Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December, our hearts should remember
-- The Fantasticks
Every so often I notice that our Emily is in fact in the December of her life. While she can still make the dining room table leap when she thinks we're not looking, she just doesn't move like a kitten any more. Sometimes when the boys chase the cat teasers she'll come half way down the stairs, watching with an almost forlorn look of one who remembers a more active time for herself.
Given how she can be sensitive to how she is being petted, I worry she's in actual pain from her 15 years of feline existence. Snapping at her humans when she actively solicited being petted says there may not be a lot of physical comfort there.
And more generally, while Emily is not shy, she is skittish and hates surprises (especially of the male tiger kitten kind). If one only watches her at the wrong times, surprises make up too much of her existence.
However, my heart is warmed by two things.
I've directly noticed is that Emily fairly consistently likes to play with our new cats teasers if she doesn't have to complete with the boys. Seeing her actively stalking and pouncing objects two or three times a week says she can still lose herself like a kitten. And that's a good thing.
The second thing, that I less observed as have had stressed to me by Katherine, is that Emily consistently curls up with Katherine at work. Then Emily acts warm and relaxed and anything but forlorn or skittish.
Since we have previous posts that I linked to on both of those topics, none of this is a complete shock, but it is important to me that our elderstates-cat does find ongoing happiness at our little kitten farm during her remaining time (which hopefully will be several human years yet).