From long-time lurker Deb S:
Hello Juicers. I’m a long-time lurker, from the days when B-J was on the Dkos blog-roll and John was still a republican.
My mom is in home hospice in Manhattan on the Upper East Side, and neither my brother nor I can take Shakespeare, her part Russian Blue mix. He is the best cat to ever own her. Typical Russian Blue personality, his goal in life is to be on a person. Vocal and loving, if he’s complaining either his food dish is empty or you need to SIT DOWN THIS MINUTE so he can jump into your lap. The picture is of him homing in on my lap like a heat-seeking missile.
My mom got Shakespeare about 10 years ago from a rescue connected with her vet’s office, after losing her prior cat to old age. He is at least 13, and maybe older.
He has a tilt to his head and is a bit asymmetrical, we think he might have been hit by a car or suffered some other traumatic injury before my mom got him. And he has a nervous habit of over-grooming and pulling out his own fur that has gotten worse as my mom’s condition worsened and she could no longer give him the attention he was used to.
He needs a lot of love and would probably do best with another shut-in, or a family with one or more older children who can dote on him and give him the affection he craves. He loved visits from the children who used to live next door. I don’t know how he would do with other pets but safest would be a home with none.
I will take him to the vet and get him caught up on his vaccinations before he is re-homed.
Steeplejack would probably attest — for someone who works from home, a senior cat can be the perfect pet.
If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, leave a comment or contact me via the link in the blogroll.
Deb S:It’s hard to get a good picture – if he’s awake and you’re near him he’s heading for your lap. In this pic he’s reaching for my hand because I’m not petting him as I should be.
What a striking kitty! Will chip in for transport if needed.
What a stunner. I know we’ll find him a home. Hang on kitteh, your full-time scritcher is on the way.
And Deb S, sending you [[hugs]] in regards to your mom. I hope knowing Shakespeare will have a loving home helps everyone.
What a doll! I love the action photos; they help capture his personality.
Deb S, so sorry you are losing your mom. Hugs.
Thanks for posting Anne Laurie, and thanks to everyone else for your good wishes. I won’t need help with transportation costs. Shakespeare would be a perfect match for someone who works from home and needs a cat to warm their lap.
His personality comes through in the photos. I live in CA and have two already, but I will chip in a mite for expenses if needed.
Deb S: Sorry for the circumstances, but what a fine time your mother must have had with her own personal Shakespeare. I will chip in when I can. Good luck to all of you.
Sorry about your mom. Here’s hoping that affectionate old gent of a kitty finds a great new home, stat! You’re a good daughter to see to it.
I’m so sorry about your Mom, it is tough to go through. I’m in for transport money as well, even though you said you don’t need it. Or help with logistics-I can give good advice on what not to do in transport…
Adam L Silverman
@Deb S: I am very sorry to read about your mom. We’re keeping good thoughts for you, her, and for Shakespeare!
Oh, what a sweetie, and with a name like Shakespeare he’d be perfect for my household…alas, it is not meant to be. Or not to be. Whatever. Hope he finds a wonderful home!
What a darling cat.
@ Deb S: all the best to your mom, you and your family, and Shakespeare. I hope you can report that Mr. Cat has a wonderful forever home lined up, soonest.
I shared this with my mom who works with feral cat rescue in Brooklyn. She has contacts on the Upper East side and Harlem, so fingers crossed.
I live in NYC with a husband who is deathly allergic to cats, so we’re not an option, but I posted it on my FB page in the event I am connected to someone who is.
I’m sorry about your Mom’s situation, Deb. It’s important for both Shakespeare and your mom that he find a loving home.
I volunteer at a local no-kill, cageless cat shelter. Last year, after the last of my three cats died, I brought home a 16-year-old female tabby. I give her subcutaneous fluids twice a week and medication for asthma. She’s wonderful. I haven’t regretted having her for even a second. I don’t know how long she will live — the vet can’t believe she’s closing in on 17 — but she makes every day of my life better.
I encourage any catless person (who loves cats) to consider giving Shakespeare a home. It’s terrible for older cats to lose their homes. One never knows, but looking at Shakespeare, I could imagine him living another four to six years or even longer (assuming he’s 13 now) and that is plenty of time for both cat and person to make a positive change in each other’s lives.
Personally, I would never again even consider adopting a cat that is less than 10-12 years old. Spending so much time in a shelter, I get to see how difficult it can be for older cats to find homes. Yet, when they do, the feedback is almost always overwhelmingly positive.
Apart from the fact that I live on the opposite coast, I can’t adopt Shakespeare because a certain fuzzy little critter would strenuously object (she does not play well with others — cats, that is). Shakespeare would not be happy here.
Crossing fingers and pressing thumbs for a good home, and doing those and praying as well for DebS and her mom. We’d love to take him, if we could, but we’re full up on cats.
Do you have any special tips on administering the subcutaneous fluids? My vet wants me to give those to the housecat, and I have done it off and on for a little while, but I am really having a hard time making it a regular thing. I worry that I’m hurting her unnecessarily, and she is such a stoic that it’s hard to tell.
Hi, my name is Mimi Strunck. I live in Brooklyn. I am forwarding you posting to my friend at Kittykind, Petco Union Square in Manhattan. I do hope she can help …. Please contact them as well. Lovely kitty!
