I was going out of town and leaving my animals at the home of friends. My friend Jim and his 17-year-old daughter, Katherine, were going to take care of the animals. Katherine would be giving Makia her insulin injections, and doing all the feeding and most of the walking. My animals also will be living with Jim and Katherine’s yellow labs, Summer and Honey.
I asked my animals, “Is there anything you want to say about this next week?” Their responses:
Serafina (all-gray cat) said, “I am nervous because I don’t know if they have ever taken care of cats before.” I tell her they have had cats themselves. “I want them to know that we don’t like it when our food gets crusty, so don’t not feed us dinner cause we have our breakfast left. I have seen them do this to their dogs. Tell them I really like them as people and I will sleep with Jim. Tell them to walk slower through the bedroom. Sometimes they scare me.”
Stormy (Aussie dog) said, “I think they really care about us and we will be okay alone during the day because Katherine can come home and see us. She usually does. I would like them to give me treats and I would like them to know that it is very special that mom is trusting them with us. I would love one of Jim’s back massages while you are gone. And sometimes take slower walks.”
Makia (all white cat) said, “I would like Jim to come outside with me. I would like it if they could brush me when you are gone, otherwise I get hair stuck in my throat. I would like it if I could have the raw food. It makes me feel better in my stomach. Mom, I will miss you but Katherine did the shot well. We will be okay.”
Luca (young poodle) said, “I want to have lots of runs with Katherine. We go far and she is very happy. When you are gone I want them to sit on the floor with me while I eat.” (Told him I am not sure they are going to sit on the floor with him. He needs to eat like the other dogs.) I want them to take me to the beach where I can play chase with other dogs. I want you home every night.” This is where I picture the sun rising and setting for as many days as I will be gone.
Bean (black bunny) said, “I want to make sure that I have plenty of hay and treats. I want them to come and talk to me a lot. I don’t like to be picked up by all of Katherine’s friends. I would rather they sit with me than hold me. I like the window opened during the day so I can smell the fresh air. I can’t look out a window here, which I don’t like. You can let me run loose in the kitchen.”
I asked Summer and Honey if there was anything they needed.
Summer said, “I want to eat on a plate like your dogs because it hurts my mouth to eat from a bowl [she has a tumor on her jaw]. I want to walk in nature. I want Katherine to hold my leash when we walk her to school. I want a leash on because you think I am safer. I want biscuits with butter.”
Honey said, “I want to make sure dad takes us to the beach or the mesa every morning because then I sleep better and am happier during the day. I want dad to remember to put our supplements in our dinner because I feel healthier on those. I want your cats to know that I don’t mind that they are here and they can walk around more of the house. We don’t care. I like those crispy chicken treats you have been giving us. I would like more of those.”