Due to a cat’s somewhat sedentary lifestyle, signs of aging can be easy to miss. I checked in with my 14-year-old Bengal, Stella, to see how her senior years were going.
Stella, you’re getting up in years.
How are you feeling? Are you worried about old age?
Old age? I’m only 14! I have my entire life ahead of me.
That’s the right attitude, Stella. I’m impressed. And it’s true that indoor cats tend to live longer than … oh, wait. You don’t know.
What don’t I know?
Stella, what does being a 14-year-old cat mean to you, exactly?
Well, it’s pretty exciting. I’m solidly into my teen years and can finally go to the bathroom wherever I —
YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW.
OF COURSE I KNOW! What don’t I know?
Stella, if you were a human you would still be teenager. But you’re a cat so you … aren’t.
In cat years, 14 is old.
WHAT? How old? Did I miss my sullen teens?
How about my directionless 20s?
My depressed 30s?
How about my panicked 50s, where I buy a boat?
There’ll be no boat.
CAT YEARS ARE A CROCK!
Sounds like you don’t think much of life anyway, Stella. Maybe it’s good you skipped right to your 60s.
You might be right. The senile 60s could be the perfect decade for me. Second childhood and all.
That’s the spirit, though senility is more common in later years.
And yet look at you.
I’m not senile, Stella.
Your haircut says otherwise.
Surely you must have noticed some signs of aging, though? It’s a little harder to get up, perhaps?
Well, there has been a 32-percent uptick in naps in the last three years.
You chart your naps that precisely?
It’s my job. It’s not like you forget which houses to pick up trash.
I’m not a garbageman, Stella.
My nose says otherwise.
What about your health? You haven’t jumped up to the dresser in years.
And you haven’t eaten a vegetable in years.
Hey, I could put you on a specialized food! After all, you’re a —
HOLD YOUR TONGUE.
— SENIOR cat.
I’m destroying the guest bedroom again.
Oh, come on. Embrace your age. Acceptance is the key to a happy life.
You mean I should lie around all day and complain about birds on the lawn? You may be right.
I was thinking more about exercise and healthy eating.
That’s kid stuff. I’m a SENIOR cat. I’ve toiled my whole life, and it’s time people served ME.
I’ve been doing that your whole life.
Good, you’re trained. Now go get me some wrinkle cream. Chicken flavored. Actually just bring the chicken.
Take another nap, Stella.
Thumbnail: Photography Courtesy Michael Leaverton.
Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you!
Eleven-year-old Stella, a Bengal, has a firm grip on her handler, freelance writer Michael Leaverton, whom she rescued from an alt weekly many meals ago. They live in San Diego.