I don’t normally have guest posters on my blog since the title of my blog sort of implies that I should be the one writing. But I thought you might enjoy this post from a close friend of mine. We’ve known each other since 1997 and he’s been with me through a lot. He’s getting older now and I continue to be amazed by his wisdom. I asked him if he’d like to share and surprisingly he agreed. Without further adieu, here is the guest post from my cat, Arnie.
I’m a secondhand cat. I don’t have any issues with that. In fact, I consider myself one of the lucky ones. There are 6 to 8 million cats placed in shelters every year. Less than half of them make it out. And my odds weren’t very good.
I was 6 years old when I was placed for adoption by Second Chance Pet Adoptions. Let’s face it. That’s pretty old for a cat like me. That puts me at about 40 years old in human years. That’s right around the time people hit a mid-life crisis and do something drastic. I wasn’t looking for that. I was looking for a little stability.
I was born in 1991 and most recently lived in Georgia. I guess they figured that out because I had a Georgia rabies tag on when they found me. I wasn’t happy with the Georgia weather and decided to look for a new adventure. I hopped on a freight train and rode the rails for awhile until I reached North Carolina. It looked as good a place as any to stop so off I went. (*see note at bottom)
I was found wandering through the woods with a cut on my side because I tried to put my front paw through my collar. Don’t ask me what I was thinking. They stitched me up, put me in a “condo” (I’m not sure if I totally agree with this description) with a bunch of other cats. I didn’t want anything to do with them. I wasn’t looking for a way out.
I went to an adoption fair. I was expecting there to be rides or something but instead I had to sit in a cage while people manhandled me and poked their fingers at me. Finally, Fadra came and picked me up. She thinks she picked me but really I picked her.
We spent the next few years together in perfect harmony. I spent my days laying in the sun on her apartment balcony. When she came home from work. I would sit up on the counter and just watch her make dinner. When it was TV time, I laid on the floor and lounged gracefully. When it was play time, I could jump and flip like nobody’s business. And when it was McDonald’s time, I would politely sit on the couch and nudge her with my paw so she would know that I would like a bite of that cheeseburger. It worked every time.
Then in 2000, everything changed. Within 6 months time, she had met a man with two dogs and before I knew it, she was married and moving into his house. I tried to escape a couple of times but to no avail. They wouldn’t let me go. And those dogs loved to torment me too. I spent a few years sitting up high for that very reason.
The dogs got older. Or they just got bored with me. I was over them too. We came to an understanding. They stayed out of my space and I stayed out of theirs. Then my world got turned upside down.
We moved again. But the digs got better. I had more room to run around. Lots of sunny spaces and life started to get good again. They even got me a nice friend, Josie. She’s a bit of a follower. I’ve showed her the ropes and we play well together. I torment her and she lets me.
Then we had one more change. A big one. I had a feeling it was coming. A baby arrived one day. I tried my best to pretend that he wasn’t there. Fadra’s focus changed and I didn’t get quite as much attention. I knew it was temporary so I just waited it out. Little did I know that baby would turn into a fast-moving loud little machine. Like the dogs, we, too, have come to an understanding. He tries to pet me and sometimes I let him.
So now I’m 19 years old. That’s right. I’m old. I’m 92 years old in human years. And here is where I stand. I’ve lost all of my teeth because I had a genetic predisposition to gum disease. Don’t feel sorry for me. Now I get to eat that cool canned food instead of dry, boring chow. My belly hangs a little lower. But if I hold my head up and strut, you don’t even notice. My hair doesn’t quite look as nice. I forget to bathe sometimes. What can I say? I’m old. But it just means I get extra brushings.
My hearing isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. That’s okay. It just means I can finally get a good night’s sleep and not stay on edge all the time. I sleep a lot too. I use the dog bed and the window perch. But when it’s time for bed, I’m right there snuggling up to Fadra. It makes me feel good to know she still loves me. I think she kind of likes it too.
The only other thing I’ve really noticed about growing old is that I can’t quite jump the way I used to. I have stairs to get up on to the bed. No problem. Sometimes I try to jump and miss. I just walk away and act like I meant to do that and everyone is none the wiser. And finally, if I’m just too tired, someone will pick me up and put me where I want to go.
Life has definitely slowed down but I’ve learned that nothing is constant except change. And as long as you have a warm bed and someone to love you, the rest doesn’t really matter.
*Note: this part of the story cannot be verified