Parents of human children rarely admit to others that they have a favorite. In my opinion, it’s probably not because they don’t feel a deeper bond with one of their kids. Every human being is a unique individual. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, to feel different things for different people.
One might say there are as many “shades of love” as there are stars in the night sky. So it’s a perfectly natural, human thing to have a favorite child, but most parents won’t admit it because the backlash can be brutal. Recently, one dad blogger received the internet equivalent of being burned at the stake after he confessed to having a favorite child. Society says we’re not supposed to play favorites with our kids. And that goes for our pets, too.
The reality is that some kids and pets are closer to our hearts than others. We may not understand why, but we know it’s true. It is what it is. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t create feelings of guilt. We think we should be able to love them all exactly the same, and we feel bad because we don’t. We can’t change what we feel, though, no matter how much we might want to.
I admit that I feel guilty for having stronger feelings for one of my cats than the other two. I positively adore Mickey and Rocky and would be a hot mess if anything happened to either one of them, but my spirit would be shattered if I lost my sweet Annabelle. I don’t know how (or even if) I could ever get over that loss, because this little cat has touched my heart in a way that I didn’t even know was possible, until one day … there it was. Annabelle is my heart cat. There will never be a cat that I love as much or more than Annabelle. As sure as I know my own name, I know this to be true.
Loving one child or pet more doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to treat them all as equals, but we all know it’s easier said than done. Little things slip out. Seemingly insignificant actions do not go unnoticed. I know without a doubt which child is my mother’s favorite, and it’s not me. I am not foolish enough to think that my own cats don’t also know which “fur kid” is my favorite. They do. Oh, I make sure to give them all the same number of those TidNips treats they’re crazy for. I pet them, brush them and speak lovingly to them as equally as possible. Yet I am certain they know what’s in my heart. How could they not?
|My three "fur kids"|
Is it okay to love one pet more? Well…I feel what I feel, so it has to be okay. I take good care of them and do everything possible to keep them safe and happy. I love them all as much as anyone can love another, and that’s what matters most of all.
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