In our home, we are surrounded by feline friends from my days in veterinary medicine and my falling prey to the "foster" gimmick - "Here's a cute kitty for you to foster the next couple of months as we try and find him/her a permanent residence in a loving home. He/She is healthy, vaccinated, neutered/spayed, fun as all get out and is available for endless amounts of entertainment and unconditional love." How can you deny such an amazing opportunity? And so, the legacy of fostering continued and throughout my years at the cat clinic, I took one cat in after the next, providing each one a safe and loving place to be totally themselves without needless declawing and more catnip than they knew what to do with. It was kitty bliss for everyone!
It's been eight or more years since I last practiced as a certified vet tech. I loved the job, but it took it's toll. Since then, most of the felines I brought home from that time, stayed with me and are now showing signs of old age, something I'm not quite ready for yet..especially when it comes to my best bud and 'Old Man', Casper.
Every time I look at him, he purrs and his eyes squint shut ever so slightly. He then sticks out his paw and gently bats at me to signal that he'd like to be petted. I grab his face, give him a good face rub and smile at him, knowing all along that he's only got a solid two to three years left. From what I'm able to determine, his geriatric years are upon him - the last vet visit tallied him at thirteen years old. I was told to monitor him for hyperthyroidism, a common ailment of cats past their prime. His muscle mass is slowly giving away to "sag". His steps aren't as precise as they once were. And his meows are weaker than I remember. He sounds like an old cat every time he opens his mouth - it's often followed by a long winded crackly, low-pitched meeeeeoooooow that easily equates a cat in retirement. It obvious that the years have caught up with him, but he doesn't seem to mind. Getting old is what it is - as long as I'm available for the occasional facial, he's a happy fella.
This layout symbolizes a very special feline friend whom I'll be lost without when he's no longer here to bare my "old man" reminders. He has a personality akin to that of a golden retriever - friendly, docile, soft, sweet and outgoing. These qualities have made it extremely easy to fall in love with Casper. I've met many cats in my lifetime, but nothing like Casper the friendly ghost. ;)
I have close-ups and tips from this layout, but they'll have to wait. I wanted to chime in with the layout since it's been quite a while since my last post. I hope all of you are well and catching some warmth in the midst of the arctic cold that's been hounding most the US lately. If you're lucky enough to live some place warm, please box it up and mail it to Minnesota....we sure could use it.