We’re becoming a household of geriatric animals; as we acquired two of them as adults (the basenji, Oliver [to figgy, AHwiwer] and the male cat, Simon), we’re not quite sure of their ages, but suffice to say that the youngest of them is now a relatively aged nine. We got him, Simon, when he was named “Scrapper” and supposedly, an ex-stray, in 2002. So far he’s been the one pet we’ve gotten from San Diego (theVet recently broke her streak of obtaining at least one animal from every place she’s ever worked — five facilities, four animals).
Simon lived the first few months with us locked away in a spare bathroom because we weren’t sure how well he’d mix with the rest of the three animals — to this day, there’s still a bit of tension between him and the rest of them; the dogs, he’s naturally wary of, and the little cat, having been raised since she was a kitten with our dogs, thinks of herself as a dog and thus will have nothing to do with him, for the most part. When we got Simon, he was diabetic and, with no prior history of how he was, thought he was a finicky eater and skinny, sallow, and aloof.
There were several points where we were wrong: thinking that he was docile and relatively easy to restrain for his blood-glucose measurements (we bought an over-the-counter meter from a drugstore); believing that he’d stay skinny forever; watching him pooh-pooh his food didn’t worry us. Now, of course, he’s a champion struggler — we bought him a collar once and found it, months later, jammed somewhere under a chest of drawers. He reminds us — every twelve hours — it’s time to feed him. Again. More. He’s adopted any sleeping position that involves the maximum amount of discomfort for humans (I’ll wake up and he’ll be wedged into various places cats should not go). And now, he’s fifteen pounds and needs to lose weight.
Here’s to many more years together, sleeping in odd contortions and whining for food and generally being the finest, richest marble-y cat there is.