Senior (Kitty) Moments

In 1997, I adopted a tiny adult tabby cat but no one at the Humane Society knew her age.  The official paperwork said she was two years old while the scribbled hot pink sign taped to her too-small cage stated she was four. This means she is now between 18 and 20 years old.

Miss Holly Golightly

Miss Holly Golightly

She has definitely slowed down these last few years–for example, she no longer plays–but in many ways she’s holding her own very well: she licks every single meal bowl clean, uses her litter box regularly, climbs up and down two flights of stairs, jumps on chairs, and has the shiniest & softest coat of striped fur I’ve ever seen or touched. About the only odd (and annoying) thing she does now is yowl randomly throughout the day, at least when I’m home. I think she has some dementia and I feel she’s too old to be put through a battery of expensive medical tests.

Holly Golightly, al fresco

Holly Golightly, al fresco

But I am preparing for that inevitable sad day when her little claws won’t be clicking upon my wood floors anymore. I don’t think I can ever be truly prepared to say goodbye to my baby, but these books have been helpful:


Caring for Your Aging Cat: A Quality-of-Life-Guide for Your Cat’s Senior Years by Janice Borzendowski


Senior Cats by Sheila Webster Boneham


Your Older Cat: A Complete Guide to Nutrition, Natural Health Remedies, and Veterinary Care by Susan Easterly

~Maria, happily owned by Holly Golightly


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11 responses to “Senior (Kitty) Moments

  1. Beth

    I adopted two cats when they were 10 years old. Kahlua lived to be 16 and Brandy lived to nearly 21 years old. I joked that if she reached the legal drinking age that I would take her to the bar. Sadly, she passed at 20 years. I miss them both. My best advice is to enjoy your baby every day. It will help to know that later. I also suggest kittens. I got two right away. It’s hard to be sad around kittens.

  2. Adaena

    Thanks for the resource suggestions. I’ll be checking these out for sure. While my kitty Rufus is only 13.5 years old, he’s been slowing down the past few years. I fear that he won’t be around much longer, given that he’s “morbidly obese” (he was nearly 30 lbs. when we adopted him and has struggled with his weight ever since!). In the meantime, we try to make life really pleasant for him. He goes outside for daily “sunny time” in warmer weather and cuddles with us all night long! Man, I sure do love cats :)

    • Adaena, thanks for reading & commenting. Like your Rufus, Holly Golightly used to love being outside but now she prefers we simply hold her and carry her around outside! What we want most to do is just love them and make life easy for them, especially in their older years.

  3. EleneSallinger

    I remember when my first cat passed on when I was fourteen – she was eighteen. She was a fixture in my life from the moment I was born. We can never truly prepare but all those moments, but we always have the memories to treasure.

    Best wishes,


  4. Don

    Cheers for Miss Golightly … beautiful post.

  5. My very first pet, in my very new marriage, was a tiger cat we named Stanislaw Eugene Damien….Stoshu for short. He only lived to be 11, I felt so…shorted, is that the word?….by his early death (cancer). Fast forward 10 years, we now have a Westie (long name, short nickname) who is basically the dog version of my cat – and our first dog. I am enjoying him as much as possible, now. Love reading your story about your older cat, I still miss my Stosh. He died in 2000.

  6. Thanks for your loving appreciation. I know that Sr. cats get dementia but what about other things? Maybe you should have her checked out? Just because you don’t want her to suffer from something she may be trying to tell you about. Kidneys, or other things. I have had several pairs of cats-manxes and street cats-incredible little souls.

  7. Pingback: Farewell, My Dear Friend | Eleventh Stack

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