I write a lot about our pets, I suppose, the menagerie that has come to be known as the Triple M Zoo. Some of the pets, like Sirius Black Cat, have achieved some degree of local fame, with complete strangers asking me how SBC is and what trouble he has gotten into recently. I have always lived a life with animals, grew up with cats and always felt best when there was a non-human creature in my home, but it is in recent years that we have had a pet explosion in our house, with Smaug being the most recent addition.
After having adopted three pets from the SPCA I know a few things now. I know I will never again purchase a pet from a breeder or a store, as there are so many loving animals just waiting for their forever home. I know that the pets there came in every shape and size and personality, and that while Sirius Black and Smaug are as different as can be in looks and temperament they have become brothers in spirit who tussle and fight and groom and often fall asleep together in a heap of black and orange and white fur and paws and whiskers.
Sometimes, late at night when I cannot sleep, I will creep down into the IJB’s room to check on her. At fifteen she does not need these checks, I know, but I find it comforting to find her there as I know one day, far too soon, that bed will be empty as she moves on in her life. But for now I find her there, cuddled under heaps of blankets and with two cats asleep on top of her, blinking at me with bleary eyes as I creep in.This morning, though, in her absence I cuddled Smaug to me as Sirius began his morning with a stretch and sharp-toothed yawn. I stroked his downy soft fur and listened to his purr, and I reflected on the fact that this is his first Christmas with us. Smaug is home for the holidays – and forever.