Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Mil Spouse Blog Swap!

Happy Valentine's Day!




And welcome to the Valentine's Day edition of the Mil Spouse Blog Swap!

 Thanks Mrs. Muffins for the button!
 
I wanted to plan something fun for the day so I organized a little blog swap with some of my fellow mil spouse bloggers.  Basically, we're all switching blogs for the day, guest posting about all things Valentine.  Check out the participants in the linky below!
 

 
You can find my V-day post over at A Little Pink in a World of Camo with the always awe-inspiring Mrs. P.



Who is my guest blogger today?  I was thrilled when I picked this blogger's name out of my hat.  To the Nth is one of the 1st mil spouse blogs I ever read.  She's a Navy spouse, a search-and-rescue aircrew volunteer, a cat-lover, an incredible writer, and a new addition to the SpouseBuzz team (check out her SpouseBuzz bio and her 1st SpouseBuzz post...she's amazing!).  I'm so excited to welcome her as the 1st ever guest blogger on Riding the Roller Coaster!
 
So without further adieu, To the Nth...
 
 

The word “Valentine,” for me, does not immediately conjure up images of chocolate, cherubic archery experts, or hearts trimmed with lace. Instead, my brain supplies me with visions of fur and whiskers and stripes and a quiet feline dignity.



Wait. Scratch that “dignity” bit.


Valentine is one of our two tabby cats, rescued from the local shelter shortly after my husband Sampson and I PCSed to Virginia in 2008. I had grown up with feline companions in residence, while the allergies of Sampson’s father and sister kept his childhood home a fur-free zone. As Sampson himself did not share the itchy-eye affliction, I made no secret of the fact that I longed to have cats of our own.


My husband indulged my wish, though perhaps without understanding fully why having pets was so important to me. A long-awaited visit to the shelter led us to five-month-old siblings “Dolce” and “Gabbana,” whose unfortunate names we promptly changed to “Vera” and “Valentine” in furry homage to some of our favorite science fiction pieces. Sampson thought they were cute, certainly, and that their kitten antics were amusing, but having animals in the house was still out of the ordinary for him.


A few months later, though, when Sampson and I were taking a walk around the neighborhood to enjoy the pleasant temperature, he observed that something had changed. “You know, I can’t imagine not having the cats. It feels like they’ve been with us forever.” Continuing down that line of thought, he remarked, “It makes me feel better about having kids someday, knowing that a new creature can become part of the family just like that.”


Sampson may not have known he was a “cat person” at heart until we brought home our own feline overlords, but he cannot deny it now. I think he misses the kitties almost as much as he misses me on this deployment. When we’re lucky enough to be able to video chat, he lights up when a cat wanders into webcam range. I assure him that yes, of course the cats miss him, but I can’t resist pointing out that it probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t wake up as early to feed them when I don’t have a hungry pilot at home wanting breakfast before a morning brief.


Neither of us believe that kids and cats are anywhere near the same thing, but it is still valuable to learn that yes, we can open up our hearts and lives to new members of our family. Pets are not children, but they still depend on us and we still love them to the point that we cannot fathom not having them with us. In return, they provide acrobatic entertainment and hilarity and snuggles and purrs. They teach us that no matter what the military life throws our way, life is good as long as you have a working can opener and a warm place to nap.


In our house, every day is (Vera and) Valentine’s Day. 




13 comments:

  1. I love that your cat is named Valentine. Awesome. Great post dearie!

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  2. There are a many of days when, I wish I were a lazy ol' cat. Sleep, eat; pee and pooh. The life of a cat. That's all my two do, besides using our carpet as a personal scratch pad...

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  3. I wish I would have gotten in on this blog hop. I can not wait to read through what everyone else has wrote

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  4. Great post! I love the names and it's funny how they wiggle into our hearts isn't it?

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  5. That is so sweet! I love that you rescued your cats and I love the names you picked out for them. How adorable!

    And thanks Roller Coaster for hosting another fabulous link up!

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  6. It took me a second to realise it was a BLOG swap and not a SPOUSE swap ;).

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  7. This is sweet. Glad to hear that we're not the only people who don't think their pets are children! I threw up a little in my mouth when my MIL referred to them as grandbabies.

    I can totally relate to Samson. I am *not* a dog person, but I love our puppies! I still don't care for other people's dogs, but these two are my sweeties. :)

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  8. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry!!!! Technical difficulties! It's up now, with my most sincere apologies... I feel like a total fail, I'm Soooooo sorry!!!

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  9. First off, thanks for following me :)

    Second, cute kitty cat!! =D My folks and I can't have one because my mom's allergic to them and even though I'm a dog person, I love cats as well!

    Oh and many kudos on your post in Mrs P's blog :)

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  10. Awwwwww!! This post just melted my heart. And I love the kitty pics too!! I had cats growing up and now I'm allergic so I can't live with pets anymore. I miss them. They are so cuddly and always up to some kind of silly antic. Hopefully my kids won't miss out on too much without having pets while they are growing up.

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  11. PS. I loved your anti-Valentine's post too, Roller Coaster!! Left you a comment over on her site. xoxoxo

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  12. while sleeping valentine is looking cute ...
    happy Valentin's day

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