it is the moments when they know that they are loved.
mo said to me last week...everyone here can walk from here..at any time, for any reason....except you.
it is true.
and i don't feel trapped by this. i want to be here for them...i like being here with them...i need to be here with them because when i am here, i know they are never alone.
i could beat myself into the ground because i can't make here be exactly perfect for each and every animal. but i have lived with homeless animals long enough to know that they don't expect me to whip perfection in all things out of my ass...perfection is a human illusion. they just expect that i will stand by their sides and help them live this life as best we can.
are the animals grateful to me? not on your life, gratitude is also a human condition. what they value is my consistency...on good days, on bad days, on days inbetween...i am here.
this is my home..and for now...this is their home...until a better one comes along.
even they may walk from here one day...on to a new and more perfect home if they are lucky..and i will stay here for the next one.
and i will be lucky too.
because conan the barbarian cat has a home who loves him and is amused as his urine hits the wall...again.
because mystic will happily and quietly lay in my arms after she is done eating the couch for the day.
because marie will suddenly stop being sad and decide to play.
because when rock screams his hello when i see him after work...i know he is glad to see me.
because when i stop and give ellie an apple and stroke her beautiful nose, ellie feels special.
because when gideon says he needs an apple too..he knows without a single doubt that i will go and get one for him.
because esther and tess watch me with great interest for any sign that i might be having a snack pretty soon...and they know that i will share it with them.
because when tina is done screaming and perforating my ears, she knows we are going to have a cuddle and a game and i will lovingly tell her she is completely insane.
because crosby knows the first words out of my mouth when i enter her room at night will be...hi crosby, how are you doing tonight.
because frodo knows that i will find him and make sure he is fed and safe.
because percy knows that if i come by with a cup of tea, a pop or a beer...percy will get to have some.
floyd knows i am going to apologise that he has to live away from his friends when i put him to bed and dim tim knows i am going to tease him that he is always the very last one to go to bed.
why would i ever want to walk away from the light in buddy's eye when he sees me? why would i want to walk away from dixie when she trusts me to fill up her canned food bowl? why would i not want to be here to see ziggy happily trot around the back yard, special above all of the barn animals because i only let him go in there to goof around while i make his dinner at night?
i find great joy in the very small things that bring these animals a sense of home and family. i find such peace in the quiet moments they share with me.
they know and i know...i will walk only here..from one to the next...it is the best walk of all.