|Just a casual selfie with this cutie|
Nearly every night when both of us are on phone time – missed messages, random reading or indulging in leisurely social media usage – Nabeel initiates a (now-loved) operation.
Every few minutes, he comes across a cat video that he feels will change my life (moderate exaggeration) and he waits patiently for me to get done with whatever I’m doing so we can watch it together – if I’m on Snapchat, he’ll wait until that clip is over (his anticipation is killer), if it’s a voice note I’m listening to, he’ll hang in there until it’s done. Cat videos are serious stuff and he doesn’t want me distracted.
Sometimes he’ll come home from work with a cat GIF he’s saved and didn’t WhatsApp it to me because he wanted to show it in person, LOL. I hope you understand the criticality of all of this.
It’s our almost everyday ritual. Something we love and appreciate together, a few easy laughs, zero financial damage.
Both of us often wonder if we should get a dog or a cat (his heart beats for cats, pugs have my emotions in their control) but I’m definitely not ready to make a commitment right now so we always pin our conversation for another day (please don’t get animals for fun, they are a lifetime commitment).
I never used to find animals cute or even important until a few years ago. I’ll admit I fell for them after:
1) Watching these videos, they’re insanely adorable/manipulative/awesome.
2) Just maturing into someone who finally understood why animals need our love and care and cannot be written off in an absolutely unrequired battle of humans vs animals (the stupid argument of why focus on animals when humans are hungry). They are living beings, created by GOD (stating this if the religion card works for you only) and ANY living being needs the exact same compassion from us because if there’s a beating heart in there, the right is not ours to consider one more important than another.
My sentiment towards animals has changed slowly but VASTLY over the last 10 years. Going from someone who may even have kicked a cat in my childhood (don’t remember but I can believe it) to someone who became super neutral and didn’t care if animals existed or not to someone who considered donating to animals extremely stupid when you could instead do that for humans to someone who now really believes that the real test of character is when someone can feel compassion and respect for all living beings. My journey has been incredibly eye-opening to myself.
Our society can be very cruel at times and we are not raised to love animals. Most of us view them from a purely submissive perspective while growing up, with the only real animal interaction happening at school or family trips to the zoo – seeing caged animals in poor conditions is something we are immunized to (which is why I’ve stopped going to zoos). It’s not our fault if we grow up this way not respecting animals but it is our fault if we don’t advance our thought and be arrogant about it.
I don’t have pets nor do I plan on having any so I don’t think you need an animal in your family or life to genuinely be compassionate towards them. We don’t have orphans (or anyone who needs our love) in our households but we respect and feel empathy for them regardless.
I recently found this amazing brand of pet accessories that actually only exists to contribute to animal rescue work. Bella & Buddy is a Pakistan-based online pet product store that has high quality products (I’ve seen them live on Snap and they look fab), sales from which are donated to help with fosters, rescues, abandoned animals and their medical care, food donation, blankets, mattresses, you name it. Almost all listed items come with a description of what they will contribute to if you buy that product.
Stuff they have: toys, pet tech, beds, harnesses, sweaters, collars, leashes, grooming products – SO much.
This is a store anyone can use. Not just someone with pets. All of us know at least one pet owner and it can be such a fantastic gift for them on their birthdays while also giving back to a creation of God.
You can follow Bella & Buddy on Facebook here and shop online at their store here. Shipping is free across Pakistan and even though you see prices in $ (technical reasons) it IS a Pakistan based store so be relaxed and shop. THEY ALSO SHIP TO THE UK AND US.
Animals love the most unconditionally, often better than most humans. Let’s not be those people who pit them against ourselves or advance the unnecessary debate of why animals when humans. God meant for us to co-exist which is why he didn’t give us a planet just full of humans. We can love both so let’s love both.