Friday, October 02, 2009

Lilly Mourns

I enjoy sharing my home with other animals. The experience deepens my conviction that animals are as capable of emotion and of compassion as any human being.

Our veterinarian had mentioned that Lilly might go into mourning for Marley. And it has proven so.

Lilly loved Marley tremendously. Being of such a mild disposition, Marley took to Lilly with great patience. She was just a tiny kitten when she came into our home, and Marley was fully grown. Still, he never allowed her energy and rambunctious spirit to get the better of him. He played with her most of the times she would attack him or tackle him or grasp him firmly about the neck. Marley put up with her batted blows, with her gnawing about his ears, with her playful kicks. In all of the time of her energetic attempts to get him to engage in play, I only ever saw him chastise her a single time. And that was toward the end, when he was probably feeling poorly and we were just too blind to see. All he did on that occasion was hold her down until she yipped for release.

The past day I have noticed that Lilly has been searching for her friend. Her playmate is nowhere to be found, and she cannot understand this. She goes to the sliding glass door and peers out, waiting to see if he has come home. She waits in the kitchen, expecting him to join her at the food dish, but he does not arrive.

And so, Lilly has taken to moping about. For the first time since we brought her home I have watched as she slumps listlessly. She curls up in the strangest of spots to sleep--places where she's never taken refuge. Today, she went to the foot of the bed and stretched out, lying in a heap, sighing from time to time and never once responding to our touch or to our pleading to get her to play.

Marley is gone, and Lilly is very sad.

I'll never understand people who feel no compassion for animals, nor understand that animals have feelings and emotions, too.

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