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.
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.
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
~Maria, happily owned by Holly Golightly