Thursday, May 14, 2009
A new friend, wise to the healing properties of animals, brought Spouse and I to an animal shelter. I had not been to such an institution and was unprepared for all the pleading eyes that met me, burned me, through the bars of each cage.
"I'd love to bring you home, but I can't," I murmured to the cat I would have chosen, a fine slinky creature who stood up and stretched to her full length as I approached- either an instinctive greeting or a party trick to win my heart. I looked past the pedigrees, the special breeds, the Persian cats, and gave her all of my attention.
"I'd love to bring you home, but I can't," I said to a dog who held my gaze, held it even as he bounced about in unfettered excitement; a gentle, non-descript but utterly charming fellow with long limbs and a tail that would not be still.
Our friend would have liked, I suspect, for Spouse and I to adopt, but that afternoon visit was exclusively for medicinal purposes.
I said farewell to the cat and the dog in their respective corners of the building, and to the rest of the chattering menagerie.
As we exited, our friend made a revelatory remark. The two animals I set my sights on were, she noticed, almost identical in marking: black coats splashed with here-and-there white. The comment came as a surprise to me: all I remembered were the eyes, and what I read in them.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 4:35 PM