playmate. For me, however, Rocco was not just a pet. He was an extension of me. I couldn’t just replace him. I didn’t want to replace him. I didn’t know there was a deeper meaning at the time.
A year after Rocco’s passing, some things began to change, both inside and outside me. I started to flirt with the idea of another pet. “Not a dog!”, was my condition. Children were ready for anything that moves… or not! 😀 Purely for logistical reasons, I found myself considering a cat for a pet. Does not need to be walked, groomed or bathed were good enough reason for me. As I was keen to adopt, I was introduced to the understated world of the cat family network. I was enamored by the selfless attitude of the rescuers and their willingness to help. Our first kitten was found under a car in a parking lot. Tiny and alone. We were thrilled about having a kitty to nurture. Only to realize how little I knew about cats and their behavior. The self sufficiency and general lack of interest in us threw us off. We were used to a dog who relied on us for everything and took orders. His happiness was based on our validation. It was a tough adjustment for us to transition from being dog parents to cat parents. As Joon, the kitten, took her time to get comfortable in our home, she opened up willfully and won us over on her terms, all while still maintaining her position as the queen of the house.
Recently, while feeding our rescue cat, Goldie, I noticed what a nonchalant, self-assured and ‘live life on your own terms’ attitude she had. I watched her lovingly as she expressed herself with abandon, not seeking external validation or attention, not insecure about our presence in her life and the beauty of our non-transactional relationship. She was so comfortable in her own skin, it was inspirational. My own new found self-preserving and self-protecting manner seemed almost like an uncanny coincidence. It got me thinking how my perspective had changed through time! I felt more confident, self-reliant, and assertive. I was determined to re-arrange my boundaries and re-balance my relationships. I did not shy away from expressing myself and setting the terms of engagement. She was rubbing off on me. I was developing Cat-titude!
I am aware that this transition is hard for people around me just like it was for me back then. This is my journey from canine cuddles to feline swag. It may not necessarily be an either/or thing, though. How about having both? Loving and appreciating both? Just like the smart devices! 😉 I am willing to hold both aspects within myself all while standing my ground firmly. Maybe I am ready to welcome another dog into our lives, who knows!!
For those of you who are pet parents or not, the link below is an absolute delight! Enjoy!
Until next time.. @thethinkingcaptain