Today is Shep's THIRD birthday, y'all!
This marks the day, as an itty-bitty street kitten just three years ago, that I brought the monster home and claimed him as my own little fur-child. Now, for those of you who have children, I know that I'll be ridiculed for saying that. Having a pet is nothing like having a child - that much is definitely true. But, I think it's safe for everyone to agree that having a pet is also strikingly different than not having a pet (unless it's like... sea monkeys or something). If I were home alone tonight, my house would be cleaner and my bank account would have significantly more money in it; but my lap would be cold and I wouldn't have my own portable snuggle machine (oh and that whole unconditional love thing, too, I guess).
I rescued Shep at a time when life was in a state of flux. I had just started a new job, I had a new boy, and everything was heading in a different direction than that pesky five-year plan I had laid out. My headspace was a bit muddled, and yet, in this time I found myself craving a level of companionship that my friends just couldn't fill. So, I told a handful of people that I was looking (half thinking it would never happen), and was lucky enough to have a friend of a friend e-mail me within two weeks providing the information of a family who had picked up a litter of stray kittens in their neighborhood. Shep had four other brothers and sisters - if I remember correctly, three of which were also available for rescue at the time - but somehow, looking at these first few pictures, I knew this scrappy fuzzball was it for me.
These were the first moments in which I recognized that I was about to have a change in my life that I actually wanted with my whole heart.
In any case, here I find myself three years later not knowing what it would be like without him. Sure, he's gotten into the garbage more times than I can count and his fur sheds all over my house like a very thin and gross alpaca blanket, but he's also snuggly and lovely and my best friend. And, sometimes, all you need when you come home at night is a nice, cold beer and a loyal pet to sit with you as you curl up into burrito-mode with your favorite blanket and Netflix-able TV show.
Here's to pets, y'all, and here's to many, many more years of Shep being the sweetest domestic terrorist ever.