Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Geriatric Gato

(Big doings! This is my 100th post!)

I’m living in Backwards Land.

Unlike most women who spend much of their life campaigning for lowered toilet seats, I patrol my house putting them up.
Satchel's preferred position nowadays 

My cat Satchel is now seventeen years old and one of the side effects of his advanced years is a raging thirst. He’s on medication, which helps to some degree, but his deep naps are still interrupted by a need to find the nearest water bowl.

  We've accommodated him with water bowls by his food, on the porch, outside.

    They're everywhere.

One more water bowl

In spite of this, he must feel age has its privileges, and will sit by the toilet calling me loudly until I raise the seat.

For my part, I’m amazed he can climb that high. As it is, I have an old ottoman next to my bed so he won’t break a brittle old bone jumping up or down. This works well except for my own midnight runs to the toilet when in the fog of sleep I forget that it’s there and almost die in the night falling over it.
Once a hunter who brought home everything but a live deer, he’s less sure of himself now, perhaps due to failing eyesight or hearing. When I’m home, he’s constantly stalking me, waiting for me to provide a lap. If I move to another room, he’ll wander through the house calling until he finds me. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to sit and read without having a tail or furry arm blocking the print. Much of my time at the computer is spent removing his paw from the space bar.

In his prime he was so hefty that visitors to our neighbors have mistaken him on more than one occasion for a bear cub. 

I’ve often wondered if he’s really a dog in a cat suit. 

As a teenager he would play fetch, retrieving tin foil balls and bringing them back and dropping them at our feet. And he’s always been friendly, coming over to join in when we stood in the road chatting with neighbors. On one occasion I looked up from my magazine out on the deck to see him chase away a red fox. The fox stopped on the edge of our property and looked back at us and Satchel went after him, only stopping when it disappeared in the neighbor’s shrubbery.

He’s what, ninetyfive? He's a sweet old cat. But I still remember him as the little black kitten that, unlike the others mewing shyly at the shelter, jumped right out of his cage into my arms seventeen years ago. 


  1. What a nifty feline! I have cat steps for my senior cat although often he disdains them.

    1. Your puddy may still be a bit more spry than mine. Satchel now doesn't jump up to where I am. Instead he sits until I pick him up. Or is that just a sign of how well he's trained me?

    2. I liked the idea of being trained by one's felines.

      My elder cat, who I have had for about 12 years (and he was maybe 2 or 3 when I got him) has always been kind of an athletic marvel. He stills jumps very well, but he walks with a slight limp, so I am desperately trying to get him to stop jumping down from things, as the landings seem to hurt him.

  2. Congratulations on reaching 100! Your post made me long for a cat. It has been several years since the last of our children's pets died. We decided to go pet free to make travel easier, but I do miss the day to day interaction with a purring friend.

    1. We're lucky enough to have nice neighbors and - for longer trips - a good cat-sitter who will water plants, gather mail, and chat with the cat.
      I truly love dogs, but don't want to have to race home to walk one or struggle out in the dawn cold.

  3. Awwww....
    You made my eyes blurry.
    I hope you put Satchel in a widget in your side bar.
    The best cats find us.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I'll take you up on it, if my limited technical expertise allows.

  4. Oh my gosh...I have one of these. His name is RV. Everything you described is something our beautiful cat does. He loves my husband and disdains my existence. but it is all good. I know he loves me.

  5. Was he named Satchel after the great baseball player?


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