Because I think it’s likely that they’ll feature relatively often in my photos, I want to give a background on the cats.
We have two cats, Lily and Zoe.
They’re older ladies (Lily is around 14 and Zoe is closer to 20!).
Living with older cats has been a wonderful experience. They both love attention (Lily is as close as she possibly can be to me as I write this), sleep, and food. Which, let’s be honest, is the dream.
It’s incredible how much personality they have for such small animals!
Zoe is scatter-brained and deaf. She’s a bit of a bully to Lily, but she does have redeeming qualities. When I moved in she was very shy and would often try to stay hidden away. I really wanted to hang out with her, so I would find her and sit her on my lap as I pet her. She wasn’t sure at first, but now she’s much more social. She regularly runs over to anyone who sits down to claim their lap, which was almost unheard of previously.
It’s been really nice to see her personality come out and all of her adorable little oddities. Like the time she managed to pull a chicken wing out of the bin and yowled at it so loudly that we heard her from the second floor and thought something was horribly wrong.
She also has a habit of grooming us by climbing on the back of the sofa and licking our hair (she struggles with mine because it’s so long, though!).
Zoe has hyperthyroidism and we give her an oral medicine twice a day. She had lost so much weight that we could feel her ribs and hip bones, even though we were giving her loads of food. She’s a much better weight now and is much happier.
Her favourite toy is anything on a string, which she will chase until you put it away.
Lily is a very sensitive cat, but is such a sweetheart. She gets anxious and over-grooms her belly, but also loves it when she’s getting attention. She regularly starts grooming us back while we’re petting her.
Lily lost an eye as a kitten from an infection, but I often forget she only has the one eye. I don’t think she notices at all. The only thing that she struggles with is her depth-perception. This doesn’t have serious ramifications. It just means that she will happily hit her head off bannisters and chair legs with an impressive amount of force while she desperately vies for attention.
Lily is probably the neediest cat I’ve ever known, but I love her for it. If she wants to be in the same room that you’re in she will do anything she can do to get in to you – even if you’re in the washroom! Her favoured method is to scratch at the door and shout.
She’s usually quite content to just stay on the bed with soft blankets, but when she does want attention she knows how to get it. If I’m at my desk, she’ll jump up onto my computer to head-butt me (adorably!). She also stands on her hind legs and puts her paws on the arm of my chair. A combination like this usually works to get me to spend time with her on the bed. This is what she’s usually after, unless I haven’t put a soft blanket on the bed, in which case that’s my bad and I remedy it quickly. If her usual methods don’t work, though, she’ll jump up onto my desk and I’ll have to scramble to get something soft on the desk for her to use as a bed or she’ll use my hand as a pillow!
Sometimes, if we’re downstairs for too long, we’ll hear her shouting. When we come upstairs, she’ll be calmly sat on the bed looking at us like we were in the wrong for leaving her alone for too long, even though she could have come down to see us at literally any time. She knows what she wants and I have to respect her for that.
Living with them is great! My main take away with it is: if you’re interested in living with a cat, the older ones can still have so much love to give – even if they have health conditions. Lily doesn’t bat an eye at only having one eye. And caring for Zoe’s conditions is straightforward.
It’s important to note that a cat will have their own personality, and, if you give them a comfortable and loving environment, you might just be lucky enough for them to show it you.