Thursday, December 21, 2017

My Little Lion in Winter

Reynaldo is getting old. He's 13.5 years old, which is about 70 in human years. Looking back on our time together, I can see time and age have slowed him down.

He's more mellow. He no longer views my sleeping as neglect. Now at night, I find him curled up beside me in bed. It's very sweet.

His senses of sight and smell appear to be a bit dulled. Sometimes he insists his dish is empty when he's just pushed the kibble to the rim with his nose. All I have to do is shake the bowl for him and he's happy again.

He's given up on his battle against framed artwork. He used to sit under the pictures on the wall, howling at them, now and again slipping a paw under them to knock them down. No more. It must be noted, however, that I no longer even bother displaying family pictures around the living room. He has knocked them over so often that the frames are broken. And I have no doubt that if I took them out again, he'd instantly resume his assault.

He has no obvious health problems, but at this age he should go to the vet every six months. I just made an appointment for him next week. I guess this hammers it home for me to accept that our time together is shorter. Yes, he's healthy now, but statistically speaking, indoor cats live between 12 and 18 years. My dear old Joe made it to 19 or 20, but that's unusual. So while Rey's racing around as I write this, making little noises and either fleeing or pursuing an imaginary adversary, he is an old man.

He's taught me a lot over our time together. I'm more patient for knowing him. I've come to accept him as he is, even as I believe he still has serious gripes with me. But I know I've given him a good life, and there's no question that he loves me.

He enriched my life when he entered it, back in November 2004. He's less a pet and more a companion. I'm glad we're together.


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