You never really know what you’re going to like until you know it, and that’s why most people adore this one and only bundle of joy, the dog. This is the story of a woman born to be afraid of her neighbor’s dog and now she adores her own dog and others in the neighborhood.
Growing up in a family where my grandma fed a dog and a cat, I was exposed to these pets as a young child and loved playing with them. Sadly, however, they passed away one by one. Some years later, an unknown cat appeared out of nowhere and sat outside my house without a clue of her origin. The milky white fur mixed with some parts of brown drew my attention immediately. A third of her eyes were made of mint syrup and the rest of them were made of milk. She looked innocent and as if she was begging someone to pick her up and give her life. My grandma saw her for the first time ever and asked her “Where do you come from?”, “Why do you come here?”, “Where’s your owner?”, “Why did they leave you alone?”, etc. She wondered so many things. However, the most important thing was to feed her and provide shelter. My grandma and my sister gave her a shower. Grandma made her a fish dish. She went to the vet market and bought a batch of fresh sardines, as fish is a cat’s best friend. We fed her well, and she somehow became a member of our family. We named her ‘Babi’. Then I turned 8 and witnessed Babi being pregnant, and it was torturous. My grandma put Babi into a basket and left her alone during the maternity process with no one watching.
It had been a long time coming, but Babi had delivered five healthy babies. They were mostly calico breeds, and only one was color-selective. Babi did a marvelous job giving them the light of the world. As happy as Grandma was, she could not look after all six. The next day, grandma talked to us and gave away four kittens to her friends and neighbors who love to feed cats. The only cat who stayed with Babi was a singular hue cat. We named him ‘Bibo’, a bit like his mom. His fur was reddish brown, and his eyes were nearly the same color as his fur. Unlike his mom who was outgoing and loved to talk to everyone, he was shy, introverted, and scared to appear in front of people who are unfamiliar with him. It took us a bit of time to make him comfortable around us. Since then, I love cats in general, not just our cat, but also all cats. Seeing other cats as I walked out made me want to play with them. Cats are generally cozy, and they have a natural charm that calms anyone.
Being a cat lover, I was afraid of dogs. The memory of being snatched away by a huge, fierce dog as a child is engraved deep inside my mind. The bark, the face expression, and the speed at which it approached me were nightmares. I had never been bitten by a dog and that fear was just a memory. The sight of a dog walking along the street caused fear in me and I would try to avoid it as fast as possible. Even though some of them were small and cute, I was scared of all dogs. However, I was unable to overcome my fear.
Since my sister and I live far away from the cat and are now in our 20s, my sister decided to get a dog. At first, I refused on the grounds that she would not have time to take care of him since she works all day. The second reason was that I was a little scared of dogs since they would climb up to me and kiss me, something I wasn’t used to being a cat lover. She was not deterred by my idea enough with her wish to own a dog since the pandemic confined most people to their homes. Having to wait two months for the dog to be with his mother, we finally welcomed him into the family. We were very grateful. We were able to play with the dog at its house before we took him home. The mother gave birth to five puppies and they all had a good time together. He was the naughtiest of them all, having the brightest brown fur compared to the others with dark brown fur.
Despite everything being new and strange to him, he didn’t mind, as he was curious and adventurous. He was named June by my sister, since June was my birth month. Having a dog has literally changed my life and perspective. I’m gradually getting over my fear of dogs because of him. Now, I’m more open to cuddling with him and allowing him to lick us as he pleases. June grew fast and in good health during her monthly check-up with the vet. The best solution to a long pandemic was having him as a family member as well.
I wonder if the cats feel pity for June, since we really enjoyed having her and left her alone most of the time. There is a thing I would admit, dogs tend to be closer than cats, and June being that type had made me adore him since our cats weren’t as close as June. Babi and Bibo remain our favorites, and whenever we travel home for a vacation or visit, we try to be closer to them. It would be interesting to see how the cats interact together and see June get to know them.
My experience with cats and dogs has taught me a few things. I have learned that I love pets just as much as anyone, right? We are blessed with a friendly creature that is our friend, our child, a staple in every family.