My kitty, Garland, is 13 years old. I adopted her when she was just a tiny kitten and I was just 22 years old, one week after I graduated from college. Today was her yearly checkup at the vet. She's in excellent health, and the vet says she'd never guess that she's 13 years old. Still, the vet handed me a rather ominous-looking pamphlet called, "Friends for Life: Caring for your older cat."
According to the pamphlet, at age 13, Garland is a "senior" cat. This is older than a "mature" cat, but younger than a "geriatric" cat. To put this into human terms, she's about the same age as all of the people sitting around us at the Bon Jovi concert: Young enough to haul herself up all of the stairs at the Sprint Center; old enough to look really ridiculous doing it.
The pamphlet went on to describe all of the horrible illnesses that are about to befall my "senior" cat, and that I need to watch out for dozens and dozens of terrible symptoms, including "drooling", "less-elastic skin", and "forgetfulness". (Yes, the people at the Bon Jovi concert definitely had skin that was less-elastic.)
I'm wondering how you can tell when a cat is forgetful. If she doesn't send me a card on my birthday, is it time to put her down?
Anyway. I read the entire, horrifying pamphlet, right up to the last page: "End-of-Life Decisions." Huh. I can't believe they left out the section on "Miracle Cats Who Never Get Sick and Live Forever and Ever", because this is the category Garland will fall into. I'm just sure of it.