Tomorrow is Jellylorums’ birthday. She will be three years old. When I was growing up, it was totally normal in our house to celebrate our pet’s birthdays. It is only in the past few years that I have come to realize that not everybody does this. In fact, some people think that it’s slightly mental to celebrate the birthday of an animal.
Whenever I tell someone that I am getting ready for my pets’ birthday, I get one of two reactions. People will either say ‘oh, how old is she?” or “I hope she has a great day” or they will give me a withering look and whine “but she’s a cat”.
I don’t judge anyone who does or does not choose to celebrate a pets’ birthday. I believe it’s perfectly fine not to worry about it. I do like to make a bit of a fuss though.
Firstly, it’s not as though I am one of those people who totally spoil their pets. Jelly is well taken care of, but she doesn’t have her own wardrobe, she doesn’t eat gourmet cat food, she doesn’t have a diamond-studded collar and she isn’t professionally groomed. She is a well-fed cat who gets plenty of love and affection. I haven’t planned a party for her birthday, or bought her a card, or baked a cake. I have bought her a couple of new toys and a helping of kangaroo mince for a special breakfast. I probably will sing “Happy Birthday” to her, but I won’t make her wear a party hat or a ribbon around her neck. I just want to make the day a little bit extra-special for her.
I think that I am totally justified in marking Jelly’s birthday. Over the past year, she has been a lovely little friend to me. She is the only one who races to the door to greet me when I arrive home. We spend hours cuddling and playing together, and she always shares her favorite felt mouse with me. She always keeps me warm when it’s cold and wakes me up early in the morning. When I’m sick, she keeps me company, and she is never far away when I’m sad or lonely. In fact, she’s sitting on my knee right now as I type this. The first time I cried in front of Jelly, she gave me this look that seemed to say “Oh My God! Your face is leaking!” and then leaned over to lick the tears off my cheeks. She is a gorgeous little creature and I love her. Why shouldn’t I do something extra special for her on her birthday?
When I think back on all the times at school and at work when I have stood with a frozen smile on my face and watched someone I don’t even like or care about blow out the candles on their $5 Safeway cake, it seems almost mean that I would acknowledge their birthdays and not the birthday of one of my most constant companions.
Not everyone likes to celebrate their pets’ birthdays, but I do. To me, it’s a day when I can show Jellylorum how much I love her and appreciate her companionship. Sure, she probably won’t understand that it’s her birthday, but she will have a brilliant day eating delicious food and playing with her new toys. Really, doesn’t your pet deserve one super-awesome day a year?
How do you feel about pet birthdays? Do you celebrate them or just let them pass by? What’s the craziest thing you have ever done for your pet?