It’s a new year and a fresh start. It’s also the 2nd anniversary year and month of when my youngest cat passed away. Now that a good chunk of time has passed I ask myself “ Am I ready to adopt again?” I think so.
If you haven’t guessed by now I love animals. Honestly I think I love animals more than people sometimes. And I’m quite partial to cats (as if you didn’t know). Friends ask me “Do you think you’ll get another cat soon?” I reply, “Yes, one day, but not now.” However, that poses the question “When is the right time for me to adopt another pet?”
When is the right time for me to adopt another pet?
If you search online for the answer to this question most websites pose the same general themed answer – There is no definite answer or particular time.
What I do know for sure is that I know in the rest of my lifetime on this Earth, I cannot imagine not sharing it with another furry friend or two or three even!
The human animal bond is very special and as any animal lover understands; our pets exemplify what it means to love unconditionally. I mentioned this in one of my other posts called 10 Life Lessons my cats Taught Me.
There is a saying that life is better when it’s shared with another and I know that to be true. I also know what happens when you try to rush the healing process and get a pet too soon. (I’ll have to write another blog post about that later!) I’ve had the experience to know that getting a pet too soon does not go over well.
I’ve had the experience to know that getting a pet too soon does not go over well.
For one, doing so does not allow adequate time for you to grieve and also does not allow your pet enough time to grieve either. (This is for any pet owner that had a household with multiple pets.) Your pet needs time to adjust to the changes in the household too. I have learned that if the process is rushed too soon your pet can develop mood swings or even physical problems from stress.
An expert, I am not, however I am more knowledgeable this time around. I speak from my own life experience that taking my time is a good thing. I think authentically doing things organically as they come is the best way to navigate through this storm called grief.
What I do recognize is that my passion for animals is there and has always been. I light up whenever I see kittens or even the stray cat wandering the neighborhood that all the neighbors help to feed. I’ve been this way since I was a child.
How do I know I’m not ready to adopt yet? I know I’m not ready because I feel myself hesitate.
I feel myself hesitate.
What do I mean? Well, if I see a cat that I want or care to pet and give hugs to I notice my heart wants to reach out but something stops me. I cannot quite explain it. Something holds me back. I only get so far as to petting them. Perhaps it is the grief from my loss or is it just a method of self-protection in an effort to save myself from that emotional attachment?
I’m not sure but I do try to pay attention to the mind-body connection. Have you ever felt 110% certain about something you want and love and gravitate toward that? That feeling is effortless. Seamless. Easy. In my case. It’s not that seamless or fluid as it should be.
I do volunteer work (virtually) with a cat adoption organization called Kitty Kind. One day, when I made a trip to stop by the physical location one day after work, I could see all the cats aligned in the cages ready for adoption. I thought to myself let me take a look at those faces! But again, I stopped in my tracks, felt a little overwhelmed and left sooner than planned.
Perhaps it was because the people there were chatting in a tight space that made me feel a bit claustrophobic (through no fault of their own). Or maybe my intuition was reacting to something more? I don’t know.
My loved ones and closest friends have also expressed concern for me, “Perhaps you won’t adopt again. I would not want to see you in that kind of pain again. Do you think you can handle going through this again?”
Do you think you can handle going through this again?”
That’s a good question. My knee jerk reaction is “Sure I can. I can get through it. I’ll definitely adopt again. I’m a strong person.” However, I also have a dear friend who expressed from her own experience with her last cat passing away, she could not bring herself to adopt again. It was just too painful. I understand that choice too.
With all these factors and questions in mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just need to take things one day at a time. Trust my instinct and when the time is right, I think I’ll know.
The moment should be organic and flow.
The moment I encounter the right furry friend to take home, I think that mind-body connection will be in sync and there will be no doubt I’ve found the right connection.
Until then, I’ll continue to have my fond memories, live life, volunteer and stay positive.
Comment below. How did you know when you were ready to adopt again?