Indestructible cat is indestructible

Those of you not in our cat’s fan base can ignore this.

Sugar, at twenty years and five months of age, had her annual checkup today and was pronounced almost indecently healthy. The usual chorus of “Wow, she doesn’t look old!” occurred.

Yes, we do have to hydrate her about once a week. And we can tell she needs it when the night yowling starts – but, in general, indestructible cat continues to be indestructible. Nobody expected her to live this long, much less as an active cat who looks about half her actual age.

Cathy and I are pleased and proud. Of course this is is probably mostly good genes, but we like to think all the affection Sugar has collected from us and our geeky ailurophilic friends has contributed to her longevity.

Looks like she’ll be entertaining visiting hackers in our basement for some time to come.

16 thoughts on “Indestructible cat is indestructible

  1. Having had a treasured cat named Dizzy die of what should have already killed Sugar at a third of her age, I can understand your feelings. Dizzy left over 15 years ago, and I still miss him.

    Good genes help, but loving care and attention help more. Sugar had *reason* to stick around.

    I don’t know whether an opportunity to meet Sugar in person will present itself, so give her some extra stroke for me, and picture me raising a dram of single-malt in salute.

    Go, Sugar!
    ______
    Dennis

  2. I saw the keyboard+cat photos on Google+ — Sugar shows no signs of slowing, and doesn’t look a day older than maybe eight. Truly remarkable. Not to mention adorable.

  3. I knew certain forms of cat were considered harmful. But today my phone announced, in the form of a new mail notification, that cat is also indestructible. Not a good omen, for sure. Fortunately, my gloomy outlook on life evaporated the moment I opened the mail and learned that it’s all about the feline-cat, not the gnu-cat.

  4. We lost our 21 year old cat a few weeks ago, not two weeks after we threw him a 21st birthday party (mostly an excuse for us and our friends to pretend to be 21 and drink excessively). Reading about your cat sounds almost exactly what were were going through, complete with the ‘doesn’t look old at all!’, yowling, and everything else.

    All I can say is pay very close attention to joints and mobility, because once he realized he couldn’t really get up and move on his own, he decided to stop eating and drinking (or couldn’t). We went from thinking he would live another few years to losing him in a week’s time, and it was pretty heartbreaking. The vet even commented on how good his health was just before his party.

    There is something special about old cats – the older they get the more joy they seem to get and give for even simple things. Glad to hear yours is doing well!

    • >All I can say is pay very close attention to joints and mobility, because once he realized he couldn’t really get up and move on his own, he decided to stop eating and drinking (or couldn’t).

      Yeah, I hear that. We do in fact keep a close eye on her movement, and we are seeing a slow gradual loss of facility. Sugar now stumbles occasionally, and some days is clearly working hard to get up the basement stairs from where her litterbox is. Other days she’s OK – we’ve seen X rays, it’s arthritis and thus likely to be worse in cold or moist weather.

      And your implication is quite right too – if her mobility goes and she stops eating, it will be time for euthanasia. We love her too much to put her through the pain and indignity of tube-feeding merely because we don’t want to face that her time has come.

  5. I appreciate the updates on Sugar. I find them very heart warming. I too have a cat nearly famous for his great personality, intelligence, and cuteness, and it gives me hope that he may too live a long happy life.

  6. Great news. IIRC, you had an extremely anxious episode with her a while back. I’m a dog person, not a cat person but I know what it’s like to cherish every day that a family member beats the odds. And the emptiness when the odds catch up.

    Candi was a cock-a-poo who made it just a few months shy of her 20th. Virtually blind, deaf, and unable to walk, we walked her by carrying her out to the grass and holding her as she took care of business. (She never even became incontinent.) We spoon fed her the last two years of her life. And we didn’t mind. She was in no apparent discomfort and always responded to affection. The little tail never stopped. Until we knew it was time.

  7. If you’ll excuse the suspicious linking, the word “ailurophilia” reminded me of this amusing thing: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/firstenglish/articles/fearandloathing.htm

    The gist of it is to speak English when speaking English, not Greek (or French or whatever). The author follows this to the logical extreme, preferring Germanic words where he can: “mindlore” for psychology, “wordbook” instead of dictionary, and suchlike nonsense. There exists an online presence for this “Anglish”: the banishing of Romanceness, towards English’s quaint Anglo-Saxon roots. Maybe this stuff is only interesting to me.

    Please note that I’m not actually making a value judgement over your light-hearted article about a healthy cat. I just like this stuff and the word reminded me of it and I wanted to show you about it. The “Anent” page on the afore-linked site is a fun read, I think.

    • >There exists an online presence for this “Anglish”: the banishing of Romanceness, towards English’s quaint Anglo-Saxon roots.

      First English guy seems unaware that this is a game with some history. Maybe you are too? Even the name “Anglish” has been used in similar reconstructive efforts before. Wikipedia has a page on Linguistic purism in English references several. My very favorite effort of this kind is Poul Anderson’s Uncleftish Beholding.

      With due respect to the Anglish advocates, though, the word “aileurophilia” does have a shade of meaning that “catlove” does not. It is “catlove” spoken in a technical register; a literate English speaker unfamiliar with the specific term can neverttheless be confident from its form that it is medical or scientific.

  8. I like to think of myself as well-spoken (regardless of whether it is true), and I do appreciate English as she is. The plainness is of course the point of this speech game, and it fascinates me. Probably just the novelty of it. Why does English need both “supervise” and “oversee”?

    I didn’t get that impression re: the author’s awareness of the history. Nor the opposite impression; he doesn’t seem to mention it. His site is also quite dead. Yes, I’ve read Uncleftish Beholdings, it’s pretty much the first thing pointed at when somebody stumbles across this stuff.

    Cheers, and all the best to Sugar.

  9. > Sugar now stumbles occasionally, and some days is clearly working hard to get up the basement stairs from where her litterbox is.

    Yeah, we had a litterbox upstairs for a while and he was having severe trouble getting up and down those stairs. Eventually we moved the litterbox and food downstairs and did our best to keep the dogs out of it (both of them… dogs see little difference between the two). It was worth it not to have to see him struggle up and down the stairs. If you can do that for her (logistically might not be possible in every situation), I would.

    Best of luck.

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