I know that I am a soft touch… D’Artagnan, my 17 year old Somali has trained me well. Everyone else in the household have strict rules – he has none.. He is allowed everywhere and can do pretty much anything he wants. He gets fed multiple times during the night because that is when he is most hungry (very normal for old cats – they get a bit confused about the whole night and day thing..), he gets cuddled whenever he asks – even if it means that I have to wake up and pay attention at 4 in the morning – and he gets to walk all over the kitchen counters, something that normally gets things thrown and very loud, rude things said in Danish when anyone else does it…
It is perfectly obvious that he is completely aware and relishes the difference in treatment. His favourite thing is to sit on the kitchen counter and just look with the most unbelievably smug expression on the mittens – the Somali girls – while they scream on the floor for whatever treat I have just fed him. Heh, Heh, he says.. Dream On, MY Treat! Can’t Have It Until I am Done. Maybe. If I Don’t Eat It All. And then he looks at them again – and it is obvious what he says: Beg. Grovel. Then MAYBE I Will Leave Some For Mum To Give You. Maybe..
At other times he does regal with the best of them. This is especially the case if we have visitors. Much Better To Sit Where Everyone Can Admire Me, he solemnly declares. Can Give Me Due Attention At All Times Then. (Penny has been watching him very carefully. Obviously Works, she says, He Gets All The Treats And All The Attention, So Must Do The Same). And when the time comes to go to bed, he issues an imperative meow – and stares at me until I pick him up and carry him upstairs to feed him extra dinner and give him his medication. Slaves, he muses, That Is What I Have… Just The Way It Should Be..
It is still hard, though. He is getting old. He doesn’t walk very well, even with the arthritis medication he is on, and he is starting to struggle with jumping up on things. He sleeps a lot more as well, and I keep finding myself checking to see if he is still breathing… He has already had one heart attack, and though he is the most checked over and pampered kitty in the world, there is only so much you can do. His food is the best possible, carefully tailored to his various medical problems (all Prescription Diets) and his medication equally balanced and that gives him a really good quality of life. But the day will come… so there are no rules…he deserves his pampering while we have him.
The only thing that slightly concerns me is that Ianthe is being a very good understudy. She is already showing distinct signs that she Expects That She Will Get The Same Type Of Treatment When She Is Older – Like 3 Years Old – Not Too Soon To Start…Hmmm