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November 25, 2015

Unconditional Love

When our oldest cat died, Bob was left alone. He needed a companion, so we went back to the animal rescue center where we had adopted him.

After interviewing a couple of candidates, we settled on Jake. We got permission to take him home on a trial basis, to make sure he and Bob would get along. We expected to have Jake for about a week before making a decision, since cats typically need a period of adjustment before accepting someone new.

With Jake safely protected in his carrier, we introduced the two. Surprisingly, there was absolutely no hissing or growling, no raised fur. Bob perked up when he saw Jake, and exhibited calm interest. Jake looked a bit nervous. After all, he had just been plopped down in another cat's territory.

We let Jake out of the carrier so he and Bob could interact under our supervision. Bob liked Jake right away. It took Jake some time to get used to being in a new house. He spent a lot of time hiding under the couch or trying to crawl into cupboards. He was a little worried about our intentions. But he was never worried about Bob, who had completely accepted him at first sight. We didn't need a week; Bob's affection for Jake made the decision for us by the second day.

Four years later, the two are still best friends. Although they aren't together every minute, they spend most of their time in close proximity. They love to take naps together, and can often be found sitting side by side at the window, soaking up the sun and watching the birds and lizards. They are happy to help each other groom those hard-to-reach ears and necks. Sharing food is never a problem. If they can't get both their heads into the bowl at the same time, one will patiently wait for the other to finish.

Sure, once in a while they have a minor squabble. There is some wrestling, some chasing, a little fur flies, and then they are finished and ready to cuddle up again. Whatever started it is quickly forgiven and forgotten.

What a great life: a safe home, plenty of good food, the occasional catnip party, and -- best of all -- spending every day with your best friend.
 
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