It’s a truth universally acknowledged that pets — especially our dogs and cats — are experts at wrangling what they want from us with their eyes. Oh, those expressive eyes! Few among us are spared the instructive desolation of “hungry eyes” or the let me out already why don’tcha! look. Without a word (or a woof), those beseeching peepers make perfectly clear what’s supposed to happen next.
Every so often, when we are lucky enough or caught off guard, that creaturely gaze reveals something more remote, even profound. Moments when our animals quite frankly behold us. When we are fortunate enough to be graced by the tangible presence of their absolute, compelling being-ness. As real as our own, and no mistaking it.
I have no exact word for this, but I know it when I see it. All of us pet people do, even as we wonder what the wide world looks like through their eyes. The photos in the Nature’s Recipe for Moments Scrapbook capture some of what captivates them. (Hint: collar cameras!) Don’t miss the snapshots from Corgis Cooper, Otis, and Corgnelius and Stumphrey.
Not long ago, I had the good fortune of being deeply beheld (there is no other word for it) by my elderly cat. With her uncanny gaze — asking for nothing, hiding nothing — she fixed me with a look seen only in the faces of those who know and love us best.
Kitten Girl has been mine (more precisely, I’ve been hers) since her tiniest times. By now her abilities have been dulled by the indignities of arthritis and very old age. She sleeps a lot, is often restless, slightly hard of hearing, and at seven pounds, weighs less than half her once pleasantly robust self. Eighteen years of togetherness have bound us in ways I never thought possible with a cat. My daily ministrations (pills and fluids and injections) keep her going, and her appetite for both food and affection are assurance of her will to live a while longer yet.
Is there at least a small amount of luck at work here? Yes, and I am grateful for it. More than ever I am grateful for these rare and unexpected moments of connection and clarity. When I am reminded that who she is, this cat, is far more than the state of her body. Her eyes, their velvety dark pupils, reflect back not just the years of care and friendship, but an ability to see quite clearly who I am. As with anything honestly sacred, it’s something to exalt in and be humbled by.
My beloved cat will not be with me forever. I know she has fewer days ahead of her than behind. But I also know that these moments, uncommon and unforgettable, will endure when the memories of her decline, her confusion, her stiff limbs and nocturnal complaints have long since faded. The sure knowledge that I had the good fortune of having been known and loved by Kitten Girl will sustain me. Not just because I loved her, but because she was a whole enough soul to love me back. To see me for who I was, to reflect gracefully the best in me, without words.
Our story is a part of the #RecipeForMoments blog hop hosted by BlogPaws. Link up below to share your story of the bond you and your pet share. What do you think your pet feels in your special moments? Five random U.S. winners who link up their blog post will win a Nature’s Recipe® lightweight collar camera to capture special moments from their pet’s point of view. See BlogPaws for official rules and details.
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This post is sponsored by Nature’s Recipe® on behalf of the BlogPaws Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Nature’s Recipe for Moments on behalf of Nature’s Recipe, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nature’s Recipe is not responsible for the content of this article.
Thank you for this lovely post, Laurie; and for sharing the special bond of love that you and Kitten Girl have. It has inspired me to look even deeper into all the eyes that surround me.
She's beautiful <3 I hope you still have more time to share together. I love my dogs but just a much I love my cats too
What a lovely and beautifully written post, Laurie! Your kitty is beautiful and I hope for both of you that you have many more healthy years together:-)
Beautiful and poetic, Laurie! Love the over-your-shoulder shot!
Debbie Butts says
Beautifully stated. There is nothing like the love of a senior pet.
Elizabeth K says
Beautiful, Laurie. 🙂 You have so eloquently put into words what so many of us can only hold privately in our hearts. Also, rock on, Kitten Girl!
Eileen McDonald says
It's clear the love you and 'Kitten Girl' have for each other. May you be blessed with many more years together and precious memories.
Jerry Dawg says
Wow. I'm pretty sure that a description of one's connections to the animal kingdom has never been put so eloquently. Love it!
Cathy Keisha says
What a nice story. Kitten Girl is beautiful and I hope you have a lot more time to take in those pretty eyes.
Susan Quinn says
What a beautiful and lucky kitty princess!
Your relationship with Kitten girl is so unique. We know many more beautiful moments are yet to come. Thank you for sharing your story.
Heartprints Pets says
What a beautiful post. Beheld is a perfect word to describe those moments.
Jan K says
A simply beautiful post. There is something so special about senior pets, and every moment we share with them is profound. Thank you for sharing yours!
Chloe Smith says
Usually words can hardly describe how much I love my pet. But I can see, from your eloquent expression, how much you love Kitten Girl and cherish the time you've been together. I'm so touched by your story and thanks for sharing it with us 🙂