Two and a half years ago, the only things I had to spend my money on were for myself. I had freedom to spend on holidays, clothes and lovely things for my house. Nowadays, I spend more money on pets than I do on myself and my wardrobe is starting to reflect this - as is Caesar's!
Two and a half years ago, I knew not what the term 'separation anxiety' meant. And I knew how to leave the house without a second thought. Step out, lock door. Simple. Now, the routine is much more complex; take Caesar to toilet, scan all of house for anything edible/destroyable/precious, find toys that are durable to leave out, shut kitchen door, throw self against kitchen door to check that it is shut, leave, lock door. This adds a considerable amount of time to my morning routine not to mention general stress to my life when I'm at work and suddenly realise I've left my designer handbag hanging at the foot of the stairs...
Two and half years ago, I had enough space to sleep comfortably on a night. Now I sleep in an odd shape with my legs over, around, under or balanced on a bundle of fur and muscle. But, when it's not there, however uncomfortable it may be, I cannot sleep.
Two and a half years ago, I did not know how it felt to be greeted each night by a wagging tail. That, no matter how bad my day had been, I'd be just as special every time I walked through the door. I did not know that I could put my worries down with my bags and head out for a walk.
Two and a half years ago, I did not have the same capacity to forgive. I did not realise how the fears of others can lead them to act in a way which is irresponsible and destructive. I did not know that this behaviour was much less about me and more about them. I did not realise that I could watch parts of my world be destroyed and feel sorry for the one who destroyed them.
Two and a half years ago, I went to bed alone when I was hurt, unwell or just tired, unaware of the healing qualities of a furry companion. The calm constant lying at the end of the bed, cuddling into my legs or back. The only company I can stand when a migraine takes hold.
Two and a half years ago, the name Caesar meant nothing to me. It's strange how two and half years can make such a difference.