A while back a friend said to me, "Everyday I try to be the man that my cats think I am".
It's not hard to understand why we love our pets so deeply. They give us so much and ask for so little in return. And if we let them, I believe that they make us better people.
Sugar was my heart kitty - our connection was very physical. Wherever I was, Sugar was right next to me. Whether I came in the front or the back door, she was there to greet me. When I worked on the computer, she was on the counter next to me. If I laid down on the sofa, she curled up on top of me. She slept next to me at night. When she went to the Rainbow Bridge, her physical absence was huge and a piece of my heart went with her.
Chai was my emotional anchor - my shelter from the storms of life. No matter how bad things were, stroking her silky fur, looking into her blue eyes, and hearing her purr made it better. She was a balm for my pain - a beautiful and serene presence, always there intuitively giving me what I needed. When she made her journey, a piece of my soul went with her.
If you know anything about me, you know that I have a deep love and devotion for all of my cats. Did I love Chai and Sugar more than my other kitties? No, I don't think so.
But each cat is different and so is the relationship. In Chai's case, the connection was a bond between souls. With Sugar, it was a bond between hearts.
Have Chai and Sugar made me a better person? I like to think so. Sugar inspired me to start Sugar Rub!, an organization to raise awareness about feline mammary cancer. And Chai motivates me to raise funds for the Murphee and Sugar Angel Foundation, so we can help others with seriously ill pets.
And they both taught me one of life's greatest lessons. Stay present and live for the moment. Things can change in the blink of an eye.
One word can change everything.