I have to face reality. My little kitty is getting on in years. The vet sent a reminder about scheduling a “geriatric” check-up.
True, Miss Iggy is somewhere around 13 or 14 years and she’s getting some white hair but she really doesn’t seem to have changed much over the years. She still gets her 20 hours of sleep a day. She still keeps me up all night playing the “in-and-out” game. She still loves to chase what moves and she loves tossing her catnip bag around. Miss Iggy is as picky about her food as she ever was and her favorite napping spot is my mom’s lap.
I do not think of her as “geriatric.” She’s my baby; she’s not an old lady.
One thing has changed: I debate about taking her for a check-up. Her shots are necessary and I don’t hesitate to make the appointment for those. But a check-up? Is that really worth all the stress it puts her under? I’m not all that sure.
Miss Iggy is one-of-a-kind. Even in the cat world where “quirky” is the norm, Iggy stands alone. She came to me in a roundabout way. Iggy — or Cassie, as she was then known — started life as a stray. When she was about 2 she was adopted by a woman who now lives in the next building down. Things went well for Iggy until the woman decided she would foster dogs for a local pet rescue.
The dogs were big; Miss Iggy was small. This did not make for a happy family! The dogs would not leave her alone. She would try to take refuge in a closet but sometimes that was not enough. The woman had to resort to drugging this little cat.
One day Iggy saw her opportunity and she took it! Out the door and again into life as a stray. The guy living next door to my mom left his door open all the time. Miss Iggy adopted him right away. She walked in, jumped up on his bed, said “Lucy, I’m home” and went to sleep. He had everything she needed: a nice place to sleep and no other animals. She could provide the food if he didn’t.
When Andrew went away on term breaks or for business, Miss Iggy came to me. When Andrew got a job elsewhere, I acquired all Miss Iggy’s accouterments and after a two week disappearance, I became the chosen one. Except for when I went to work. Then mom became the chosen one.
Now things are even easier on our little girl. Since mom and I now live in the same place, Iggy doesn’t have to run back and forth between our condo units.
My friend Alex had a cat that her family decided had to be put to sleep. Alex was understandably distraught. I certainly would be!
For a long time Alex waffled about getting another cat. She adores them but for a while she would cat-sit for others and not have a kitty of her own. Sure, there are all sorts of considerations you have to take into account when you have a cat, but owners tend to take that in stride just as anyone with any other pet does.
The difference is: it’s true — dog’s have owners; cat’s have staff. So I look at Iggy as an example: she chose me to wait on her, hand and foot. I’m sure there are many people who would have taken her in and been glad to have such a sweet-tempered little lady allowing them to share her space.
Alex finally did take in a cat. It was one that she would have over when his human would go away. Alex is now his human and she couldn’t be happier. It happened in the best way, just like it did for me. Not with a lot of planning, but as the perfect alignment of chance, timing and opportunity. The cat chose her as his servant and she accepted the job.
Alex is happy with Mr. Filou. Mr. Filou is happy with Alex.
I am happy with Miss Iggy and I think Miss Iggy is happy with me. Just as long as I don’t take her to the vet for frivolous check-ups. And if I could please not take her for shots. While I’m at it, start reading her mind so I know what she really wants for supper and not go through the several cans til I get it right.