Unconditional Love is a love that’s not limited by any conditions or in any way at all.  It is Absolute.  It is True.  And… it sure makes you happy when you give or receive it, doesn’t it?

For 13 years, I received the Unconditional Love of two very sweet animals — Shakespeare & Spencer — my precious persian cats.  Because I lost both of them this year, I am writing this article about them.  They truly did give me their Unconditional Love every day.

I grew up with dogs as family pets.  We never had a cat.  And, until the age of 36, I never had a pet in my adult life (except for fish in an aquarium).  I told myself I was not going to have any pets.  And, I certainly did not see myself with a cat.

One day, I was on an appointment to place a house on the market for sale.  As we were sitting at the kitchen table going over the required paperwork, a Mother Cat came walking out of the laundry room with two, tiny kittens trailing behind.  One of the kittens walked right up to me so I had to pick him up to pet him!  He was the cutest thing I had ever seen, especially when he snuggled up tightly on my chest.  The owner of the home told me she was selling the kittens and that they were peke-faced Persians.  The one I was holding onto had a crooked tail, so he would never be able to be a “show cat”, I was told.

I said good-bye and left there with no intention other than selling the home as quickly as possible.  But, for the next few days, I could not get that kitty-with-the-crooked-tail out of my head.  He was the first thing I thought of when I woke up each morning.

So, I found myself driving back to my listing with a check in hand… to buy the kitty with the crooked tail.  I named him Shakespeare.  He was 3 months old.  He followed me every where I went and slept at the foot of the bed, touching my feet. I was smitten.

Because I had never had a cat before, I bought a book that would tell me everything I ever wanted or needed to know about having a feline as a pet.  It informed me that indoor cats need the companionship of other cats, especially if you’re not often home.

When I had called the owner just to inquire whether or not she still had the other kitty (because I wasn’t sure I wanted two), she said “I can’t believe you called me today!  We just found out that the people who had taken that kitty are abusing him.  So, we rescued him but now we are leaving for vacation and weren’t sure what to do with him.”

So, I found myself driving back to my listing with a check in hand… to buy Shakespeare’s brother.  I named him Spencer.  He was all matted, dirty, and very clingy.  I just knew that seeing his brother again would cheer him right up.  Boy, was I wrong!!!

For three weeks, the two hissed at each other and steered clear of the other’s path.  I would cry “But, you’re brothers!  You’re supposed to love each other!”  I would call my girlfriends saying “What have I done?  They hate each other!”  One day, I came home and found the two of them licking each other!  From that day on, they were best buddies.  We were now a happy, little family.

Over the next 13 years, they were with me through three moves, four company changes, three relationship break-ups, and the birth of a baby.  And, they always loved me Unconditionally.  Shakespeare always slept at the foot of my bed, touching my feet.  Spencer and I cuddled on the couch for the last hour of every night, before I’d go to bed.  They were not your typical cats — they were very friendly.  If there were people around, they were right there!  Spencer would even play catch with a toy mouse!!

They both died from a fast growing tumor in their mouth.  Thankfully, they didn’t suffer for long.  It broke my heart to say good-bye to them on their final day.  And, it is very strange to not have them here.  I still find myself looking around for them sometimes and making sure I close the door so they don’t get out!

I’m so grateful to have experienced their Unconditional Love.  I’ll carry that lesson with me the next time I’m in a relationship.

Who knows?  Maybe there is another furry baby in my future.  For right now, though, I am content to remember the purrs and meows of my precious Persians — Shakespeare & Spencer.

In Memory Of…

Shakespeare – 8/9/96 ~ 5/21/09 and Spencer – 8/9/96 ~ 10/29/09