Monday, November 2, 2009

Friends Come In All Shapes & Sizes

When I spend time with friends we usually have food and beverages complementing our spirited conversations. We will talk about the weather, work, movies, books, ex- partners, current partners, parents, siblings, restaurants, music, school, dogs and cats. Well those last two are mostly mentioned by me and perhaps two or three other pet caretakers. I have had many cats and a few dogs in my 28 years of age. They are all part of my life’s story, and for that reason they are a significant part of my contribution to chats with my friends. The animals I care for are family. They share my days with me, they witness me study, stress, relax, laugh and cook. They know my mannerisms better than some of my said friends; of course I’m going to bring them up in conversation.

The past few months my partner has been working evening shifts, so we see each other for two hours or so before hitting the sack and for an hour or so in the morning before I head to work. A lot of our correspondence is a phone call here and there throughout the day or an email sometimes. Milton our adorable cat is always part of these calls and emails. Whether it’s “Aw cute you should see where Milton decided to sleep right now!” or “How’s Milton been all day today, is he hyper? Crabby?” “Hey Milton puked again, any idea what it might be?” “I’m going grocery shopping, think we should try some different litter for Milton?” “I wish I could bring Milton to work with me, I miss him on my lap.” And so on. From time to time it gets bothersome to not see my partner as much as I’d like, but I find that having Milton be there while I’m at work is comforting. Or if I go out of town I think of how Milton is doing a wonderful job of being soothing company. He takes care of us as much as we take care of him.

My 82 year old grandmother lives with my parents. She is in relatively good health and can talk human and animal ears off alike. In 2005 our family lab of 9 years past away suddenly, at the time I was living 40 minutes from my parents home. My grandmother never calls me because I visit every Sunday, but when Lucky, our lab, died she started calling me once a week, not to talk about Lucky, just to talk. I realized that Lucky was her friend, her ear to chat to, and now that he was gone I got a phone call once a week. Of course not two weeks went by where I had made my way to the shelter and adopted an animal. My parents had a new cat and my grandmother stopped calling me.

I’m lucky to have a job where I interact with cats and dogs daily. I’m lucky to witness cats and dogs being companions to children, teens, adults and elders. I’m lucky to be in a position to help individuals better the health of their furry friends. I’m lucky to be surrounded with co-workers who are a best friend to a dog or cat. I’m lucky to know how much love and camaraderie an animal can bestow.

Thank you to all of you out there who give your time and money to animal welfare all over the globe. You are not only saving a life, you are saving a friend.

Andrea Torre
Free Fix Director


  1. You guys are doing a great job!! Keep it up.

  2. I agree! Keep up the great work! I so wish I could adopt Nikita! We have 4 we have rescued and they truly are my life! You guys are angels!