Pets: Aging

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Genkii and Kawaii in Oct 2007

I adopted Genkii and Kawaii in fall of 2007. When I adopted them, they were less than a year old, about 7-9 months old. At 14, Genkii is finally less “energy” and turning into an older man. He doesn’t get “zoomies” as often. He is “talking” less.

More alarming to me are some physical signs of age. His spine is probably the one I worry about the most. Genkii has always been skinny. I have always had to do a mix of 1/2 kitten food, 1/2 adult food to keep his weight at a healthy level. Kitten food has a higher fat content. When I have tried to cut out (or been unable to get) kitten food, he gets so skinny you can feel his ribs when you pet him. His ribs have a nice layer on them right now, his spine however is boney. Almost spiky. In my experience, when a cat begins to be boney like this – especially when they are still eating, drinking, pooping normally – it’s a real sign of age.

Kawaii, his sister, is not developing this boniness. She also has the same level of energy she’s had for several years. This makes it even more alarming to me that I’m seeing the changes in Genkii.

He is still overall pretty healthy. The vet concurred at his checkup in May. His teeth are excellent. His blood work matched a cat half his age. He might have some hardening in his intestines which could mean inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Again, sign of aging. Because food allergens are a potential cause, I am trying to be more careful to keep him away from plants (the idiot once tried to eat a lemon tree even though citrus is TOXIC to cats) and human food (he will brave anything to try to steal chicken off the counter).

Genkii could easily live another 5 years as an “old man,” but he could also look at me next week and tell me he’s done. There is part of me trying to mentally and emotionally prepare for this – but if he did, I would be flattened emotionally.

He is still my baby, even after 14 years.

Kawaii and Genkii Sept 2021

Writer, nerd, and perpetual student. I am obsessed with books - both the reading and the making of them. If I won the lottery I would try to have the best private(ish) library in the world. It wouldn't be totally private because the whole purpose of having books is helping other people find a book they will love. I have 2 cats, Genkii (energy) and Kawaii (cutie). I will mention them regularly because they are a daily delight in my life. Granted, sometimes when I'm playing video games they are not so much "delight" as they are "distraction"... but I love them regardless.