Sunday, December 2, 2012

Old Age

I worry about my cat. He's ancient for a cat and sometimes he doesn't want to eat. It appears to be simple picky eating, since if I empty out his bowl and give him a different kind he wolfs it down like he's starving.

He still has plenty of energy, he's always purring, but he's old.

Old age is something that most of us will have to deal with sometime, and with that comes a lack of appetite. Not necessarily because we don't want to eat, or because we don't care, but simply because nothing tastes good any more.

Animals and people react the same ways to old age--lack of appetite, loss of weight and energy. Pain becomes a constant companion, and many of us end up in nursing homes. Sight goes, hearing goes, we sleep more and eat less.

"Old age ain't for sissies," as the saying goes.

There's really nothing that can make old age easier. However, there are some things we can do that make the inevitable run a little smoother.

Using my cat as an example again:

1 For the first eighteen years of his life he was an outside cat. He came in at night, but during the day he was patrolling, hunting, walking fences. Lesson: Stay active as long as possible.

2 He ate the normal cat diet, with catfood thrown in. Lesson: High protein, low fat, and some variety. Since cats are carnivores, just say a balanced diet for humans. They say variety is the spice of life, and it's really true.

3 He had a pretty stress-free life. Lesson: While we don't always control the amount of stress, we can control what we do about it. i.e., don't STRESS about it.

4 When his eyesight started to go I made him an indoor cat. Naturally he resents it, and a couple times a week he gets past me and goes exploring--at least as far as the front porch. Lesson: We all need someone who cares enough to make sure we're safe, even when we don't want to be.

Of course, my cat has more of a sense of humor than I do, so I'm guessing he'll live...oh...another fifteen years?


  1. Poor cat - but it sounds as though you're taking very good care of him! I didn't realise you had this blog as well :-)

    1. He's something like 22 years old (I think 22, others say no way, but I know for certain that he's more than 20 because of pictures).

      I don't really advertise this one. If people come to it that's a great bonus.

  2. Gosh, 22! That's amazing!
    My doc couldn't find anything wrong, so I'd love to hear more about the chamomile and catnip! I love meditation, but (wait for it) can never find the time!