Friday, February 3, 2012

Elder Care

It's not either of our parents yet either. They are getting up there in age, but I wouldn't classify them as elderly yet (although 50 IS pretty old, Mom ;-P). I'm talking about our cats. Our five cats are most definitely elderly. Tabatha predates even our marriage. We adopted her on a visit to Idaho back in January 1998 and flew her all the way back to Wisconsin with us. She was 6 months old then, which means she was born in summer of 1997, making her 14 years old now! It's pretty darn rare for a cat that was an indoor/outdoor cat to live that long. She's a strange cat, to be sure, but man, do I love that animal. Our "younger" four are between the ages of 12 and 13. I can't imagine what the odds are to have five indoor/outdoor cats (although, for the last several years, they are almost exclusively indoor cats - they don't venture much beyond the end of the driveway anymore) living into their teen years. Anyhow, in the break between Christmas and New Years, Bart, one of our orange cats, suffered a stroke. We prepared for having to put him to sleep, as he could barely get around and was extremely disoriented. The vet wanted to try a steroid shot and a 24 hour waiting period, just in case it wasn't a stroke, but head trauma from a fall or something, so we brought him back home and babied him (he's always been a rather anti-social cat, so this was a very strange turn of events). Well, the steroid didn't fix anything, but the 24 hour waiting period made it crystal clear that Bart was not ready to give up on life. He has adjusted to his new disability and can get around (he walks with his head dipped and tilted to one side, and can be kind of unsteady), has a hearty appetite, purrs when you pet him, and still seems to enjoy a decent quality of life. I don't know how many cats adapt to an altered, post-stroke life, but we are now the caretakers of one. I'm glad we have some more time with him.


Mom said...

Hey.....that's just mean, remember I am still your Mom!

Veronica J said...

Cats are amazing - we have 3 cats (all indoor) who are 11.5, 11, and 4.5. I can't bear to think about them getting older and then leaving us!