Each critter has its own little personality, its own set of needs, and its own way of making Isaac and I smile. For Isaac, they have allowed his empathic spirit to blossom and his patience to deepen. I think it is a rare eight year old who successfully tames a skittish chicken over the course of several months. Look at them now, sneaking in an early morning cuddle before we head out to school:
To me, the animals truly are a reason to wake up in the morning, especially for those three days a week when Isaac is with his Daddy. On those days, my first smile of the morning is always for my Cricket cat. She sleeps tucked next to my cheek on the pillow at night so that she can greet me with a gentle head bump first thing in the morning. I love that little girl.
It is such a simple thing reallly. They need us, so we rise up and do what needs to be done. We fill their bowls, let them out, and turn around to let them right back in again. We build them safe places to roost and sew tiny felted fish for them to bat around and lose under the couch. We rescue them from a life tied to a tree in someone's backyard and give them bad haircuts with dull scissors (just an aside -- dogs with standing up ears look terrible with mohawks). It isn't complex, why they are so important. But it is profound. The make us do. And for anyone like me who has felt the frozen-in-place all the time un-doing of depression, these sweet fur and feather babies are indispensible.