Contrasts and comparisons

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.

More catnip please and be sure to fill the food dish.

More catnip please and be sure to fill the food dish.

 

34 thoughts on “Contrasts and comparisons

  1. If everyone treated their furry companions as well as they’d like to be treated during the declining years … what a wonderful life it would be. Jake is very lucky to be in such a loving home.

    One thing you wrote made me crack up: “I always remember who the president is because if you don’t, you end up on meds.” Oh, so true. 🙂

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  2. This time of year lends itself to contrasts. Good bye summer flowers, hello autumn leaves. I can see how having the kids around made you even more aware of contrasts. Good thoughts here.

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  3. “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.”

    I very recently realized that I’m hovering on the very cusp of truly entering into that “don’t give a damn what anyone thinks” territory, but my inner good girl has been harping at me to give a damn. Thank you for stating the obvious … crossing over the threshold of not giving a damn is “precious and exhilarating”. Now please excuse me while I go tell my inner good girl to shut up and enjoy the show. 🙂

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  4. Jake is a handsome mancat. He should be spoiled as we all should be when we are old and need extra caring. As for memory… I really don’t care what I had for breakfast this morning because lunch is next on the agenda…I never forget to eat even if I forget what I have eaten.

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  5. We now live fore the moment, Ms. Kate. Never mind yesterday. As for the cats, I know what you mean. Maurice is now a laying Buddha. Hardly moves. While Lucy is a wanting cat. I hope when your time comes, you will be “pampered” (no pun intended) as you have catered to Jake.

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  6. We’ve noticed something similar with our cats, Sam and Linus. Linus is energetic, playful and constantly explores the house. We haven’t had a cat with that energy level in 10 years. Sam just gives him a “Will you give it a rest already?” look on his face.

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  7. I like to think Jake doesn’t care, that he believes he’s earned the right to do, say, be and feel whatever he damn well pleases. I sort of feel like that myself; and I look forward to feeling it even more if I’m lucky enough to get older and older.

    We do feel mire comfortable in our skin as we age for one simple reason. It’s looser. Damn it.

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  8. I was just contemplating something similar last week. When I was 20-ish, single, and “Late”, I’d worry about pregnancy. Now, on the other side of mid-40’s and ten days “Late”, I’m excited at the possibility of menopause.

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  9. Ahh, the circle of life. All I can hope for is that I am treated half as kindly as we have treated our prior cats. When our last cat Mukki was old and headed downhill I used to let her lick cream cheese right off my fingers (we never give our cats people food!). She thought she’d hit the jackpot!

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    • We don’t do people food either except for Jake. He does like to strut that fact though. Makes the other cats curious. Fortunately when you don’t start that they really don’t like people food all that much.

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  10. Wonderful!! Great minds thinking on the same topic today…love your post. Especially the line about remembering who is president.

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