Popeye is 21 and a half. And looks every minute of his age. He is very feeble now, and skin, bones and HAIR. It takes him forever to get seated from this position and we watch as he uses his tail as a balancing device. It doesn't always work and his legs flutter as he tries to correct his descent.
During the night I hear him walking around as his toenails make a racket in the silence. Then he leaves a puddle or deposit just anywhere, and my feet are puddle magnets so I find them while still half asleep. He is telling us it is time. We keep hoping he will go in his sleep, but he continues to survive. He is deaf, and the pupils of his eyes are dilated about as wide as they can get, so we assume he is nearly blind too.
This is a cat we have had since his birth, when his teenage mother Schnuppe dropped him under a hosta plant. I found him the next morning, her only baby, and my immediate response was to personally lick his face. (?) He responded and I knew he would live.
He has never been what we would call an interesting cat. He didn't do funny things, or get into trouble, wandering or hunting. When he would see another cat in the neighborhood he would growl, but let his housemates handle the confrontation.
I have been trying to remember anything of note as a 'fond memory' but there just is just this one.
He has always been a flea magnet and so as a baby, while his mother, the slut, was out attracting the local tom, I would come home from work and give him a flea bath in a large mixing bowl, as he was so tiny. Then I would tweeze off the dead or nearly dead fleas, for about an hour, and so he became Popeye the Sailor Kitty, since he spent so much time being wet.
He had a bad flea time this past summer as you might recall, but we had a grand time in the kitchen sink scrubbing and rinsing and washing them away. So fleabaths are what we will think of when we talk about him in the future. It's not the greatest legacy.
I don't think I will be very sad about putting him down, as he has lived a really, really long time and we have been warning him since he was 16 that this was his last summer etc. but he just kept on staying alive, sleeping until meal time. He has loved being here, and even liked the dog, we think. I will open a can of tuna, and he will drink the water, leaving the tuna alone and we'll allow that. Tomorrow I will call the vet and take him in.
It's been a long time since he looked this good.