I love animals. They’re the sweetest, non-conspiring beings and are just trying to survive. Some are cuter than others, I admit… but I still try to respect all living creatures. Especially those that are helpless and don’t have much chance.  I even think jumping spiders are cute!

Eons ago, I worked at a pet store (for 5 years!) It was the best job I ever had. I loved that place. I’d show up for work and everyone (including management) was happy to see me. No one trash talked anyone, no one told me how ugly my shirt was… and not once did anyone ever venture to tell me I had bags under my eyes and kinda looked like I had been out all night. (I worked there when I was 16-21, so that was how things were. Kids…)

A hamster we had gotten had babies, and I soon realized one of the babies was born without eyes. I took him to my grandma’s (that poor woman) and raised him until I was able to find him a home where I knew the kids would love him for the rest of his life. He was a sweet little creature and just needed a little extra care because he couldn’t fend for himself.

A ferret was given up by a family that couldn’t afford to feed her any longer (ferrets are legal pets in Montana). The poor thing was skin and bones and her fur was falling out.  To grandma’s house she went… I kept her in my bathroom downstairs (she was litter box trained) while I was at work, then she ran around the house when I was home. We got her fattened up and her fur soon filled in! She was SO funny – she loved to play hide and seek and was so sweet and friendly. I was able to find her a loving home – they were people that came into the pet store looking for a ferret and I knew it would be a great match.  They later wrote us a letter saying how much fun they were having and sent photos! (This was back before email, mind you…) My cup runeth over way back then.

Because of the pet store, I’ve had fish, tarantulas, lizards, birds, mice, rabbits, cats, dogs, and who remembers what else…

I’ve been a foster kitty mamma at our local animal shelter for years…and 17 kittens now.  Kittens often come in too young and need extra love and care. I confess I’ve foster-failed on two of those animals. Little Man (#13) and Marley (#17).  They both live at my house permanently…and I love them both like they are my kids.

My mom in Montana has a new kitten. My niece and nephew found a litter of kittens on the farm, but one of them wasn’t doing well and was way smaller than the others and seemed to have been rejected by the mother cat. The little kitty was weak and listless. In the house she went. They got her some soft food and milk replacement for kittens. Kit Kat is now thriving and is the funniest, cutest little thing! She provides hours of entertainment and companionship. Even though I looked like an abuse victim in no time flat while visiting (so many sharp things on such a small animal!), I grew to love that little terror.

With all this said…always think about other beings, no matter what they are. Turn spiders and other insects loose outside (except maybe ants and cockroaches…I confess I’d be on a warpath with those, too.) And if you see an animal in need, please find it some help, even if it’s not help you can or are willing to provide. Someone is always willing to help.

– The Animal Lover,