Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Old Guard

One of the readers of this blog, Lynn, commented last week about how young Josie looked in a 2012 entry she had read recently. Josie would have been eight years old then.

I started thinking about the changes through which my cats have gone in the interval, how they have aged, the health problems they have suffered and conquered. More than a few of my household have perished along the way. But the three I call the Old Guard remain. They all arrived in 2010 or prior to that, and all knew my first cat, Tungsten. This is Josie now.

Though she doesn’t look very old, she is nonetheless showing her age. She moves slower, she eats less, she plays almost not at all. But she is content. Her health is always a concern to me, and, though I’ve decided not to take her to the veterinary just yet in connection with current worries, she will most likely need to see her doctor again soon. This is Josie a few months ago.

I think you will note the slimness compared with her final photograph, which is from eight years ago. My Chubs is less chubby now.

Tucker, on the other hand, is still relatively active (relative to how he used to be) and alert. He is often on the move. He retains a youthful sweetness - and also a juvenile mischief. The greatest difference is that now he is more streamlined. There is less roly in his poly.

And lastly, my big boy Renn. He strikes me as the least changed. He eats little - and always has - yet is strong and active. His health is the least troublesome of all the cats’; paws crossed that it always will be. He is still young-looking in many ways. Renn remains my big boy.

Age slows us all down, re-shapes our bodies and sometimes re-arranges - even disorders - our minds. We can’t escape its effects, though we can mitigate them somewhat. Cats don’t worry about the effects of age. If they are happy or content; that is enough. And mine will never know the anxieties I feel trying to guard my Old Guard.


  1. They're such lovely cats John, and your words make me feel I know them. Keep on doing what you're doing...it obviously works!

  2. Wish I had less roly in my poly...
    And I just ordered a new mattress pad for myself, after living with a non-working heated pad for more years than I care to admit.

  3. catfather; dood. any time ewe N de crew knead a help "guardin" let uz noe buddy; afturr all, with out yur help.. de bass terd gobbler wood still bee on de looze ~~~~
    ;) ♥♥

  4. One thing for sure, an indoor cat is always so better off for a long
    life. One that your cats have enjoyed while with you. Age certainly
    changes them, sometimes a little at a time. Your Renn, Tucker and Josie
    are benefiting from your attentions to even the littlest detail. Hard
    work on your part but worth the effort.

  5. It's always sad when we notice that our cats are getting older and, like everyone else, slowing down a bit. But all we can do is give them the best care possible, love them as much as we can, and be thankful for every minute we have with them.

  6. It is hard knowing that beloved pets are ageing, but your Old Guard are getting the best care and attention.

  7. Lexy came to live with Mommy in 2010, and I came in 2011. We all can't believe how fast time flies. Lexy is 12 now and I'm 10.

  8. They are still gorgeous those and they'll will be no matter the age.

  9. This post reminded me of a Bonnie Raitt song:

    I see my folks, they're getting old
    And I watch their bodies change
    I know they see the same in me
    And it makes us both feel strange
    No matter how you tell yourself
    It's what we all go through
    Those eyes are pretty hard to take
    When they're staring' back at you.

  10. Good idea from Undine..
    He blinks upon the hearth-rug,
    and yawns in deep content,
    accepting all the comforts
    that Providence has sent.
    Louder he purrs, and louder,
    in one glad hymn of praise
    for all the night’s adventures,
    for quiet, restful days.
    Life will go on for ever,
    with all that cat can wish:
    warmth and the glad procession
    of fish and milk and fish.
    Only-the thought disturbs him-
    he’s noticed once or twice,
    the times are somehow breeding
    a nimbler race of mice...

  11. I enjoyed seeing these pictures today. And I was glad to read about other's thoughts on their cats aging. I certainly think of it often.

  12. Thanks for letting us see "The Old Guard" as younger and then today. We age and so do our furry charges and as long as we stay on top of changes we can remain happy and comfortable. I wish everyone well