This is a picture I took a few minutes ago of my Cricket, my baby cat. The couch here is one of her favorite perches.
I say “baby cat,” by which I mean I remember when she fit in the palm of my hand. She’s still a little petite thing, but at 16 years old she’s solidly in her geriatric years and has been for quite some time.
I love this kitty. I shouldn’t play favorites over all the pets we’ve had in this household, but she’s at the top of the list. My Daddy rescued her for me from the Carroll County Animal Shelter when I was 16 years old, too young to adopt her myself. She’s been around for all of my psychotic episodes, and for many other traumatic events. She was the only thing I wanted from home when S moved out of our apartment in college. She kept me company while I picked myself up and became independent for the first time as an adult.
She had to live at Mother and Daddy’s house, though, when Jared and I met because Jared had Murphy. See, Cricket is an “only” cat and she herself demands that she remain as such. So there was no moving to Iowa for her.
So since Murphy’s death, Cricket has been living here with us, in the midst of the chaos of two little boys. It’s funny, I never would have expected this anti-social cat to take to our little family the way she has. But, she’s thriving as best she can and she stays in the middle of it all.
In her geriatric years, she’s reverted to some of the things she loved when she was a kitten. For instance, she loves to get in the shower and get her paws wet. Her “motor” is louder than I’ve hear her purr in a long, long time when she sits in anyone’s lap. I just have to test whether or not she still loves her greatest toys, marshmellows. When she was younger, she loved, loved, loved, playing with and eating marshmellows. There’s no telling how many old marshmellows there still are underneath Mother and Daddy’s refrigerator to this day.
I said she’s thriving, and socially, that’s true. But her little body is giving way slowly to old age, as she’s got renal failure and is on a prescription diet for it now. She’s having a terribly hard time putting on weight and I hate seeing her so skinny, at her little 4-pound frame. I know one day we’ll have to say goodbye, but for now, I’m happy to have her here and I’m happy that she seems to like it here.