How about getting a pet?

On a rainy day in October 2014, I went to SPCA Montreal with one friend, and initially just went to have a look. Then I saw Milou, my companion until now, who was a seven-month old kitten with beautiful eyes and soft paws. I don’t know if she was dragging anybody passing by, but I felt her touching me, and then signed all the paperwork in the next hour. It was not a random decision, and it changed my life.

She was very curious and a little bit timid, and everything went well for the first few days. Then I found her nostrils were blocked by mucus, and she stopped taking food. She was diagnosed with bacterial infection, and had to be hospitalized back at SPCA. I still remember that that week was really rough – I took her to the clinics, had insomnia, and needed to go to Laval to work before 9 am. When the staff from SPCA told me that her condition was ‘not that good’, I said nothing, and crying on the way to the metro. Adopting a pet is like adopting a child, but I never regret taking this responsibility.

All these years have passed by, and Milou’s eyes show more and more affection. She rolls on the floor, stretches her body to show the belly, and responds to my wink. She can even have conversation with me meowing, or quietly stays on the corner of the bed rubbing her head against my feet. It took me more than two years to get to this stage, and different pets need different length of time to open their hearts. It is very important to show the love and patience to them, just like treating the kids. Education is also needed, and most of them understand if they make mistakes.

I moved to Europe with her before, and she survived hours of flight in a small carrier, new environment, sickness, parasites, and emotional shock. I am very grateful that she gives her full trust to me, and she has never complained for flying over the Atlantic Ocean and living in a brand new continent (yes, you know when your pet is complaining). To be honest, it was not the easiest thing to take a pet with you, both physically and financially. If you are not prepared, and desire for adventures, it might not be the best choice to take a pet, and send him/her to your friends/parents/strangers when you need to be relocated or absent from home too often.

I have seen stories that pets go to find their ex-owners after trudging for miles, and I always remember a phrase – you have a lot of people in your life, but your pet just has you. As faithful companions, they should be treated with an attitude better than that to some soft plush toys. It is completely OK to adopt or buy a pet when you want one, but before you take out your credit card or write down your signature, please think twice: am I ready to share my life for perhaps more than a decade with that lovely creature? Am I mature enough to hold them, no matter if they are young and cute, or old and withering?

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