In the latest of our series of mini interviews with friends of www.theralphsite.com we contacted Irene Margaret, who shares her memories of pets she has known and loved, along with some wise words of advice for anyone experiencing the loss of a much-loved companion:
1. Do you currently share your home with any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
We have quite a menagerie of pets at home – the following furry family members live with us at the moment:
- Salem (a black cat, hence the rather appropriate name)
- His twin sister Rosie, a Tortoiseshell, both aged one year
- Ivy, a year-old Gerbil
- Macey, Lionpig, Cushion and Bonnie, four sweet guinea pigs
- Groucho Marx, our ten-year old Cockatiel!
2. What was the name of your first pet?
The first animal to find its way into my heart was Socks, a little black and white cat.
3. Why did you choose that name?
As I’m sure you can guess, it was because of those four pretty white paws.
4. Cats, dogs or another species? Can you choose? And why?
Both! Along with rodents! I can’t possibly choose – I adore ALL animals.
5. What is your favourite memory of an animal who has shared your life?
It would probably be the way my guinea pig Charlie would look into my eyes whenever I was sad – it really felt as though he knew. But to be honest, I have SO many precious memories; it is very hard to choose.
6. Which three words would you choose to describe Charlie?
Loving, cuddly and loyal describe him perfectly!
7. What is your favourite fictional animal and why?
I think I would have to say the lion in the Wizard of Oz; he is such a caring animal.
8. If you could be any animal, which one would you choose and why?
I would definitely like to be a pampered domestic cat, enjoying a wonderful life of love with no responsibilities. Nothing to do other than being cute, and returning my human mummy’s affection!
9. What advice would you give to someone grieving for a much-loved pet?
It’s important that you take as long as you need to grieve – grief is a journey, and unfortunately it’s a painful one. Share your feelings with like-minded people, and keep your beloved pet’s memory alive, in whatever way is easiest for you.
10. When and how did you first come across The Ralph Site? What do you think is the most important role of The Ralph Site community?
I have been aware of The Ralph Site for several years now – its most valuable service is in offering a private, safe space for like-minded pet-loving people, who truly understand, and do not judge each other. Here we can share our grief, our memories and our joys with friends who know exactly what it feels like to lose a much-loved pet.
We’ll be featuring regular mini-interviews with friends of The Ralph Site in future; so do keep an eye out every first and third week of each month!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support