Saturday, 6 June 2009

My Old Man

He's a grumpy guy quite often now. He complains loud enough for everyone in the house to hear when one of the kids pisses him off.

He's getting a little grey on the top of his head and his memory ain't what it used to be. It isn't uncommon that he walks out of a room and then stands there, forgetting where he was going or what he was doing.

But he's still physically active and has a good amount of muscle, although his hair is a bit fly away and hard to manage. His appetite is great, he still has all his own teeth and doesn't have any arthritis to make him gimpy.

He does tend to puke quite often though.... and I find little bits of spit up in the oddest spots. I guess wherever he was sitting when the urge to purge strikes is where it gets deposited.

This is my cat BB - aka Blackbeard Bunnybutt. Quite the handle, isn't it? He is a Manx, with a stumpy tail. His markings dictate the 'Blackbeard' part of his name, as his chin is black. And the "Bunnybutt' part... well, Manx come in three varieties: longtails (look like just any other cat), stumpies (short tails) and rumpies (no tails). BB is a stumpy. His tail is about 4 vertebrae long, shaped like a downturned hook, and because he has long hair, it is a lovely little puff like a rabbit's tail. His mum was a longtail, his grandmother a rumpy and his dad a stumpy.

He's a rather handsome old guy and has been with me since the age of 7 weeks. On June 21st this year, he will turn 15. I think in cat years that makes him somewhere around 76 years old. I thought I was going to lose him 2 1/2 years ago when he was deathly ill with what turned out to be pancreatitis, but after spending 10 days in the vet's clinic, having exploratory surgery, a feeding tube in his neck and totally wiping out my bank account, he recovered and you'd never know he had had three paws in the great litter box in the sky.

He reads me well, as I do him. He has been through numerous moves - he's lived in Alberta, Texas, California, British Columbia and Manitoba, although he hates car rides and being put in a cat carrier will make him moo like a sick little cow, which only makes me laugh! He's also seen me through a number of relationships. He will always come to comfort me when I am sad and sleeps on my bed every single night.

He's gotten less picky with food in his old age, which seems to be rather backwards, but it makes my life easier! He always, always uses the litter box. He loves catnip. He comes running when I sing to the radio and wants to be picked up. Drinking water out of the bathroom sink is one of his fave things and if you pour some slowly out of a glass, he will play and bite and splash in it for as long as you will cooperate.

I have no idea how long he will continue to live. I pretty much consider the past couple of years as bonus time with him, so if he lives another two or three, so much the better. He certainly isn't showing any signs of slowing down at this point in time.


  1. Wow! What a cat, and a travelled one at that.
    I wish him many mors years. xxx

  2. I like the last pix -- lots of personality there.

    The masthead graphic is even prettier now. :)

  3. @Map: Thanks! He's quite the character and I always warn visitors to not pet him - if he doesn't know you, he's prone to nipping if you touch him. He does give fair warning, though! xoxo

    @XL: He loves having the top of his head scratched (can ya tell?). And thanks on the masthead compliment. I was thrilled when I found that 'horse hair' pic and even more thrilled when I figured out how to stick my mug in there using Photoshop! :-)

  4. Holy Christ.. I had to look twice to see if it was me you was talking about.

  5. y'all are a very fortunate woman, sugar! and he's a very, very lucky cat! ;~D xoxoxo

  6. Awww, bless him! He looks like a lovely cat - certainly not camera shy either!!

  7. @Jimmy: You're not a stumpy, are you? Can't call you 'old man', though, because you are younger than me, no matter how you feel. ;-)

    @Savannah: Thanks, girlie. He's a lovely old thing and I am hoping he continues on for a few more years, despite using up 8 of his nine lives when he was so sick! xoxo

    @Tim: No, he's not camera shy - has had his pic taken many, many times!

  8. Doll, I have to admit that one of my legs is slighter shorter than the other two.

    They dinnae call me tripod for nothing ye know.

  9. Good morning Ponita,

    I'm not a cat person but as I think about being a solitary man, that might appear to be a catlike trait.

    You've made your blog image more beautiful and striking than it was on my last visit and I enjoyed seeing the pics of your old man.

    Though I am heavily medicated at the moment, I can say without hesitation that I love you my friend; you are a classy woman and I treasure the blogging friendship between us.

    Have a great time at the Horse Show!


  10. Bless all the fur-faces who brighten our lives! They have so much to teach, particularly (given their accelerated lifespans) truths about aging and dying. They do so with dignity, these noble animal souls.

    Your post harkened me back to the last years of my own feline companion, the flyaway fur, the purging...all signs the body no longer functions as it once did. Still, they find contentment in life and bask in every happiness. They have much to teach and they teach by example. Gotta love 'em.

  11. I luv this post about a treasure luved one! What a great friend your cat has been, and how blessed you are to have him for so long and still continue to enjoy his company.

    I've always liked cats; we had a bunch growing up. And I like that they are useful as well as good company.

  12. What a cute guy! (I hear that due to some genetic defect rumpies sometimes have bowel trouble.) He's probably got a couple years left. When my MIL died we got her 17 year old cat who'd had a rough number of years up to that point and she lived two more years with us.

  13. @Jimmy: Only 'slightly' shorter??? ;-P

    @TheU: Ah, thank you, my friend! Hopefully the meds are not making you delusional... ;-) The friends I have made here in Bloggerland are all near and dear to my heart, even if far away. I love you too! ~hugs~

    @Jonas: Ain't that the truth! They are ever patient with us and always honest. Gotta love them just for that, if not for being cute and cuddly too. :-)

    @Eros: Glad you are back from your trip, my friend. I have always been a cat person... a dog person too, but I think first a cat person. They just... fit.

    @Andrea: Rumpies can actually have spinal cord defects that cause the bowel problems, so you never, ever breed a rumpy to a rumpy. Best to breed a longtail to a rumpy or stumpy to avoid any problems.

    I am sure he'll be around for a few more years. He is much too healthy at this point so unless something changes, he may even make it to 20. Not sure I want another 5 years of hairballs puked up, but what can ya do?!

  14. I am such a cat person and I just had to say how beautiful your old man is.
    I have two boys now and my old Freddie cat died last year but for years he lived on borrowed time and just when you thought he was on his last legs ( and your bank balance couldn't take any more vets bills) he would bounce back.
    He lived till he was twenty, ahhh there is nothing like the smell of cat sick in the morning. I swear towards the end he actually used to come in from outside just to have a wee on the carpet.


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