I am ending the year with synopses of my cats’ conditions, after the monopoly of the blog by the former Felons. I did write something about Josie in mid-November, but I’ll wrap up the year for her now.
Like Renn, my old lady is aging noticeably. She will be seventeen in 2021 and, though that is hardly a terminal age for many cats, she is, undoubtedly, showing signs of the years. Her breathing is often rough and loud. I worry about that but I am certain it is not due to an infection or any malevolent condition, and her intake of air is not, so far as I can tell, impaired or painful. She is just noisy about it, like a reliable old engine that huffs and puffs and wheezes.
The Great White is a bit more cautious in taking steps that descend more than six inches. Dropping from her favoured seat at the top of the bedroom’s saddle-topped cat-tree (Cammie’s old tree) to the ledge under the window requires more care than it used to. I would lower the saddle if I could. And my Chubs is no longer chubby. She has lost more weight though, like her breathing, I don’t believe it is due to anything catastrophic, but simply to that slow and expected disaster of age. I could take her to the veterinary for an examination, but I think that would cause more stress than would be compensated by any relevant discovery.
Her hearing has worsened. Everything seems to startle her; because she can’t hear them coming, objects (such as me) seemingly materialise near her suddenly. I try to warn her of my presence, but that too startles her. Any speech loud enough for her to hear also comes as a surprise to her.
But Josie also illustrates that she intends to stay for a bit. She will climb from her heated cat-bed (insulated from the hard floor by the carpet, a rug and a folded towel) to the window ledge to drink from the bowl there, though there is water just a foot away from her at floor-level (she does resort to that bowl, too, from time to time.) She has started coming out to the sitting room to demand her meals, and drinking from the cup in the bathroom, which she hasn’t done in years.
As well, she is still eating. She demands a breakfast immediately upon my waking, beginning with several minutes of her Z/D hard-food, and followed by the day’s preference in soft, though she doesn’t eat a great deal of the latter. Last night, though, just before bed, she had a satisfactorily-sized snack of Fancy Feast.
And Josie still enjoys her attention, flopping down in her saddle-seat and looking at me; that’s her sign for some serious face-rubbing. (As an aside, she has just learned - or just begun displaying her knowledge - that images in the window are sometimes reflections of what is behind her; she will acknowledge my entry into the bedroom with a grunt, seeing me only via the glass.)
So, though, my old lady’s burden of time increases, she is carrying it well, I think. That may change in this coming year but thus far, Josie still enjoys life. And life, it seems, still enjoys her.