'Dog Mom' Ventures Into Cat Territory

adopted scaredy cat helps longtime dog owner cope with loss

Caitlin Boyle

DOG MOM TURNED CAT MOM. Caitlin Boyle, pictured on the left with her former dog Ripley, and pictured at the right with her new cat, Marley. (Submitted photos)
DOG MOM TURNED CAT MOM. Caitlin Boyle, pictured on the left with her former dog Ripley, and pictured at the right with her new cat, Marley. (Submitted photos)

I am – and always will be – a dog mom.

My dog, Ripley, was a blind, senior pooch who was my entire world. He was the best thing to come out of a painful breakup, and the bond we shared was indescribable – the two of us against the world.

So when I lost him quickly and unexpectedly this past spring, I didn’t know how I could go on without him. The phrase “losing a pet can be harder than losing a family member” is so true. I knew I wanted to adopt another pet by the fall, but I couldn’t imagine having another dog that wasn’t Ripley.

Enter Marley, a cat from the Eau Claire County Humane Association with a slight birth defect on her right eye. After raising a blind dog for two years, I didn’t consider it a big deal, but I have never owned a cat or considered myself a cat person. When I came across her bio on the humane association’s website, though, it seemed meant to be. Needless to say, I was quite anxious to meet her.

Our first meeting did not go well. She was so panicked; she didn’t want anything to do with me. Despite her initial reaction – and her distaste for being at the shelter – I was still willing to take a chance on her, and I brought her home.

Immediately, I gave her space to explore and get acclimated to her new surroundings and was amazed at how fast she came around. She quickly let me pet her more and began snuggling with me. Our bond has gotten stronger ever since.

I still, and always will, miss Ripley. But Marley has brought brightness back into my life. You might think you know what you need in your life – you might think you don’t want to adopt the old, mangy, scraggly-looking animal at the shelter, or you might think you don’t need a cat or a dog or a bunny in your life. But sometimes life throws you curveballs. And you need a furry friend to fetch those curveballs back for you. And you never know until you look right into the perfect pet’s eyes, and they seem to say, “It’s meant to be.”

Pet Project is sponsored by:

Dogtopia
2706 Golf Rd,
Eau Claire

Pet Project is sponsored by:

Dogtopia
2706 Golf Rd,
Eau Claire