Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Feline Familiar Frailty

So much has transpired chez nous since my last blog posting back in October, with moving into our new home (well, it's older than son, but it is new to us) and unpacking and fixing up the place.  It's been keeping us extremely busy, and going to bed very tired, but it's a good tired.

Our 17 year old cat Natasha succumbed to what was very likely pancreatic cancer that had metastasized  into her brain, the day before Halloween.  This image is the last time she actually ate, on October 28th - I was so delighted to see her eating something, that I photographed her.  At one point, when DDF was doing her doctoral thesis, she referred to Natasha as the "leptin deficient" cat who had ballooned up to 16 lbs in her middle age.

When we tearfully took her to the vet to be put to sleep on the night of the 30th, she weighed barely 4 lbs - down from 6 lbs back in July.  She was just skin and bones, and no longer leading an active life, or any semblance of her former life.  It was a very sad night, the night before Halloween here.

Meanwhile her 19 year old older sister is as active and spry as she was 10 years ago.  She patrolled the house for a week in November looking for her absent sister, who had been a part of our home for 17 years, but now older sister has forgotten about Natasha, and lounges leisurely on the futon in my office while I work each day, a very happy familiar.  The American Domestic House Cat, when kept indoors and away from pathogens, is living to be 20 to 22 years on average, I read earlier this year in a Pet magazine.  I think our 19 year old will be with us for another presidential election or two.  Her gentle snoring is adorable, and even though I am allergic to her, I know I'll miss her tremendously when she's no longer around.


  1. Was very sorry to have heard this when I originally read it. Meant to pass on my condolences but was remiss. Sounds like she had quite a nice life.

  2. Thank you my friend. She did have a long (for a cat) and happy life. We put the Christmas tree up last night, and after putting the skirt on the tree, I remarked "this is the first tree in a long time that Natasha won't try to possess" - as she used to "own" it sitting under it. A minute later, on queue, her older (and surviving) sister walked in, and got cozy under the tree on the red felt skirt.


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