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Hearing those sweet little voices reaching out to their great big friend, informing him/her of their observations, thoughts, can make one's day. They are almost like little furry miracles. They offer friendship, their conscious awareness of you, follow your movements, your moods, reach out, from time to time, and help keep you grounded.
Animals are clearly a gift from a higher realm. They bring comfort which can never be repaid, to everyone from children to great-great grandparents.
Life would be so damned stark and cold without them.