If cats could talk, what insights might they give us on the curious hidden world of felines? Here’s one perspective in the form of a fictional advice column, Chatty Cat, from one wise Palmetto Animal League kitty.

Dear Penny Pie: I recently lost my cat of 20 years. I’m not sure if I’m ready for another pet, but I’m feeling a little lost. Can you help? – Paw-Shaped Hole in My Heart

Dear Paw-Shaped Hole: I’m very sorry for your loss. When our friends go over the “Rainbow Bridge,” it leaves a mark.

A great way to soothe your pain is to spend time at a local shelter playing with cats who need you. For some of these cats, your attention will be the highlight of their week!

You might find that you’ll be “adopted” down the line, and when that happens, please don’t feel as though you’re replacing your lost family member. See it as honoring your pet’s memory by continuing to share your love. – Purrs and whisker kisses, Penny Pie

About the Kitty Columnist: Pennie Pie is a special needs, senior calico cat who received a second chance at life thanks to Palmetto Animal League. She lives with many other special needs pets at a sanctuary where she calls the shots.

Penny Pie is right. When facing a huge void in your life after the passing of a beloved pet, sometimes the best thing to do is find something to do. Zeroing in on a mission, like volunteering at a shelter, can help you focus on something other than your grief.

Other pets can be great listeners. Giving comfort is instinctual for animals and resting in the presence of that kind of unconditional love offers immeasurable healing.

While the circle of life might seem crushing at times, it also offers a promise that, over time, you will find new meaning and joy in life.

If you have a question you’d like to submit to Palmetto Animal League’s Chatty Cat or Doggie Dish advice columnists, please email Ask@PalmettoAnimalLeague.org and your question could appear in The Bluffton Sun.

J.A. Weiss is a volunteer foster for Palmetto Animal League, specializing in special needs cats.