It is Sunita here.
Last year was a sad year in my family's pet companion arena. Our dog Thor had been aging and showing signs of decline for some months. In the spring and summer of the COVID stay at home orders, despite us all being around to care for him, he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, leaving us heartbroken. He had been the first pet my children ever had in their life, and to say he was an exceptionally gentle and loving big dog is not giving him enough credit for who he was.
I used to joke that Thor was a dog who really needed to be introduced to all babies so they could have a positive introduction to a dog. We were so used to being stopped by children of our neighborhood who had to pet him and talk to him while we walked him that we would schedule an extra few minutes when we would take him out. He would greet his friends with an enthusiastic wave of his tail and a smile of such joy that it was infectious!
So losing him, however prepared we thought we were was hard. But, as we started to make peace with his absence, we found out that our cat Loki was ill. I wish I could tell you that he ended up healthy and healed after being admitted to the Animal Hospital, and undergoing treatment for his condition. Unfortunately, he also crossed the Rainbow Bridge just a mere three months after Thor did. These big, successive losses were devastating to us and left us grief stricken, but I think even more to our sole remaining pet, our cat Runa, who was buddies with both Thor and Loki.
In our sadness, we had to find the focus to make sure we were taking care of her emotional needs and giving her the special attention that she needed to be able to find the resilience to get through this rough patch. Being a Siberian Forest Cat, Runa is a very affectionate, intelligent, and social animal who thrives on being an active and integral part of the family. So, having another kitten for her to bond with, play with, and be a companion to was important. We also realized that we all would do well eventually with a new furry addition to our family.
After a reasonable waiting period, we are now delighted to welcome baby Cara to our home.
The photograph above shows us introducing Runa to Cara through a glass partition. They will be learning about each other from a distance, and through a graded level of separation until they can tolerate each other’s presence with the end goal of becoming loving friends and companions. We follow the professional guidelines of how to introduce a new cat to your resident cat to the last detail With the help of those suggestions, Baby Cara, who is an energetic and enthusiastic kitten has shown an amazing ability to adapt to her new environment.
We humans are also social animals and we thrive when we are connected to others. But we are now deluged with loneliness, and disconnected from each other, which has led to the rise of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, physical illnesses, and mental illnesses.
Our souls are hurting.
Sometimes, our inability to ask for, and work towards emotional closeness with someone who we like is due to defenses we may have (they are usually unconscious) because of trauma or mental illness. In that case, the barriers we face to connecting with others must be dealt with the assistance of professionals because we are not capable of treating ourselves- just like you would not do surgery on yourself!
We must reconnect to our vulnerability. Only then will we be able to open the glass partitions we have between ourselves and others. We are so afraid of being hurt...
Vulnerability is Strength.
Vulnerability is Confidence.
Vulnerability is Sexy.
Vulnerability is Attractive.
Vulnerability is Courage.
Vulnerability is Scary.
But, Vulnerability is our Superpower!
Feeling loved, secure, hopeful, and thriving is all the end result of being open to connection.
I’ll continue to keep you posted on how Runa and Cara are moving towards each other.
In the meantime, I hope you move towards someone you have wanted to, but have hesitated.
The payoffs of pushing past the sheer terror of being vulnerable are huge- ❤️❤️❤️
Until next time,
With a hope that you will consider being vulnerable, however much that scares you,