My daughter’s cat passed away early this morning in his sleep. He hadn’t been sick, so although it was a shock, it was a good way to go.

Even though she is almost 21, my daughter was understandably upset. After all, Leonard had been with her since she was 5 years old.

I think pets can be a valuable part of childhood, and I think that’s especially true for kids with Attention Deficit Disorder.

For my daughter, Leonard was a loving companion who never judged her. He loved her unconditionally. He never cared if her room was a mess, if she got poor grades, or forgot to turn in her homework. He loved her for who she is, and he was never disappointed in her.

As much as we love our children, we still have to administer discipline and punishment at times. Even if you don’t intend it, your kids are going to feel some times as though they have let you down. And chances are, they’ll be right. We’re all human and we all make mistakes.

Pets can fill that need for uncondtional love that we may not completely meet. Sure, we love our kids unconditionally and would do anything for them, but I’m not sure they always know (or feel) that.

Kids with ADD have egos that get beat up a little bit more than most. They’re a little more fragile, though they don’t want anyone to know. Pets can dote on them, and love them, and expect little in return.

To be honest, I was never much of a cat person. Leonard was a good cat, but I can’t say that his passing has affected me in the way that it has my daughter. Still, I will forever be grateful for his existence and the way he loved my almost grown up little girl.

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