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Ruth, So beautifully said. Even when you don't raise them from infants they become your children. I have two rescued hounds, one of whom is epileptic, and after I was downsized I had acquaintances who were completely uncomprehending when I got angry at their suggestion I take my companions to the pound. At one point I asked one of them if they would suggest dumping children off if one was poor? Or take them someplace where they surely would be killed? My acquaintances still don't understand, but the topic doesn't come up anymore. I think men also go through it. There is a lovely video of a young man who raised a baby hummingbird that he found as a hatchling. And I have a friend who, for a number of years, has toted water up from a nearby spring for his cat. He rescued the cat, but discovered it would only drink water from that spring. For winter he stocks up several gallons of water. Cathy On Mon, 9 Jun 2014, Dean, Thomas K wrote: > From: Ruth Santana [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] > Sent: Friday, June 06, 2014 10:27 AM > > I heard about a study done in Italy which shows that companion animals produce in women the same hormones and physiological changes that human babies do. The point is that it makes little difference to women's subconscious, neurological and physiological systems whether or not what they are nursing and bonding to is human or not human. This happens to other animals in nature too. A friend of mine sent me a video recently of a cat nursing ducklings. I had a spayed female dog many years ago who started producing milk and nursed 4 kittens whose mother disappeared. > > From my own experience, I could share that I found out this to be the case when I lost my cat Coquita who I had raised since she was not even two days old. (I found her in a garbage can in the street, she was so tiny with her umbilical cord still attached to her) I thought she was some type or rodent. I nursed her and she survived. When she died I experienced such deep lost and indescribable pain. In my pain, I had this inexplicable feeling that I had lost my own child and that indeed she had been my daughter. I have hardly recovered to some degree but I continue not think of her as my pet or my companion or my friend, I think of her as my own child. > > In my search for healing, I asked people who had similar experiences about this feeling and the consensus was that even though they felt this way, they had to hide this fact not to look ridiculous in front of society. We loved them and took care of them as if they were our own children. Can we dismiss these subjective experiences and rationalize them as they not being our children because we don't speak the same language or being unable to discover their mysteries or infringing on their rights? Is there anything wrong with giving our maternal instincts leeway to protect and nurse a non-human? > > If this is true for some women, then what is wrong in choosing to have non-human children, along with human children or not? Society can call it or intellectualize it any way it wants. That is not going to change the way some or most of us experience this process. > > I wouldn't be surprise if men go through similar experiences. > > > > -- > --