Over St. Patrick's Day weekend, my eleven-year-old, adorable, loving little kitty Gherty gave my family quite the scare. Yes, she's old, and yes, she's a little overweight (though I prefer to think of her as extra fluffy). But we certainly were not ready for her to leave us. I cried for hours and hours. I prayed for her and worried about her constantly; it was even more difficult considering her and my family are over 1,400 miles away from me. My family cried as they held and pet her and had to give her an IV and antibiotics. We all thought it was her time to go and it broke our hearts.

Luckily, Gherty pulled through. She still isn't in the clear yet, but she's doing so much better. I always knew how special Gherty and my other kitty Gilbert are, but Gherty being sick really helped me realize that my cats aren't just pets- they're family. The two of them are always there for me, they know when I'm sad and they stay by my side. Gilbert is there every night when I go to bed and every morning when I wake up. He's next to me for every meal (he's a sucker for human food). Gherty and Gilbert sit by the door, waiting to greet me as soon as I walk in. They're just like family to me, I treat them like family and I love them like family. I like to think that they think of me like family, too.

Now, don't get me wrong, I get it. I probably sound like some old, crazy cat lady, like someone who is going to be alone for the rest of their life with 30 cats (that actually doesn't sound too bad...). But if you don't have pets, you just can't understand. To all my fellow cat and other pet owners: I think you can understand pretty well. These cute little animals, they're not just your pets. They're apart of your family. They get their own stockings at Christmas, they have their own toys all over the house, they have their own spots on the beds and couches. They're such a special part of your family and you could never imagine life without them.

I don't know what I would do if I didn't have Gilbert and Gherty. They've grown up with me over the last eleven years and I couldn't be more thankful that I've been blessed with the cutest, most loving little balls of fluff and fur. I am so grateful to have my kitties in my life as members of my family. Gilbert and Gherty are most definitely not just my pets- they're family and I love them like it.