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True Love

My wife Emily and I have seen most of our friends become parents over the past six or seven years. It’s been painful at times as we don’t have children of our own. But as our friends’ children grow up, any discomfort we’ve experienced has eased.

As childless parents, our cats have become our kids. It might sound corny to some, but for animal lovers it won’t. We adopted our oldest cat, Tashi, a few months before my old man died. I never knew I could love an animal as much as I love her. At night, she’ll crawl up on our bed and sit between our pillows. I press my ear to her belly and listen to her purr. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I wake up overcome with emotion because I know that one day she’ll die and life will continue without her. It almost makes me sick and I imagine that’s a small variation of the kind of anxiety parents must feel all the time about their kids.

I don’t miss having children now. I enjoy the ones I know. And I cherish every day with my wife and our two cats. I force myself to stop and appreciate the moment–like I do every time Mariano Rivera pitches–because it’s just a moment, and no matter how tightly I hold on to it, time slips through your fingers and nothing lasts forever.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Memoir  The Mrs

Tags:  emily  tashi

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1 rbj   ~  Sep 21, 2010 9:55 am

I hear you Alex. Got two dogs of my own and they are my kids. #1 was born without a left foreleg, and had to have a rod installed in the right foreleg. So even though he loves going to the park, he can't walk very far. Sometimes when he gets tired he'll stand up on his back legs and reach up in a perfect "carry me daddy, I'm tired" pose.

2 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 21, 2010 10:02 am

Great photo, and wonderful post. You are a lucky (and insightful) guy.

3 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Sep 21, 2010 10:33 am

Don't know you personally but: count your blessings, love those (human and animal) that surround you, and cherish the time you have together. What else matters?

4 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 21, 2010 10:33 am

3) So true. Nothing else matters.

5 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 21, 2010 11:28 am

lucky cats to have a couple lucky cats looking after them, and loving them like that.

I'm a dog guy, and my boy Ace who we adopted in May brings so much joy, and affection to our family. I'm sure he sometimes thinks of himself as the fourth son, while they look at him as the funny brother who gets away with shit they'd never get away with.

6 Matt Blankman   ~  Sep 21, 2010 11:59 am

No hair-splitting or arguing today, Al. Nicely done.

7 Patrick   ~  Sep 21, 2010 12:09 pm

Beautiful post, Alex. I've been feeling this myself as I get older and my parents get older and my brothers get older and... everyone gets older. :) Last night, I actually was pretty close to what you described in your post. Life's tough man. But, like you said, you just have to appreciate the moment.

We've lost two long time family pets in my life (both cats) and they rank up among my saddest days, right alongside losing my grandfather. I'm starting to tear up as I write this, so thanks for that. lol.


8 Matt Blankman   ~  Sep 21, 2010 1:07 pm

I keep hearing a line from Harry Nilsson's "Don't Forget Me" - "Nothing lasts forever, but I will always love you."

If you don't know the song, well, here ya go:

Neko Case and Marianne Faithfull have both done excellent covers of it, too.

9 TheGreenMan   ~  Sep 21, 2010 1:35 pm

Great post. Same with me and my woman. No kids, but four cats. And they mean everything to us. We were down to one cat two years ago when our big Ragamuffin passed away. So heartbroken, we immediately decided to get another. That turned into 3 when we saw a pair of kittens up for adoption at the local shelter. We both go through the same emotions you feel for you oldest cat with our oldest girl. Best not to think about it.

10 Patrick   ~  Sep 21, 2010 3:22 pm

Jay-Z's "Young Forever" just started playing on my random playlist. Made me think of this post. Another one is "His Dream" by Asher Roth, a song I heard for the first time only a few days ago. Check it out.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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