Friday, April 13, 2012

Ask Elnora--About loving our pets?? Lenora Worth

Hello, my little kitties. Elnora and family have had two very sad weeks. Last week our daughter lost her sweet dog, Sassy. Sassy was thirteen years old and she was one of the sweetest animals I ever knew but she was tired and ready for a long, long nap. Sassy is part of the reason we are moving to Florida. We came down here a few years ago and baby-sat little Sassy while her mama went on a trip. We took care of her for three weeks and even took her up to Georgia with us. (In a Miata). She loved all of our relatives and they loved her. While we were here, we also fell in love with this area. So thanks, Sassy, for getting us to Florida. Sassy was with my daughter through a marriage, a divorce, bad boyfriends and lots of joy and sorrow. She was a true companion who loved unconditionally. Granny Elnora will miss you, little Sassy.
This week, our kitty Cujo got sick and took a turn for the worst. She'd been losing weight but we just thought it was old age. Elnora and Big Daddy had fretted as to what we'd do when it came time to move permanently. Would she survive the long drive? We weren't sure. But Cujo Kitty has always had a mind of her own. This is a cat that jumped on the top of my van once and tried to ride all the way to a church salad supper. I had to stop in traffic and coax her down and take her home. Cujo would let friends rub her and then to show them her thanks, she'd hiss and try to bite them. Which is why most of my friends avoided her. She always preferred water from the bathroom sinks instead of a dreadful water bowl. She enjoyed Christmas morning because she got to run and jump into the wrapping paper and shred it with her claws! So in typical Cujo fashion, she decided enough is enough. I'll just get things over with now, before they make me get in that cage and take that trip. She got so sick, she couldn't eat or drink. The vet said it was hyper-thyroid and old age and we all agreed we didn't want her to have to suffer through this again. So Big Daddy and I held her and petted her and told her what a sweet kitty she was and ...after the doctor did what he had to do, she just fell asleep. Her cute little face looked at peace, at last. No doubt she is chasing butterflies in Kitty Land. We forgot to tell her that she'd probably see Sassy up there somewhere. They never quite became solid friends, but they had a mutual respect for each other. And Sassy taught Cujo how to hang around the kitchen and beg for scraps. While this is terribly sad and yes, I've cried buckets, I'm also glad I had the chance to love these two special pets. So that begs the question--why do we love our pets so much? As writers, we love to put pets into our stories. Several of us are working on a K-9 continuity right now, due out next year. I've cried tears over the animals in my story, let me tell you. Let's discuss. What is it about pets?
Oh, on a lighter note, next week is Elnora's birthday week. I'll blog Monday and all week we will celebrate with a Birthday Book Bash in the spirit of also celebrating our fifteenth anniversary at Love Inspired. One lucker blogger will get a ton of books simply by showing up and saying something pithy. I will be 28 twice by the way. The contest ends Thursday at midnight. I will announce the winner Friday (the 20th) in my Ask Elnora blog. After all this sadness, we need a fun week! I mean, Elnora needs a fun week. Virtual chocolate for everyone!

21 comments:

  1. Elnora, sorry for the loss of the two pets. It is hard to see them go but we know they are no longer suffering and you can share your love for them with us.
    I remember when Horse died. I came back from the city to a really sick cat. took her to the vet and she had kidney disease would have had to go on a special diet but her levels were the highest the vet had ever seen (like of the chart high) Horse was suffering and it was time. I got to say goodbye and it was so much easier. Yes I cried and missed her but I knew. The others just disappeared well all but Touser who we found or should I say smelt under the house 2 weeks later.
    I miss having a cat and try as I might the ones who occasionally visit dont like me enough to let me pat them. I know I cant have one here partly due to cost and partly due to the location but I do miss having a cat. I am scared of dogs. I even go the longer way to church cos I know one lives on the way and is sometimes lose. This doesn't happen often but if I see it out I would then have to reverse and go even further to get there. It may be irrational at times but fear is like that (Im waiting for a book to have the heroine or hero have a fear of dogs in it.) I am ok with a few dogs I have gotten to know and have a healthy respect for and am ok with.

    Oh I have some pets i forgot about my dust bunnies, alfie and Elsie are quite healthy under my bed. Infact they seem to be multiplying.

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  2. I rarely have pets in my books, but perhaps I should. :)

    Looking forward to the birthday bash. Happy B'day to you!

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  3. Thanks, AusJenny and Debby. I think readers love seeing pets in our books. And yes, some are afraid of certain animals. I've been chased by Dobermans, so that is not my favorite breed of dog!! And Debby, that happened when I worked in a mall in Atlanta!!

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  4. Oh, Lenora, I'm so sorry for your sad week! I can't imagine. I've had to have a cat euthanized, and it was so traumatic.

    And now my two doggies are getting old! They're my babies, though, so I won't even think about doing without them.

    I loved your photos. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. By the way, I just tossed a dog in my story day before yesterday! I'm so excited! He just came out of nowhere. I can't wait to see what role he'll play. :)

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  6. So sorry for your losses, Lenora. Before we lost our dear thirteen year old dog a couple of years ago during a "messy" decline in his constitution, I started looking forward to not having dog hair and muddy prints and accidents to deal with anymore. But...after he was gone, the house was soooo quiet and well, sad. So...we got a pup, and although I lament the muddy paw prints and yes, the hair!!! she is such a delight. Dogs teach us so much like--always run to greet loved ones at the door and to romp and play daily and to delight in the simple joys of a long walk. :) Hope your move goes well, and happy birthday!

