That is, open our doors to creatures -- furry, feathered, scale-y. We know that at the very least they are going to cost us money, they are probably going to disrupt our lives, they are very likely to do a bit of damage to our stuff. And most of the time, they are going to break our hearts.
We called Audrey our Good Karma cat. She showed up one morning a few months after my beloved gray cat, Zane, died. She was thin but very approachable. We gave her some food & water, went to work & wondered if she would be there when we go home. Of course, she was. She moved into the house that evening as though she were coming home. When we took her to the vet, we learned that she had worms, yeast infections in her ears & a pellet gun pellet in her side. She was so malnourished that you could hear her joints pop when she walked. The vet determined her to be about 12 years of age. We always wondered about her previous life & how she came to be on the street at such an age. That was almost exactly 7 years ago. She chose us to give her a comfortable old age & we were happy to provide it for her. We enjoyed her, she enjoyed us -- we loved her & I think she loved us.
But we had to let her go this week. Her kidneys were failing. Treatments helped for a while but she was losing the fight.
I can't speak for everyone but I will tell you why I keep bringing these heart-breakers into my life. Because pets are like icing on my cake. When life is good, they are that little bonus, a langiappe. And when things aren't so good, they are there to amuse, console, distract. I've loved every one of my pets & grieved their passing.
Rest in Peace, Audrey, we'll see you later.