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Her name is Joji and a calico. She was the resident feral cat living in the property when I moved in back in 1997. Now that she is at least 15 years old, she is deaf and has arthritis. She can’t jump from high places, walks very slowly, and will not respond to my calls if she has her back to me.
Her appetite is not as good as when she was younger but she loves raw food and that is all she eats. I believe that diet is what is lengthening her life.
Unchallenged Cat in the House
It is said that in the cat world when the alpha cat shows signs of weakness, it is the best opportunity for the wannabes to jump in. But Joji goes unchallenged in the house. Even the dog gives way and stops when she passes by. She is not a big cat. As a matter of fact, she seems to have shrunk in her old age.
I believe Joji made sure she remains the supreme mistress in the house. Things will only change by her choice or when it is time to go.
Visits to the vet are not as often as they should be for the elderly. I am worried and scared for her. Joji gets so upset when she is in the carrier on the way for a check-up. She always behaves at the clinic but I can feel her unusual fast heartbeat as I hold her in my arms and see in her eyes that she wants to go home. So I intend to take her only when necessary.
Joji was and is an outdoor cat. But age has limited her visits outside.
Her naps are longer and more often indoors. She was never a lap cat but she now seeks the warmth of my company especially when I watch TV or am at the computer or reading a book.
Precious Gift to Treasure
It is now summertime and it gets uncomfortably hot in the evenings. I often sit in the garden to enjoy the breeze. Joji will lay purring beside me. Sometimes I imagine she is telling me stories of her adventures. When I pet her, she looks up and I think she is smiling. I tell her she is the most beautiful girl, I love her and I thank her for being my best friend.
Sometimes she nods and goes back to sleep. Other times as cats do, she will go away to look for a cooler spot. But often she will rub her head on my hand and give me a lick. It’s a kitty kiss and a precious gift that I will treasure and remember forever.
For more information about deafness and common health problems of senior cats, check out these articles:
Written by yayi
Yayi is a TCS member who shares the story of Joji, a senior cat who’s lost both her hearing and the flexibility of her joints.