THE CAT WHO TAUGHT ME TO LOVE AGAIN
By Betty Seligman
I was in the bookstore with my son and grandchildren when I saw your book ANGEL CATS. Seeing the book reminded me of the first time I saw my cat Diva and how we made an immediate connection of love.
Diva is my miracle cat. Not only did she want to come home with me, love me, and enjoy my company, she encourages me daily to get up and continue living. Diva became part of my life as a direct result of an accumulation of life events, which I found myself trying to process.
My life had always been a series of wonderful experiences, but when my husband died in 1998, I found myself a newly independent person trying to understand how to live in a world without my companion. I quickly discovered that my roles of stay-at-home wife and mother as well as volunteer did not bring in a great deal of income.
Both my children were grown with families of their own. I had only to be concerned with providing for the family cat Kiki and myself. This was definitely something I had never experienced -- I was in charge of making all the decisions.
At the age of 55, I went to work for a start-up company. After seven years I discovered life had once again changed. At the time of my departure from the company, I was a very sad, confused, and angry person. I knew my emotions needed to change, for they were not only affecting me but Kiki, as well.
The environment in our home was so sad; it could not have been healthy for either of us. I cried daily and had a good case of "poor me". My true wake up call came when Kiki died at home in December 2006. Seattle was experiencing a very severe ice storm at that time, and most businesses were closed on the day Kiki died. I was unable to get to a vet so I spent the day with Kiki, watching as her spirit left her physical body.
The next few months my family tried to encourage me to get another pet. Those seeds were definitely planted, but I felt an overwhelming void and did not know if I had enough love to share with another being. Once I felt my sadness and anger subside, I discovered there was room for love to enter. Nine months after Kiki died, I went to our local pet store and thought I would just look at the cats.
I walked over to where a local cat rescue group had a variety of cats available for new families. There was Diva. She was six years old, a long hair cat, possibly a Maine Coon. We made eye contact. At that moment the adoption was complete, and my healing process began.
Everyday Diva is here is a blessing, and my ability to love becomes stronger. When she first came to live with me, I was very hesitant to love again for I felt in doing so I would somehow not be loyal to my previous cat Kiki or to my husband. I didn't want anyone to take their places and reminded Diva of this daily for about 3 months. She would just look up at me.
Whenever I sat down, she would jump up on my lap and wait to be petted. Kiki had never been a cat who desired long periods of affection. I was amazed the first time Diva sat on my lap for about 3 hours. She would have stayed longer, but I felt the need to get up and move about.
Diva definitely has won me over. Now I have become in touch with a part of my spirit that has long been neglected. I am able to love again. The sadness that was so much a part of me has given way to joy and peace. She makes getting up each day an adventure that I thought was gone forever.
Visit www.angelanimals.net/nlimage12.html to view a picture of Diva.
Betty Seligman lives in Seattle, Washington. She has been a stay-at-home wife, mother of two children, and volunteer.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT:
When has an animal taught you to love again or to love more deeply?