There is nothing more dramatic than opposites — young and old, weak and strong, daring and uncaring. The list goes on and on. Lately this has all been hitting home.
With the visit of the 7-year-old granddaughters last week I realized the changes in our memories, hearing, energy level and even our interests.
They remembered everything that happened on their last (2012) visit – where they went, what they ate, what was said.
On the other hand I couldn’t remember what I had for breakfast let alone the details from last year.
Yes I have vivid memories of some events but the day-to-day details become foggy. I can remember the kid who ate my lunch in 8th grade (damn him I nearly starved to death that day) but sometimes I forget what day it is.
I always remember who the president is because if you don’t, you end up on meds.
The same is true of our pets. With the addition of Morgan, our first new cat in seven years, I became aware of how active she is or more importantly how inactive our other three are.
The contrast between young and old is startling.
It’s hard to watch our 15-year-old cat age. Jake is mostly healthy but we accommodate him. He eats what he likes and when he wants. We give him dabs of people food and get up in the middle of the night to walk him to his litter box. We have extra litter boxes around the house which he refuses to use.
He doesn’t have a lot of time left so he gets what he wants. I sincerely hope someone does that for me when the time comes. Ice cream for breakfast along with that mocha latte please! Only purple clothes with platform shoes and painted toenails!
We do none of that for the other cats. They are fed on a schedule and we don’t do snacks at all. The older cats don’t leap after laser pointers and barely open an eye when we get the cat dancer out. Catnip mice were lying around forlorn until Morgan came on the scene.
Morgan not only jumps on anything that moves including bugs, she will chase the dancer, terrorize the catnip mice and follow the laser up the walls.
This morning she rearranged my winter sweaters, picking out a particularly soft one and carrying it to the stairs. Had I not intervened (it was a rather expensive sweater) it would have ended up in one of her favorite sleeping spots.
It’s all in the comparison. When I come home from the gym, I feel young and vital. Heck I should! I am one of the younger ones there and I get a really good workout.
When I go to the mall I notice how jiggly my skin is and wish I could wear more funky shoes. Contrasts.
There are tradeoffs. For the things you lose there are things you gain. Suddenly you really don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. That alone is precious and exhilarating.
Yes, I know any teenager will tell you they don’t care but they do. They just don’t care what their parents think.
I often wonder how Jake feels. Is he embarrassed when he has accidents? Or does he just take it in stride, pleased that his every need is met.