There was a lot of procrastination about featuring Earl Grey, my heart cat, on our 2020 cat calendar. Not because of a lack of photos, but precisely because I had to go through all of his photo archives through the years, some of which you can imagine, brought on a flood of tears, some smiles and then a sense of “Well, this is the most natural thing to do.”Read More
Today we lost the heart and soul of the Chirpies, our precious boy Earl Grey. For the past three years, he fought kidney disease and within the last couple of months, his health was declining rapidly. We knew that day would come to say goodbye eventually, but I forgot just how hard it is to let go. Read More
Have you ever been asked, “Have you been drinking from the fountain of youth? You look so young!” Age in human years is such a taboo topic, we don’t like displaying it proudly as a badge of honor. Don’t ask a lady her age, it’s bad social etiquette. But there’s one lady in the Chirpy Cat’s house who carries her age well and doesn’t mind being asked her age. This is one gal who does not look a day older than “kitten” and has the confidence and poise of a leopard in the wild. She is none other than Sarabi, our brown spotted Bengal cat who today celebrates her 15th birthday. Sarabi is the same weight today that she was when she was younger. She’s lithe and sleek, a great jumper, agile and light-footed. Her vocals, once activated through conversation, will always want the last say.
Earl Grey was out and about by himself this weekend and really showed us what tenacity he has. I felt compelled to follow along and capture his catio walk, just in case he needed that extra nudge in the right direction.
He is determined to make that jump, despite his blindness. He is almost half the weight he used to be but still has some strength in his hind legs.
Just minutes before in the kitchen, he was reclining on his cardboard scratcher and I thought, “he’ll probably be there for a good few hours and won’t move.” I proceeded to play the album Music for Cats, which I used to play all Summer last year for kitties’ pleasure.
Just as quickly as the music had begun, he was alert and climbed down from the scratcher, slowly edging his way down the stairs toward the laundry room. This is the gateway to the catio. Read More
He goes by many names, each suited to his build and demeanor. In the early days, he was Ninhsy, Fat Boy Slim, then just Slim. His confidence earned him the nicknames ‘Lion King’ and ‘Puma Boy’ for his gorgeous silver ‘eyeliner’. These days he is Earl Grey. The latter, not just because of coat coloring, but because if he could, he would be sipping tea, reading the Catnip Times through thick-rimmed spectacles. And he would even call it that.
But today is his 16th Birthday and the cat with many names wears his crown with pride.
A survival guide for coping with trips to the vet from a senior cat.
It’s 8:10 am and it’s time to leave the house to get to the vet on time but Fluffy is nowhere to be seen. You frantically search under every bed, in the cupboards and even the shower (well, because cats are weird like that and you’re half expecting to find him there, but of course he’s not) and there is no sign of him. Fluffy has sniffed something sinister a mile away and it smells like “vet checkup!” For most cats, myself included, this Houdini tactic is something we have all done at some point in our nine lives. But today I would like to let you in on my transition from a cat who bolted from the cat carrier to a grand old dame who cheerfully hops inside and loves feeling the wind in her whiskers. Well, not today, though, it was -20 degrees celsius and I was certain my old bones would not take kindly to frozen whisker syndrome for the first time, so I settled for the back seat of the car, in a cat carrier. (Yes, I know, boring!)
Think of your happy space, like chin sritches, or butterflies in summer
Now for all you seasoned cats out there, you might knowingly blink at a few points, you might flick your tail in disbelief or you might just start washing your paws in embarrassment. But for the youths out there, let this old lady Bengal (that’s moi!) give you a few pointers on how to survive the trip to the vet with your dignity intact.
“He’s gone blind” I texted my husband, just a week after invasive dental surgery on our 15-year-old CKD cat, Earl Grey.
“That can’t be possible, I saw him climbing on the bridge this morning.”
I observed every step he took, watched every movement closely. Yes, our cat has become blind, overnight. Our beloved Earl Grey is struggling to find his way around the house. He is trying to desperately rediscover every corner, sniffing every inch of surface, treading lightly with each hesitant paw. His slow movement is not just weakness from the surgery or muscle atrophy from his kidney disease. His eyes are dilated black saucers, trying desperately to catch any light, just any at all. His head sways in the general direction of my voice as I try to soothe him with calming words.
At this moment I try to recall if this was a sudden onset or was he like this when he returned home after spending two nights at the vets after his surgery. Were his pupils this dilated and vacant? I can’t recall through my utter devastation. But how was he able to climb up to the bridge?
Our vet confirmed he has high blood pressure and this, coupled with the four-hour long surgery to remove ten teeth and the myriad of drugs administered to keep him alive during his surgery, were all contributing factors to his loss of sight. Having kidney disease did not help his situation either.
In every situation, there is light at the end of the tunnel, albeit for him, a very dark tunnel. We know his mouth is pain-free now as he is wolfing down his food. A huge relief!
My mum asked, “but how will he get by?”