The last time I wrote about Cuddles, he was recovering from a fairly serious issue. That was in March. Now, you’d never know it happened. He’s his old self.
And when I call him “old”, it’s an accurate description. He’s 15 now. Every time I see a senior pet up for adoption my heart aches a little. Cuddles has to be an only pet. But I wish people wouldn’t overlook the older dogs and cats. They need love as much as kittens and puppies do. And they’ve been through worse times in their lives. The fact that they’re homeless is evidence.
When Cuddles was ill, he became wary of me. He didn’t trust me to not capture him to go in the carrier or force icky-tasting medicine down his throat. It took a while but he’s confident I’m his ally again.
Our house panther gets chirpy and antsy in the morning if I don’t sit on the chair with the ottoman and pull a throw or blanket onto my lap. He loves to settle there and watch the goings-on outside. The yard rabbit has moved on but there are birds and butterflies and flying insects to watch. He’s my first real lap-cat and I don’t take it for granted.
‘When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not more of a pastime to her than she is to me?’Michel de Montaigne
If I don’t go downstairs to work around the usual time, he lets me know I’m running late! As a supervisor, he’s a bit of a task master. He will try to get me to follow him down the stairs to my recording booth. They say that cats bring us dead mice because they think we can’t hunt for ourselves. Cuddles seems to think that I forget I have a job sometimes. It’s his duty to remind me. Because, how can you explain freelancing and its odd hours to your cat?
Sometimes, just being nearby is enough. Here he is watching me read, waiting for an opportunity to give me a head bump or get his ears scratched. At night, once the lights go off and we settle in, he leaves for one of his napping spots. It’s almost as if he feels it’s his duty to tuck us in.
Yes, I do know he’s a cat and only thinks cat things! But he really does love a routine. I think most pets do. It helps them feel safe when things are predictable.
If I could, I’d have dozens of senior animals to look after. But that’s the difference between me and a hoarder – I know I can’t do it and keep everybody clean, safe and healthy. Oh, and stay married. too!