It’s been said that baby animals are cute so people would want to take care of them. We should cherish senior animals because they teach us to see the beauty of life — especially when you have more days behind you than ahead of you.
Some seniors have endured unspeakable hardship, yet they can be the most loving and loyal companions. They will greet you with purring and head butts and instinctively know when you need their comfort. All they ask in return is food, shelter, kindness and care. Kittens stumbling around as they explore a new world is always delightful to watch, however, that passion will mature into wisdom can be be conveyed with blinking eyes — and a gentle paw on their human’s cheek.
Of course, lots of senior cats have reserves of energy that leave you shaking your head with amusement. When Stanni and Chyron chase each other around the apartment, it is the human equivalent of watching two grandmothers go at it with the energy of a Three Stooges head-bonking fest.
Bubba will watch them carry on with a look that seems to say, “Geez, women!”
He is also the leader of the pack. The girls want to please him and I want him to purr 24/7. Bubba is usually the first sight I see upon waking. With a meow (and a quick bat of the paw if he is hungry) and hug, he is always eager to greet the new day. I wish I could have his upbeat outlook. Amid his TV time, noshing and grooming, Bubba always makes time for family. Every day he spends time nestled with 13-year-old Chyron. They hug, kiss and I swear Bubba tries to reassure this ever-edgy calico that she is loved. As for Stanni, Bubba loves her but regards this 9-year-old as a bit of a brat. So he does a daily check-in with Stanni that consists of nuzzling and a little mutual grooming. Watching the two of them, I think Stanni seems to work awfully hard to earn his approval by flirting and rolling around. He appreciates it without getting silly.
Bubba is well past 100 in human years but his spirit is young. He has no time for cranky howling or hissing. There is too much fun to be had and too much love to give and receive.
Someday, I hope to be just like Bubba.