On the general subject, I think older cats can be excellent adoptees in the right situation. I got the housecat when she was about 12, when her previous owner went into assisted living somewhat suddenly. (House suffered major storm damage that would require her to live someplace else while it was repaired, and the family thought that was a good transition point.) I had just moved to an apartment where I could have a cat, so it was a good fit. The housecat is 19½ now.
I think that in general older cats like things nice and settled. (I had my last two cats prior to the housecat their whole lives, together from kittenhood to 18 and 20, respectively, so I have seen the life cycle.) Part of it is that as their faculties weaken (deafness, vision problems, less agility, etc.) they don’t like surprises. Even in excellent health they seem to like a no-fuss routine. And they sleep a lot—or doze or meditate. Hard to tell with that meatloaf position. So a retired or work-at-home person could be a good fit for an older cat. A presence that is consistent, not many long periods of solitude, but also not a lot of hustle and bustle going on.
They all have their individual personalities, but I haven’t had one yet that didn’t know they had a good deal. And they appreciate it. So, yeah, adopt an older cat.
I am so sorry about your Mom. Best wishes to her and to you.
Shakespeare: What a cutie! I like the way he looks up at you, demanding attention. Alas, I have two cats already, one of whom is very possessive about The Lap of the Mommy.
@Steeplejack (phone): Yes! When I was volunteering at PAWS, seeing senior kitties come in for adoption just broke my heart. When my current two kitties die (not for many years yet, please Universe!) I’ll be too old myself to adopt a young cat. Rather than live without, I plan to give bereft Oldman* and Oldwoman cats forever homes.
(h/t to the late, great Scott Eric Kaufman)
I gotta say Im tempted. Ive been thinking about adopting a cat; I work at home (freelance illustrator) and Im not too far away (outside Baltimore. Im just reluctant cause of er age. I lost my dog, Kate almost two years ago and I dont know if I can face getting an elderly pet.
Damned at Random
So sorry about your Mom. I’m sure she will be relieved if Shakespeare finds a new home. Fingers crossed. I’d take Shakespeare, gladly, except 1) I live in Oregon, and 2) I have 4 inside cats already.
I hope you all find peace in this trying time. Be sure to tell your Mom that she is in the thoughts of a mangy bunch of internet trolls
I will add to the praise for older cats as adoptees. A friend of mine at work adopted a 10-year-old cat and they had 8 happy years together. Cats generally live longer than dogs, so a 12-year-old cat is more like late middle age than elderly.
Chacal Charles Calthrop
Actually if no-one can take him immediately, I can foster him.
I live in NYC (east village) with one cat but have been thinking of getting another. I can pay vet bills.
I work from home so I’ll be available day-long. Current cat is a rescue who seems to need more than just my companionship.
You would be giving an elder a chance. I adopted an older dog once and he was a great companion. One person dog, I nicknamed Bud Ornery Bastard, he was for sure his own individual but he and I bonded and he was the best dog I’ve ever had. Not the best personality or obedience but still the best. It’s always difficult to see them go, that never changes, but the payoff is what you get for having to let them go.
Maybe it’s my age/experiences, I’ve been seeing family, relatives, friends, pets exit this life for over 60 yrs. It never gets easier, nor do you get used to it, but you can understand and accept it.
@LuciaMia: the rewards are always worth the risk, and Shakespeare probably has many more years of love to offer. I hope after considering you decide to go for it.
Adopting a senior cat or dog and allowing an older person to rest easy knowing their beloved companion is in a safe new home is a double mitzvah.
@satby: Beautiful sentiment.
I’ll ask Anne Laurie to give you my email address. If it works for you, I’d be happy to talk to you on the phone about giving fluids.
This site has lots of information about giving subQ fluids to cats, and also about buying supplies cheaply:
One thing in particular that seemed helpful was slightly warming the bag of fluids–I did this by putting a warm towel over it, or immersing the lower part of the bag in pleasantly warm water [such that there was zero chance of the bag being contaminated].
J R in WV
Glad it sounds like kitty will do well from the jackaltariat… I know that will be a relief for kitty’s family.
@Steeplejack (phone): Per his request, I forwarded Triassic Sand’s email addy to the one you used for this comment. If you’d like me to send it to a different email, contact via the usual link!
Thanks again, everyone. I am checking the comments frequently. Indeed Shakespeare does not like the recent changes to his routine and spent the night sprawled over my legs, delighted I didn’t wake up to move him next to me instead. He will adapt to a new home quickly as long as he gets plenty of love.
@Steeplejack (phone): I have given dozens of cats sub-q fluids and have never seen any indication that it hurts them, and the benefits are tremendous. I find the hardest part is keeping them still long enough to get the required dosage!
You can try using a smaller needle…the bigger the number, the smaller it is. Of course the smaller needles will take longer to deliver the fluids. Establish a routine with your kitty, give her treats or a nice brushing before and/or after. Try to get her while she’s sleeping or really relaxed, easier on both of you!
Thanks for the link.
Warming the fluid should be mandatory! That’s how my vet taught me.
Thanks for the tips.
I hope that this kitty finds a new home :)