Our cat is old. She’s been roaming our house for almost 18 years. At this stage in her life, she spends a lot of time sleeping in our bed. It’s fine, she has earned this rest. The problem is that the bed is upstairs and her food is downstairs. The stairs have become difficult for her. She doesn’t have a problem coming down when she is hungry but she isn’t motivated enough to go back up on her own. She sits at the bottom of the steps and meows incessantly. She only stops when she makes me so crazy that I break down and carry her up the stairs. “Her Majesty” has me well trained. The real problem is that her litter box is two flights down to the basement. That’s not nearly as motivating as food. Hannah suggested that we should start a business manufacturing cat-sized stair lifts. I can’t get mad because someday I will be so old that I spend all day in bed and accidentally poop on the floor.
She was sitting in the middle of a step about halfway down the staircase. She chose that spot because it’s the most awkward and inconvenient. She’s an 18-year-old cat and can’t hear much anymore. I was trying to go down the steps. I had planned my route so that I could avoid squashing her. She didn’t hear me until I was one step away. Cats are twitchy buggers. Therefore as I was about to step beside her she turned into a whirling demon. She did eight laps around each of my feet, ran up my back, and then gave me a look that implied she was completely offended by the way I snuck up on her. After I finished watching my life flash before my eyes, I continued down the stairs. Fifteen minutes later I discovered a giant pile of cat poop on my studio floor. Cats are vengeful creatures.
Our cat just turned 18 years old. She is in pretty good shape for an old cat. She isn’t as spry as she once was but she still races through the house in the middle of the night. We think her hearing has been deteriorating. She no longer flees in terror when I run the vacuum sweeper. She doesn’t hide in my studio during thunderstorms. Recently, some frying bacon got away from me and the smoke alarm was blaring. Maggie sat in the middle of the mayhem begging for a treat. In the past when the entire neighborhood became obsessed with pyrotechnics for the Fourth of July holiday, she would spend a week hiding under the bed. Now, she is completely oblivious. Despite her hearing loss, she still sneers in disdain and leaves the room whenever I pick up the banjo.
We have a mouse in the house. It’s a natural part of living in the world. Occasionally, a little rodent may find a way into our domicile. It ran across the room, under the tv, and into the ductwork. Thing-1 wants to catch it and keep it as a pet. I set out some traps. My preference is the old-fashioned kind baited with peanut butter. Thing-2 asked if a mouse could have “wabbies.” Now they are both terrified of the mouse and refuse to travel the house alone. Such a tiny thing can cause many problems. It seems as though our 17-year-old cat has some work to do.
I just brought this old lady home from the doctor with a clean bill of health. Maggie Mae turned 17 in May. We’ve had a couple of bumps on the road in the last year but the veterinarian says that everything looks good. She doesn’t hear as well as she used to and she’s got a minor tooth issue. Me too, Maggie.