Guest Post by Daniela Caride
It’s so easy to become friends with someone whom I admire and who shares with me at least two interests. Hiking, writing, dogs, cats, blogging, community work — I think of my friends and see a huge list of commonalities.
I’ve never seen cat blogger Ingrid King, though. We live 500 miles apart. I’ve never heard her voice, either. Not even by phone. I “met” Ingrid on the Internet because we both blog about pets and love them unconditionally.
But thanks to our frequent e-mail exchange, I learned how generous she is with her knowledge and love of animals. And maybe because, as bloggers, we reveal so much about ourselves, I can picture Ingrid’s life quite vividly from a distance.
I can see her working long hours at her desk at home, doing Reiki on her patients, standing by the window beside her kitten, Allegra, drinking tea while watching the snow fall during a cold morning.
Somehow, I feel very close to Ingrid — like friends who have always lived far away from each other.
Yesterday, Ingrid’s 12-year-old Tortie cat Amber succumbed to an aggressive virus that weakened her suddenly and inadvertently. I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I read Ingrid’s e-mail. It was sudden and unexpected.
“I’m still in shock,” she said in the e-mail. “I keep hoping I’ll wake up and find that these last ten days were just a bad dream.”
Now I picture Ingrid watching with her peripheral vision a cat approaching from another room. A second later, her heart skips a beat. She realizes it’s Allegra, not Amber, as she previously thought. I see Ingrid following her routine, reaching for two dishes for the cats’ afternoon meal. Then she feels a lump in her throat. She only needs one dish this time.
From afar, I feel hopeless sitting at my desk and writing about Amber, not able to ring Ingrid’s bell, give her a hug, offer my sympathies as any other friend.
But maybe I’ll be lucky enough to make Ingrid understand, through this mournful letter, that the distance doesn’t mean that much. That, from afar, I am holding her hand.
Daniela Caride is the publisher of The Daily Tail (http://www.TheDailyTail.com), a participatory blog about pets with stories, tips, and reviews. She lives with three cats, Crosby, Gaijin and Phoenix, three dogs, Frieda, Geppetto and Lola, and her husband, Martin, in Cambridge, MA.