I have a Helper Cat. Her name is Annie. As you can see, she is in her supervisory mode.
Annie is a senior kitty – or as we say in our house, a Cat of A Certain Age. Technically we are both pretty much the same age. Seniorish. We don’t particularly like the term ‘elderly’. Probably because in our minds at least, we are still kids. Or, in Annie’s case, kittens.
When Annie first came to live with me, I was told she was about 8 years old. That was about seven years ago. I hate doing the math. I would prefer it to be along the lines of her being about a year or two old and going from there.
Honestly, in many ways she does not behave like I would expect a cat her age to behave. Mostly.
I’ve had cats for over twenty years and most of them could not care less about toys. Annie has a few she is particularly fond of and loves to play.
Most cats I’ve lived with had a fondness for windows and surveying the outside (with absolutely no interest in actually going outside). Annie is in that group. She is fascinated watching the kids in the neighborhood play and finds the local squirrel population interesting. We had one member of that group who seemed to have problems understanding that in order to climb up to the roof, one had to turn one’s head in that direction and actually climb on something one could get one’s claws into. Annie tried her best to teach him.
She is also particularly fond of cardboard boxes. Any cardboard box. Even those that are way too small for her.
I recently ordered a couple of replacements for her well loved kitty cubes. They came, along with the rest of the order, in two large boxes. She investigated one of the new cubes, and then dove into the new kitty toy (box) with relish. I put one on its side and she promptly tested it out with a round of Kitty Aerobics with a touch of Kitty Boxing (no pun intended).
This morning I came into the living room to find her happily curled up in the bigger of the two boxes. She will do that, off and on, until I want my floor back, or the box becomes too battered to stay in the house.
As Annie and I have aged, I’ve watched her deal with stiff and sore joints, the aches and pains that come with weather – other than the weather itself – and the day to day trials of not being as young as she used to be. It has been an interesting study.
She takes her days in stride, never letting any issues get in her way. She does, however, take her time and find the places and people she needs to be near. If I am not well, she comes to sit beside me, or makes sure to check on me every couple of hours or so.
We have monumental games of Catch My Tail where I reach out to grab her tail and she retracts it. Depending upon mood, this can go on for almost an hour.
One thing she particularly looks forward to is the First Cuddle Of The Day. This can include the aforementioned Catch My Tail game, but also fur fuzzling, tummy rubs, cuddles and a few kisses. I’ve learned not to ignore this important time of the day or put it off. Annie is very sensitive and I’ve seen her feelings get hurt when this time together is overlooked or shortchanged.
I know some folks will read this and wonder why anyone should care about a cat’s feelings. Why shouldn’t I? She is my friend, companion, confidant. She takes care of me when I’m ill, comforts me when I’m sad and loves me even when I’m not so lovable.
The simple act of paying attention to her and her needs is good for both of us.
The Helper Cat is currently curled up in her window seat waiting for the trash truck to come by. We’ve had our first rounds of cuddles at the keyboard and all is well with the world.
We hope your day is a good one!