Resolution #5 – Love Fully…Part I

Well it is the beginning of April and I am writing about my final New Year’s resolution, to love fully.  I struggled a bit with this resolution as I wasn’t sure how to completely capture what I mean in a few words.  Basically what I want to accomplish with this resolution is to appreciate every moment that I have with those whom I love and to love them with all that I’ve got.  I want to make sure that I take time out for my friends and family to show them that I care.  I have so much to be thankful for that I don’t ever want to take it for granted.  I want to make it a point to love fully, each and every day.  So where do I start?   How about with my constant companions, my purr pack, the reason why I own so many lint rollers….my awesome fur family.

As I have mentioned on Fashionvicitimless before, I have a lot of pets.  A whole lot.  I have always loved animals and grew up with four cats.  Right after college I adopted the first cat that was solely my own, Zoe.  She and I went through a lot together including driving from Michigan to Philadelphia when I made the big move back in 1993.  She lived to be 18 and it was really tough when she passed away.  She had been my one and only.  My constant companion. While I had Zoe, I adopted Samantha and Ella from local shelters.  A neighbor of mine had gotten a kitten that they refused to feed because they wanted her to catch mice…that was how I came to have Sasha.  During this time I was also fostering kittens for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, a wonderful organization that I am still involved with today.  At one point, while I had Zoe, Samantha, Ella and Sasha, I was fostering a single kitten who was so lonely, all she would do was cry.  I decided to go to the shelter and get another kitten or two to foster and keep her company.  That was when Wilson and Nixon entered my world and never left.  They are the most amazing feline brothers that I just had to keep.  That is what we call in the animal rescue world a “foster fail”.

Samantha
Ella
Sasha
Nixon and Wilson

A few years went by and I moved to a new house.  Zoe’s health began to decline and I had to make the difficult decision to let her go.  That is the toughest part of being the pet owner, but I knew it was the right thing.  Not long after, a colleague of mine had two kittens and was going to get rid of one of them because it had scratched her son.  Welcome Hiroshi, my beautiful, rambunctious, forever teenage boy cat.  He is a sweetheart with people, but is always picking on my girl cats in true adolescent boy style.  If my girls had pigtails, he would be pulling on them and dipping them in ink.

Hiroshi

Being involved in animal welfare and having a lot of cats, people are always coming to me to help them with cats that they find.  About six years ago, an acquaintance of mine was feeding a feral cat colony and she said that two of them were friendly and felt that they could live indoors.  She asked if I could foster them and she would help get them adopted.  Well, it turns out that the mom was friendly with people, but the baby was not….so that is how I ended up with sweet, little Libby.  My male cats absolutely adore her, but she still won’t allow me or my husband to touch her.  That’s ok though, she is easy to care for and is just a tiny peanut as she hasn’t grown much since we first took her in.  She is my forever kitten.

Libby with Wilson

In addition to this crazy group of felines, I have Jack and Bella, my two wonderful dogs.  I adopted Jack eight years ago from Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society and my husband and I adopted Bella a bit over a year ago from The City of Elderly Love a local rescue organization that focuses on rescuing senior pets from shelters and adopting them out.  Bella came to us when she was nine years old after her former owners unfortunately lost their home.

Jack
Bella

So there you have it.  My crew.  Some people think I’m a bit loony for having so many animals, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love being in my home surrounded by so much unconditional love.  Any time that I am stressed out, I sit with one of my cats and am instantly calmed.  I love my daily walks with my dogs because I am fully present with them.  I am never on my phone or listening to music.  Our walks are our time together and it is priceless.  I get so much from my animals which is a big reason why I made this resolution.  I want to always be giving back to them.  I want them to feel loved and appreciated because they are.  So very much.

4 thoughts on “Resolution #5 – Love Fully…Part I

  1. Wow, I can identify with this. We used to have 9 cats in a 3 bedroom apt in NYC but now we’re down to 5. About 15 years ago I had started my own grassroots nonprofit for TNR and cat adoptions and while I adopted out dozens of cats and kittens, I ended up with the ones who were not healthy or had behavioral issues.

    It is a lot of work but you just get used to it. The one bummer has been that since moving in with my boyfriend (when my 7 cats turned into our 9 cats when we combined households), we got some really bad aggression and marking issues — something I did know was a possibility but I thought his cats were confident enough to avoid (and mine had been used to meeting new cats over and over again from fostering so much). So, 5 years in and we’re still working on it. (Really great way to test my cat behavior knowledge, I guess?)

    I also work in animal welfare so I usually have a foster cat in my office — which makes me feel better about no longer being able to foster at home. (Though recently we’ve ended up with a few emergency rescues where we had to do some short term fostering – not ideal but we all lived and it got the rescued cats to a better place.)

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    • That is awesome that you do so much for the animals! Love it!

      Behavior issues are the worst. We definitely have our challenges in that area as well. I wish my office allowed me to have foster cats! It would make my job so much better! 🙂

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  2. That’s awesome! I love animal related post & love the photos of all of yoir sweet babies! Yeah most people probably think that many is a bit cray-cray, but I have 9 (6 kitties & 3 dogs), so I wouldn’t be one of them. I aquired so many through similar situations. Some of my cats were ferals that eventually became tame enough to be my forever indoor kids, some were surrendered to me by owners who no longer could care for them, some were rescued feom other situations. It’s funny, sometimes I’ll read my “timehop” & it will show a Facebook status from 5 yrs ago, saying something like, “Meet our new family member Vada. Blah blah blah. Now we REALLY are at capacity, but she’s perfect & completes our fam” & she equaled #4. Haha. It’s great though. I cannot imagine a home without such a large amount of furry friends hanging out. It’s the biggest joy ever 🙂

    http://www.thekaragon.com

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