Fritz-in-Bushes
My favorite photo of Fritz

It's been about a week since Fritz died and I'm really missing the company of a cat. Being at a loose end, I've found myself looking online for people selling or giving away tabby kittens.

I've felt guilty doing this but then I realized that the need to have a cat is a testament to the companionship that both Fritz and Kira gave. Fritz was with me the longest - almost 19 years - and was, at heart, a gentle soul. An odd thing to say about a predator perhaps but his hunting skills were not up to much. Kira was the real predator - she once caught 3 mice in one day, all all in the house!

While I love dogs, and I had two when I was growing up, they take more looking after than a cat. Dogs eat more, so they're more expensive to keep, need regular exercise (I don't want to have to commit to regularly walking a dog) and can suffer social anxiety when their owners are absent. Dogs are also more prone to bad behaviour.

Cats are self contained; they kike it when you're there, they often seek out human company but they won't get anxious if you're out for the day. Being independent, they can do their own thing, and have an independent life outside of that in the house. They can come and go as they please (through the catflap), eat less than a dog and come already house trained (all they need is litter tray).

Besides, cats are much more graceful than dogs. And softer. And they purr. And they can rip you with their sharp claws, playfully (most of the time).

Friends who don't own pets (some never had even as much as a hamster or budgie) have asked me if I'd replace Fritz. I ask them if one their kids died, would they want to replace them?

Of course not. Each entity is unique. Cats, as much as people, have their own unique personalities. When one dies, you can't replace that lost soul. What you can say is that you enjoyed having that being in your life that you would like to have an experience like that again. Will it be the same as with the person or animal who died. No, it will be different; different relationships, different shared experiences with one common factor: you're sharing each other lives to some extent.

And isn't that what life is really about? Not the stuff you buy, the money you make or any of the materialistic things that clog up our world. But the relationships we form with other people and animals we encounter on our journey between womb and grave?

So with that in mind, I want another cat in my life. I'll always mourn Fritz and I've no intention of replacing him but I want to hear the sound of four paws running across the floor again.

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