February 20th is Love Your Pet Day. It's a day set aside to pamper your pets and spend extra time with them. I'm not sure where this unofficial holiday originated, but that's okay. I've always been a big pet lover. I got my first cat as a birthday present when I was 5 years old. Her name was Missy. Since then, I don't think there's been a time in my life that I've been without a pet. We currently have two cats -- Belle & Kitty. Both of our cats are featured in my newest picture book, Lemur Troops & Critter Groups, illustrated by Nikki Shoemaker. They're the kitty cops, with Nikki's cat, Allie.
Belle is getting up there in age and will turn 17 next month. Up until just recently, she's always seemed like a kitten that never grew up. However, just this past week or so, she seems to be slowing down. We're not sure if she's sick or if her age is catching up to her. It's sad to see her getting skinny and acting a little off, but I have to remember how old she is. CJ was old at 14, and Belle is nearly 17, so I try to keep that in mind. Right now she's sitting next to me in my laundry basket. She's been in there most of the week and I don't have the heart to put the clothes away. Poor little old lady. She's the cat in the picture above.
Kitty is my girl's cat. She was pretty much a feral cat when we first discovered her at our house in California. She was skin and bones. The girls tried to approach her, but she'd always run away. They started leaving food out for her and eventually she began trusting them. Right before we planned our move to Montana, the girls started keeping her inside so she'd get used to that. Now of course, she's an indoor-only housecat. She took the move really well and has no interest in going outside anymore. I tried to fatten her up when the girls were gone because all she did was hang out with me. Now that Nichelle is back, Kitty is back in her room where she belongs. She's kind of skittish, but has a funny personality. She's pictured below.
So, if you have a pet -- Happy Love Your Pet Day!