The best friend I ever had was my dog Milo. He offered the best kind of love—not unconditional but predicated on the most reasonable conditions. I had to earn his love and could feel good about that, but he didn’t expect me to be perfect. This sensation is nothing new to most people who have had a pet.
In “Honey, I’m Home: Beyond the Rescue Door,” published in the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 edition of Magnets and Ladders, Bonnie Blose reminisces on sharing such a love with the titular cat, Honey, who found her at a local rescue shelter and chose her immediately. Honey had some traumatic experiences in her past that affected her behavior and didn’t make her an easy pet. Blose committed from the very beginning to give her the love she needed, no matter what, for however much time they had together. She did exactly that.
Blose extols her cat’s intelligence and emotion, painting her as almost human—or as Blose would insist, better than human. This is also a relatable mindset for me and other past or present pet owners. They are not mere accessories; they are our friends, our family, our confidantes. Honey shows as much personality in the story as any human character, and one senses that it’s true to life, that Blose isn’t just anthropomorphizing her for dramatic purposes.
Magnets and Ladders is an online magazine for writers with disabilities, and this story won first place in the nonfiction category of the National Federation of the Blind Writers’ Division’s 2020 contest, so the author’s disability is a constant subtext without ever being stated outright in the story. One gets the impression that Blose needed Honey as much as Honey needed her, that their relationship was symbiotic in a way. Many people are so preoccupied with finding romantic companionship to “complete” themselves that they overlook the potential of pets—but in this time when human connection is so limited, they may rediscover an appreciation for the one-of-a-kind bonds that animals can offer.
Take a few minutes, open your heart, and give this story a chance.
“Honey, I’m Home: Beyond the Rescue Door” by Bonnie Blose. Magnets and Ladders, Fall/Winter 2020-2021.
Reviewer bio: Christopher Nicholson is an English 1010 instructor and Creative Writing graduate student at Utah State University. He writes and blogs about all kinds of things at https://www.christopherrandallnicholson.com.