By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
We don’t get to choose the family we’re born into when we come into this world. As we grow up, however, we do get to choose who our family is via our spouses and whether or not we choose to have kids. We also choose whether or not to have pets.
Whether you love dogs, cats, fish, turtles or tarantulas, pets can and do become vitally important parts of our families. Not only that, but they have unique personalities and quirks, just like people. They can make you laugh or test your very last nerve. They become our friends and we become theirs.
Such has become the case with a tabby cat I’ve taken in named Enzo.
Enzo is a ham. He’s still a kitten at about six months old, yet he’s a bit of an enigma as far as cats are concerned. For example, though most cats typically shun water, Enzo has no problem standing for a bath. And while it’s a common stereotype that a cat will only deign to let you pet it for a second or two before it decides enough is enough — sometimes with the aid of claws — Enzo thrives on cuddles.
When I’m home, he’s always near at hand, and if I move to another room, he’s close on my heels. Sometimes, he’s actually close on my toes and I’ll nearly trip as he gets underfoot. I don’t always appreciate his attempts to wake me 20 minutes before my alarm clock is set to go off, but I do appreciate that he waits for a friendly scratch behind the ears when I get home.
In other words, Enzo has become a part of my family. I’d been searching for a cat at area animal shelters for a couple of months before I found Enzo. When I first saw him at the Palm Valley Animal Shelter, he was in a large play room filled with climbing platforms cat toys. I didn’t take him home that first day because I wanted to “sleep on it,” so to speak. All week long, though, I couldn’t stop thinking about the little guy. I told a friend about it and he said, “He’s already yours, you just don’t know it yet. He chose you.”
And maybe that’s the real truth of it. Maybe I didn’t choose Enzo to be a part of my family, maybe he chose me to be a part of his.
I’m glad I made the decision to rescue a shelter animal, but I know there are still others out there. The folks at the Isabel Y. Garcia Animal Shelter in Port Isabel and the Friends of Animal Rescue on South Padre Island work hard to find homes for cats and dogs in the Laguna Madre area.
Theirs is a labor of love. It’s a job that doesn’t end because there are always animals in need of good homes. This Saturday, Friends of Animal Rescue is continuing that work by hosting an event to celebrate pets called Tails on the Beach. Pet owners are invited to bring their dogs to Clayton’s Beach Bar. There will be fun and games, but more importantly, there will be dogs available for adoption. So, why not head on down and see if one chooses you to be a part of their family, too? And as always, be sure to visit us at www.portisablesouthpadre.com.
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