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  7. Goodness to lose two pets so close together is sad indeed. They do become so close when in family long time like yours were. I laughed when I saw AusJenny named her cat "Horse".
    I love birthday parties so will be looking forward to yours next week and will think of something very pithy for your comment then, a ton of books won would probably make my husband leave home but sounds like heaven to me..see ya then
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  8. I'm so sorry you have lost two pets in one week!

    We have a sweet cat, Cloudy, that pretty much thinks she's a dog--she's friendly and not at all aloof like a lot of cats are.

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  9. So sorry to hear about your pets. It's definitely a difficult loss to deal with. I hope you do make your birthday week special. Happy Birthday!

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  10. Sorry to hear about the loss of the fur-kids in your family. *hugs*

    Hope you celebrate your 28x2 (or as I would say 21 with 35 years experience *wink*) in style! I'm sure Big Daddy will take good care of you. =) Happy Birthday!

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  11. So sorry for your losses. It's never easy. We've had a tough year ourselves with the deaths of a few beloved cats, and I spent much of last night at the Animal hospital with our dog, who thankfully will be okay.

    I think animals in books give certain characters, especially alpha heroes, a way to show their softer sides. The heroine (and reader) can see a guy's tender and loving nature with animals and get a glimpse of what this man is really like on the inside, not what he shows to the world. They can see the father-instincts in the confirmed bachelor. And from the other perspective it shows what's important to the heroine. Maybe she's the retreating type, but is brave when it comes to her dog or cat or horse, etc. Or she might say she's not interested in a family, yet baby a stray kitten. Animals just make for an easy way to show, not tell!

    If you haven't guessed, I love reading animals in stories and writing about them, too!

    Hope you have a nice birthday!

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  12. Melissa, that's it exactly. Pets in our stories can help us set up our characters and their conflicts and personalities. I sure will miss Cujo (and all that cat hair, too.) Sandra, you're right about the house being so quiet. Cujo didn't meow much until she got so old, then she'd stand on the landing upstairs and make an awful wailing meow. I think she wanted one of us to go take a nap so she could sleep with us. She loved that! One day I might get another furry friend, but for now Big Daddy says "No More." Thanks for all the comments.

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  13. Oh Lenora....I am so very sorry about the loss of family pets. But I'm sure Sassy and Cujo both knew they were loved very much. (Cujo reminds me of my Moses!). Last August when my beloved Morris died (due to cancer) I was heart-broken. I still miss him--but all my other kitties keep my busy and amused. ~ I think the main reason we love our pets so much is the unconditional love they have for us. They don't care how we look, what we're wearing, or how neat the house is--they love us anyway. ~ I hope your b'day week will be fun fun fun!! ~ With hugs of sympathy, Patti Jo

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  14. Maybe when you move you will get a claytons cat or dog, (you know the cat or dog that belongs to someone else but loves you.) Thats how we got Horse, she belonged to the neighbours but the spent her time with me only going home to be fed. eventually they got a new dog and she wouldn't go home at all.

    Paula the neighbours named Horse after the cat in a comic strip called Footrot Flats.

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  15. We've just noticed that our kitty is showing her age (16) and needs more help that usual to do things. It breaks my heart as she's such an integral part of our family! She's like a child to us! I can't bear the thought of her death so I can sympathize with your loss, Lenora! I hope you feel some peace! Looking forward to next week!

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  16. Thanks for all the comments. We have a lot of pet lovers here. :)

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  17. I have always been a cat person and since my daughter with spinal bifida was about 4 months old, she was terrified of animals! She actually would have a panic attack! Well, when she turned 7 she started liking dogs. Now at 8 1/2 she is in love with ALL animals. We got a Miniature Schnauzer for her. He is supposed to ne her dog...buuuuttt he is MY dog! LOL he is like a second child! He wants to be in my lap all the time and when I am standing he wants to be on my hop lol. He also goes everywhere with me and actually will not eat unless I am right beside him :/
    I am glad my daughter loves dogs now because I want her to have a service dog. Oh btw, she watches you tube videos of animals having babies! Dogs, cats, horses, cows and more lol

    I am so sorry for your loss of your "fur kids"

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  18. Sorry for the loss of those lovely pets.

    Getting another one may be your consolation prize.

    It is well.

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  19. Sorry for the loss of those lovely pets.

    Getting another one may be your consolation prize.

    It is well.

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  20. Dear Elnora, I know our pets are animals, but we tend to think of them as human. They become part of our families. Aside from a member of our family passing away, there's not much that's more difficult than losing one of our pets, especially when we have to make the decision to "put them down". I've been there, done that. My sympathy and condolences to you and your family. On the other hand, welcome to Florida. I think you'll love it!

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  21. Thanks, Harriet. I'm adjusting to not having that little black shadow around. We do love Florida. We grew up in South Georgia, so we've been to Florida many times. We have relaties scattered over Florida and Georgia!

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