Happy 19th Birthday Niles! Living With A Senior Cat

Happy 19th Birthday to Niles!

Niles. Still fresh.

I don’t know the exact date, but it was just about this time in 1999 that Niles made it into the world. Since then, he’s been my little buddy, my sidekick, my couch finder. When he was young, he could jump from the floor to the top of the fridge. He was fast, slim, and loud.

So what’s changed?

Well, he’s still slim and loud, but slightly less fast. He can’t jump to the top of the fridge anymore, but he can still jump over the baby gate I put to keep him in his room at night. Why does it have to stay in his room? Because sometimes, he forgets where the litter box is. He yowls a lot at night, but he’s always done that. I think the hardest thing to adjust to is that my little friend has gone completely deaf.

One day, Niles could hear, the next he could hear a bit, and just like that, it was gone. Our vet says that cats, after about age 16, can lose their hearing seemingly overnight. He wasn’t too concerned by it and said that Niles can still be quite happy. And he is.

Living with a deaf cat is a little bit different. I use a lot of hand signals and he’s learned what they mean. He’s very quick to arrive when he sees me waving the food dish. It’s easy to scare him, though, so I have to approach carefully. He yowls louder than before because he can’t hear himself, which caused him some anxiety at first (for both of us), but he’s calmed down since then. He’s gotten some extra love and petting, and he adores being groomed.

I can’t pick him up like I used to and squish him with hugs. I have to gently lift him and administer gentle comfort.

He also doesn’t bathe himself as well anymore, so I use kitty wipes and a brush to groom him and he loves our grooming time.

Caring for a senior cat isn’t exactly like having a young cat; it’s a different experience, one that can be frustrating but also very touching and rewarding. Niles is still Niles. He’s still my friend, companion, and couch finder. He just needs a little extra care these days, and I’m ok doing that for as long as he needs.

Happy birthday to my little buddy.

With age comes wisdom, and apparently an ability to not care if a dog has her ass in your face.

Niles in 2001. He’s still ALMOST this flexible.

Finding couches since 2000.

And lastly, that time when Niles represented Senior cats in an ad for Pet Health Network. He’s a natural.

 

Today We Meet Niles!

Hello, Readers.

 

Today, we meet Mr. Niles Chesterfield of Cambridge. London. (He insisted I add that. He’s from Wisconsin. He’s not fooling anyone.) Niles is the senior member of the Grelyak household. Having been adopted from a no-kill rescue somewhere about the turn of the century, (this latest one, not the previous one), Niles has been with MomFOD throughout her college years and all the years beyond. He’ll be celebrating his 18th birthday this year and is still chugging along like a champ. Let’s hear what he has to say!

Niles today. (Well, yesterday, or recently enough, anyway.)

***

Crepes: How’s the weather today, Niles?

Niles: What feather?

Crepes: No, the weather!

Niles: Back in Ott 9, I recall a rather beautiful feather. It tickled my fancy, one might say.

Crepes: Right… So, tell us about yourself?

Niles: I have a fabulous shelf. High up on the wall, built by my Alana herself. Quite a good show she put on, really.

Crepes: I see.

Niles: So can I! Hearing’s not so good these days, though.

Crepes: You don’t say.

Niles: It’s Tuesday.

Crepes: I quit.

***

Anyway, there you have it! Dear Old Niles, the 17, almost 18, year old black cat with the scruffy fur and a love of cuddling. He would like to represent the senior constituency of our readers.

Niles, at age fifteen and a half.

Niles

Lookin to the future!

Love,

 

Crepes.

 

Tuesday Haikusday: Niles (and A Video)

I haven’t done haiku in a while. I’ve decided today is the day. Join me as I wax poetic on Niles, my elder brother. Eh hem…

crepeszen

Darkly stealthy, cool

Slinking about in the night

I know you are there.

.

Sleek, panther-like gait

As your tongue rasps through your fur

You stop and listen.

.

Nineteen Ninety Nine

Sixteen years resting your head

On MomFOD’s shoulder.

Niles finally got a chance to star, really star, in a CATastrophes film. It seems to be a runaway hit. Please enjoy Niles in ” What Your Senior Cat Might Be Thinking.

 

Love,

Crepes.