Saturday, May 8, 2010
By Julia Williams
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a time when we express gratitude and love to our moms for all the wonderful things they do for us. Sadly, pet moms don’t get the same kind of admiration that mothers of human children get. They don’t get cards, flowers and gifts on this special day dedicated to mothering. Their “children” don’t tell them how much they love and appreciate them. Society as a whole doesn’t deem the job that pet moms do as important, or worthy of any special recognition. People who choose to care for animals instead of human babies are not even considered moms by most people. It’s a shame, really, because pet moms are still mothers in my eyes.
Pet moms worry about their “babies” when they are unwell. They show motherly devotion and protective care. While raising their brood, they experience love, joy, pride, anger, exasperation, anxiety, heartbreak and happiness, just like mothers of human children do. Make no mistake – responsible pet ownership is tough work. Taking care of pets requires healthy doses of time, energy, patience, money and carpet cleaners, among other things. It’s no picnic taking care of pets when they become sick or injured, and cleaning up their “accidents” is not exactly pleasant. It’s no small feat raising dogs who are social, obedient and well trained, and it’s no fun walking them in the rain or freezing cold. Yet pet moms do all of these things willingly, without a second thought, because it’s what mothers do.
If the circumstances of my life had lent themselves to becoming a mother, I’m sure I would have been a wonderful mom. I believe this to be true because I love, nurture, and care for my “fur kids” in much the same way a mother of human children does for hers. I do everything I can to make sure my cats stay healthy, happy and safe. Yes, there are many differences between being a mother to human children versus pets, but there are also many similarities.
It’s those similarities that I celebrate on the day devoted to honoring moms. It’s those same aspects of motherhood that I cherish. And honestly, I consider myself and every other pet mom just as worthy of admiration on Mother’s Day. Human children leave the nest and make their way in the world, sometimes even earlier than their mother wishes they would. Animals depend on their human mother for life to provide their every need. Is that not worthy of recognition? Of course it is.
When this day dedicated to Mom rolls around each year, there is no one to say Happy Mother’s Day to me. My cats can’t talk, after all. Yet I do not need to hear those words to feel pride in the job I am doing as their mother. I see proof in three healthy, happy kitties. I see the results of my care in their shiny fur, bright eyes and playful demeanor. They don’t need to talk to tell me that they appreciate the job I am doing as their mother.
To all the pet moms of the world, I salute you. On Mother’s Day and every day, I am eternally thankful for the loving care you provide for your dogs, cats and any other pets you’ve taken under your motherly wing. Pet moms are wonderful people, and they make the world a much better place.
Read more articles by Julia Williams