Moby got a nice new cat tree for his birthday. He is eight years old now, and I adopted him just over a year ago, right after the one person who had inquired about him, in the course of three months, had decided not to adopt him. “My husband and I realized that, at best, we’d have him for only ten years,” the woman had written. This retired couple had decided that what they really wanted was a pair of kittens. I sometimes reflect that this is exactly the attitude that results in our receiving in rescue so many cats who have outlived their owners.
I admit that, as I hold Moby in my arms or rub his belly, it occasionally saddens me to think that he is no longer a young cat. He looks and acts like a young cat, and the veterinarian tells me that he is in fine physical condition, but I have his kitten paperwork, and hence there is no mistaking his age. In a few years he will be a senior, then a few years after that he will be old. I have lived with cats for most of my life, and none of them has shown his or her age until after the age of sixteen, but there are exceptions to the rule, I know.
At these moments, I cradle Moby more consciously, focus more intently on the kiss I plant on his head. Ten years is not eighteen years, but it is a good bit of time—longer than many dogs live and longer than many marriages last. How many of us have made each day count, in any relationship? When time seems endless, it becomes easy to take one another for granted. Then so often there are misgivings when our time together ends unexpectedly.
Where I am leading is that, while adopting a middle-aged cat is a good deed—a middle-aged cat has a much harder time finding a home than does a young cat—caring for a middle-aged cat is also a lesson in loving, a reminder that love, even when we are least of aware of the fact, is “for a limited time only.”
In this spirit, I would encourage you to consider adopting a cat no longer in the bloom of youth. Take a look at our website at http://www.purebredsplus.org/ , where we introduce not only charming kittens and young cats but also some wonderful middle-aged cats, and even a few seniors, who would love to be home for the holidays. Open your heart and your home; then luxuriate in the experience of making each day count with someone you love for eight years, ten years, or twelve. Soon you’ll find yourself making each day count with everyone else you love.There is Moby, offering his belly again. A pleasure and a teaching.