My old cat

photo-1I’m sitting on my bed working and my old cat is lying next to me, pushing her head against me and purring. Every so often, I take my hands off the keyboard and rub her head hard, kneading her ears, and her purring intensifies and her big paws reach out to grasp my hands and hold them there.

I’ve had my old cat since she was a kitten: fourteen years to be precise. She was a little scrap of a thing with big round eyes and a face like a little bear. Her go-to move was the silent miao. Her face would miao, her mouth would open, but no sound would come out. She still does that. It’s her way of saying, “Hello, I am here.”

Her whiskers are turning silver now and she doesn’t do much but lie around. She tolerates the dogs because she knows she is top of the tree. She sheds too much, she dribbles like a tap, but she needs me more than ever because she is old.

Lying here, stroking her soft, light head makes me feel as if the sun is shining on me gently. Everyone should have an old cat. It’s a beautiful thing.

5 thoughts on “My old cat

  1. “Everyone should have an old cat. It’s a beautiful thing.”

    It really, really is. Can you believe my Smudge is going to be 19 at the end of the year? Her fur is now more brown than black, her whiskers (always white) are now rather bedraggled rather than strong and straight, and she has little white hairs like crows feet under her eyes. Oh, and she lost a canine tooth earlier this year — still has one fang to bite me with, though, when she feels the need.yhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhnbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbdssssssssssssssssss

    Also, she has impeccable timing. Seriously, unstaged, that mess above was her jumping up onto the desk and walking across the keyboard. I don’t have the heart to delete it, though it probably means something like, “Get away from the damn machine and feed me, you cow. Or, at least, provide me with a lap.”

    I love her more than I can say.

    • I have a nineteen year old dribbler who does the silent miaow too! Gentle Joey, with his clouding eyes and game leg, is a big black furry lump who refuses to be groomed and runs like hell on his three good legs when the brush comes out. I came across the “old cat” posts by accident, and immediately identified with them. I have two other cats, Toby and Ruby, who are 15 and 13 respectively. So I’m well up across the old cat debate, and just felt I could add a little to the conversation. Well done everyone who has an old cat – they are really worth any trouble.

  2. The lack of miaow must be something to do with black cats. I’ve got one – an ex-stray, big black bruiser of a tomcat with shredded ears. I’ve seen him chase off dogs four times his size, but his miaow is non-existent. At fish time he just does the open mouth thing. Occasionally, there will be a tiny squeak that comes out – it’s truly pitiful! Mind you, my friend has a tiny little black cat that has the loudest, deepest miaow you’ve ever heard. We often joke that they’ve swapped voices.

  3. Hi there! I am a new follower – I just found you!! I don’t have an old cat, but I do have an old dog, who also relaxes beside me with her white whisker and gray hairs sprouting around her eyes and mouth. ❤ To happy to have found this blog!

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