As any pet owner knows, the hardest part of sharing your life with animals is that they do not live as long as we do. When our daily companion of many years dies, it creates an empty space in our lives that seems like it can never be filled. I have known families which have mourned the loss of a pet for years
In families with only one pet, the loss can be catastrophic. When there are other pets sharing our lives, these other pets seem to respond to the loss by becoming more affectionate with us and with each other. The loss of one member of the group makes all of recognize the value of our remaining companions.
We lost two of our cats in the last few months due to advancing age. Buffy, our Siamese cross, was 17 years old and Gray Kitty was 14 years old. They shared our adventures and our daily routines for many happy years. They had become part of the fabric of our lives and their passing left us with many moments of loss as we listened for the friendly chirp or purr that would not be heard again except in memory.
We live lives of considerable complexity and we do not always appreciate how skillfully our pets accommodate themselves to our daily routines until they are no longer there to greet us in the early hours of the morning or to jump up in our laps during our hours at the computer.