Dogs and Cats
Losing a dog is like losing a child. The grief is real, sometimes inconsolable. All the unconditional love between you and your dog has come to an end. But usually we can get over it. There will be other dogs, and they will love you in much the same way.
Losing a cat is like losing a lover. The cat is not your kin, but it has chosen to live with you. It will love you, but on its terms, in its own way, and at its own time. People who have never been close to a cat don't understand what a deep, weird relationship it is between human and feline. Sometimes a cat will understand when a person is inwardly troubled, even when other humans are unaware. Having a cat pet YOU in consolation is a moving experience. And then the cat will resume its own life - with you a part of it, but not all of it. So when we lose a cat, we lose a special relationship with a creature who had chosen to share its life with us, to play with us, to touch and be touched by us, even sleep with us.
To all the cats I've known, thank you.