I have found that life can be very difficult but if you are able to share it with someone who gives unconditional love and is just happy you love them back then you can be very happy no matter what is happening in your life.
I have found my comfort in a wonderful, furry friend, my little cat Joe. He is so important to my life I wanted to share our story with you. For anyone who has a pet you know how comforting and rewarding it can be to share your life with someone that doesn’t judge you or gives you sadness but only brings a smile to your face.
In 2014 my friend knew Christmas was coming and that I wanted something special for Christmas. I told him I wanted a cat for a pet. He was not happy about my request. He said they take a lot of care and need to be cleaned up after and need to go to the Vet. But, I kept telling him I really wanted a pet. I was going to be alone for Christmas and I knew I would be lonely. Finally, he agreed to take me to the mall in Jakarta that had a lot of pet shops. Oh my, so many stores and so many dogs and cats for sale. It was so much fun going to each store and looking at the babies. All were so cute. Last we went to a store and in the middle of the room was a cage with 7 or 8 little kittens, all brothers and sisters I’m sure. They were yellow and white mixed colors except one and he was Greydark. All were resting but Greydark was jumping up and down when we approached the cage. He was very active and seemed very happy to see us and I felt he was trying to say ‘look at me please, look at me. Pick me, pick me’. We looked around the store but every time we came by the cage the little kitten would jump around to get our attention. I asked the store clerk to take him out and when he was on the floor he ran all over the place. He was so happy. I knew then I had to have this kitten. We bought him and many, many supplies you need for a pet and off to his new home we went.
He needed a name and since Bapak Joe bought him as my Christmas present I decided to name him ‘Little Joe’. I was so excited to welcome him into my life. But, he is still a baby. The store clerk said he was about 3-months old maybe, so he was very tiny and lots of energy.
When we got home he was very nervous because he had always been in a cage and he didn’t know where he was, and everything was new to him. He sniffed everywhere and looked everywhere. I gave him a bath and he hate the water and was very unhappy and wet, but he was clean. One thing I know is if a baby cat is taken away from his mother too soon he doesn’t get to nurse with her enough. Little Joe was like that. He would lay in the bed with me and try to nurse on my arm. It was so funny. He thought I was his Mom and he would push his little feet against my arm while he was trying to nurse. It was so cute. I was told this only lasts for maybe a month but oh my, Joe did that for almost 1-year. He was my little baby. He would sleep with me and if I would take a nap in the afternoon he would crawl up on the bed and sleep with me. He just wanted to be with me all the time.
But since he’s a boy he like to play fight too with Mom. We had so much fun fighting together. I would fight with him and then go hide and he would come slowly searching for me to fight more. And, he like to play with toys. I bought many toys for Joe Joe but he liked mostly for me to just wad up some paper and he would chase it for a long time. And he loved to play with straws. He would chase the paper and the straws all over the apartment. Little kittens are so much fun to watch when they are playing and then all of a sudden, they get tired and find a place to take a nap or come to Mommy for a nap. It was so much fun when Joe was a baby.
And I like to give Joe baths, but cats don’t like water. Every time I take him to the shower he would yell and yell and become very angry with me. And after the bath I would dry him very good and he would smell nice, but he was still mad at me.
Also, little Joe didn’t like to go to the Vet. I would take him for his shots or when he got sick, but he was always very nervous and very sad to see the doctor. One time he was sick, and I had to give him medicine and he hate it. It was very difficult to get him to swallow his medicine. I got a little bottle with an eye dropper for the medicine and that helped and sometimes I would feed him with the eye dropper and he loved it. He was just like a real baby with a bottle.
Every year I have a nice birthday party for little Joe. He gets toys and special candy and his favorite…catnip. When he was a baby I gave him catnip and he didn’t know what it was and didn’t like it but when he was about 1 year old I tried again and, oh my, he went crazy for it. He rolled in it and got it all over his body and he always wanted more. Now, catnip is his favorite treat and he wants it all the time.
My mother came to stay with me and she really likes Joe and he likes her so much. They are together all the time and she takes him for walks and they play and sleep together when I am not home. Joe is very funny when my Mother or I take him for a walk. We put a body lease on him like he is a dog and he likes it. He is a normal boy cat because he always wants to go out and play but he can only go if he wears the lease. So, when he sees the lease he is just like a dog and goes crazy to go for a walk. He is scared of people though and one time we went for a walk and there was a lot of people. Joe got scared and ran to me and crawled up my leg and I had to pick him up and he hugged my neck so tight. It was very funny.
Joe is almost 4 years old now and full grown, but he will always be my baby Joe. He has brought so much happiness to my life and I love him like a child.
Learnings from My Life with Joe
There are many challenges in life and you cannot always depend on or expect other people to make your life happy. I have found people even friends can disappoint you and let you down. You have to be able to take care of yourself and give yourself encouragement to keep going when life gives you challenges and trouble. It is comforting however to have a pet that will always love you regardless of what is happening to you. A pet can cheer you up when you are depressed, they can make you laugh when you are sad, and they can make you forget the problems life is throwing at you just by being by your side and not judging you or criticizing you. They just love you for who you are, and my Joe is exactly like that. He brings joy and happiness to me.