Mystique turned 16 on Monday, her Halloween birthday. Purina tells me that’s the equivalent of 80 in human years. I must say that she is the spriest and most nimble 80 I have ever seen.
A Fast, Strong and Tough Cat
She has returned to her usual speed and is still fast enough to still be the terror of the local chipmunk population. Several times this summer I have tossed her latest victim over the stone wall into the woods. The neighborhood dogs, many far larger than she, give Mystique a wide berth. Presumably, they don’t want to be embarrassed in front of their owners.
Mystique is tough enough to have survived her run-in with the fox that has moved into the neighborhood. Of course, a small fortune in veterinary care contributed a lot to her recovery but her spirit remained strong and she never once gave up. So how could we give up on her? Now Mystique sits upright and holds her head high. She grew to like the neck rubs I started giving her and often jumps up on my lap to get her massage.
She’s strong enough to jump onto the top of a four-foot retaining wall in one smooth leap. And she races home when it’s dinner time.
Old Age Creeping Up on Mystique
Old age creeps up slowly on Mystique. Yes, she has kept a little closer to the house since her medical crisis and she spends more time lying in the warm sun than she used to. Staying out in the cold rain, which she once preferred to being inside a dry house, has lost it charm, though. Oddly, Mystique now enjoys being petted for 10.5 strokes and will tolerate being held for 3.5 seconds exactly. We respect the limits.
Like most old people she has given up on being finicky about her food. Since her recovery, Mystique eats what we put in her dish and often comes back for more. This takes some getting used to but we like it.
I should be this fast, nimble, strong and resilient when I’m 80. Actually, I plan to be this flexible, tough and engaged when I’m 80. I’ll pass on the chipmunks, though.