Pets age just like people, only faster – much faster. Unlike people we don’t celebrate their birthday nor do we really have the stages that humans do. There is kitty or puppy hood and adult. That’s all. So after you go through the chewing everything to bits and burrowing under the covers stage, you lose track. Then one day, it smacks you in the face. Your pet is old. He is going to die and probably soon.
As a child I lived in a rural area and our cats were indoor/outdoor pets. They did not get neutered nor did they visit the vet unless something was seriously wrong. They lived about two years before they disappeared — hit by a vehicle, eaten by a predator or shot by a hunter. I remember seeing my beloved three month old kitten squashed by a truck. No child should ever see that.
That all changed when I was an adult. I had a cat named Noah and I had her spayed. That was a novel thing to do according to my mother (hey, it was the 70s!). She still would go outside but without the roaming urge that
horny intact cats have. As she got older she went outside less but I didn’t notice anything until she got sick.
The vet told me she had kidney failure which is very common in older cats. She was fourteen. How did she get to be fourteen? She was just a kitten biting my toes at 6 a.m.!
I’ve had cats since Noah. When I get reminded that they are aging, it’s just so sad. Jake is aging. He has been diabetic for several years and he’s doing well but you can tell he is not a spring chicken (or cat). He has lost most of his teeth although he can still catch a slow mouse and gum it to death. His sleek black fur is thin and spotted with white hairs.
I wonder if he thinks the same thing about me. (I do have all my teeth!)
Jake’s thought bubble: Yo, I like live with this ol’ person. She’s like da bomb but a little, like slow wid da tuna. Cutting her a break, man and not tryin’ to trip her anymore. Dis chick falls and hurts somethin’, da tuna get slow fo shizzle. Or worse, the big bruh will feed me and he’s gets, like…well…all up in my biznezz. Hard to boss up! Dang!
(By the way, even though the vet chart says he is comparable to a 70-year-old person, I like to think of him as a teenager with attitude. Don’t even ask!)
He has always been a very meticulous cat especially with his litter box. He wants it cleaned out every day and there is hell to pay (or clean up) if it isn’t. We might have a conversation something like this.
Jake: Whaddup kemosabe! Da potty got a poo in it. Not mine man. That is like…nasty! Keep them there peeps outta my box!
Me: Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it.
Jake: Whatever, but, oops, hmmmm….too late.
He has trouble with uncarpeted steps so I recently put a litter box on the first floor. That actually saves me from escorting him down to the basement in the early a.m. (Yes, I am that kind of pet owner!) Sometimes he “overshoots” the side of the box so thank God for doggy piddle pads! (I hear men do that sometimes too. Maybe it’s the gender and not the age.)
It’s interesting to watch the other two younger cats deal with him. He can be crotchety to them but they are very accommodating and kind. Too bad people aren’t like that.
As “they” say, “aging isn’t for sissies.” That’s just straight up fo shizzle!
PS: My apologies if my slang is not quite right. In researching this I found that there are more slang terms for women’s derrieres than anything except street drugs! Really? Whassup wi’ dat?