Posted: November 3, 2011 | Author: Bernadette | Filed under: backyard, cat behavior, cats, cookie, feline health, garden, garden cats, garden sprites, kublai, moses, my household of felines, namir, peaches, peaches' 100th birthday, sally, senior cats, stanley | Tags: backyard, cats, senior cat month, senior cats, senior pet month |
Namir and Cookie inspect my gardening.
I first posted this article in April 2009 as Namir and Cookie and I finished cleaning up the garden for another gardening year and republished it again in 2010 in honor of Peaches 100th birthday, and now in 2011 in honor of Senior Pet Awareness Month. A number of cats have grown to their senior years here, and one of the treats they get is to carouse in the backyard with me as I garden; the sunshine and fresh air is so invigorating for them and we can enjoy that little bit of extra time and special memories.
My two seniors join me outdoors to supervise my gardening.
It’s a joy to share the time and the experience with them, but with a flicker of sadness, to watch Namir sprint across the yard just for the joy of running and Cookie patrol the garden paths, even in the late winter when strewn with weeds and debris. It means they are old enough to want to stick with me while I’m out in the garden, old enough that our time is limited and these will be our golden memories. It’s a tradition when the old ones get to be this old that they also get to enjoy time outdoors with me.
Because animals live shorter lives than we do, chances are we will outlive them. And if we adopt and foster a number of animals, we’ll live through that many losses. It never gets easy, but with the awareness gained from each loss, watching the oldest grow into their senior years is less shocking and painful. Animals are so graceful about aging, not like us fretting about gray hair and memory loss. The brevity of their lives may seem unfair to us, but that span is normal for them. The lesson is to enjoy them in this moment while preparing for the unavoidable, but not to dwell on either.
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Posted: November 1, 2011 | Author: Bernadette | Filed under: animal welfare, cat photographs, cats, senior cats, sophie, stanley, stories of my cats | Tags: cats, dogs, felines, pet cancer awareness month, pet diabetes month, senior pet month, senior pets |
Desk with Six Cats; sometimes my office is not so beautiful!
The photo above shows my household in the summer of 2006, and the youngest kitty in the photo is Kelly, in the center, who was 12 at the time.
Stanley napping in the sun.
From the left, Stanley, 25, is hard to see curled up behind Sophie, 17; on the desk turning around to bathe is Kelly at 12, then Namir at 13; Cookie,15, is curled up on the other side of the papers from him, then there’s Peaches having a good scratch at 16. Recently with us were Moses, 19, and Cream, 16, and joining us months later was Lucy as a young kitten.
A few things to be observed here, first that senior cats have no problem getting up on the desk, even at the advanced age of 25, as Stanley was.
Second, Peaches had come in the previous year at age 15 and fit in as if she’d always been there, so the idea that pets must be adopted young in order to fit into the household and be sufficiently bonded with its people is a myth, at least as far as I’m concerned.
Third, it’s been a while since my desk was neat, and one of the reasons has always been the habit of cats sleeping all over it! But for anyone who only knows my current household of the two senior torties, then the big jump in age to the family of black cats, Mimi and her children, here is the group that came immediately before them.
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