My cat is so old. He's so old that he has a specific way he likes his water. He's so old that after he uses the litter box, he cries and howls for me to bury it for him. He's so old his meow has turned into a rolling grumble, and he's missing five teeth, giving him a slightly gummy appearance.
He's cuddling me now. He'd be in bed cuddling the Dude, but he only does that if I'm in bed too. He's 17.5 years old. He's a creature of habit and he likes things the way he likes them.
He's actually a pretty big inconvenience. I have to make plans around being home for him, I can't go overnight with the Dude anywhere without accommodating his needs, and more frequently as the years go by his stream is not true when he uses the box.
And the thought of doing without him breaks my heart. Most cats don't live this long. Many do, but most don't. And most people nearing their 28th year don't have their childhood pets still living, never mind in their exclusive care. Smokey is my buddy, and a sort of lifeline to a life long past and gone. He just sighed in my arms while I wrote that. What a guy.
I'm still paying off his $1,400+ dentistry bill from the summer, from when I had to choose between putting him down or removing his ruined teeth to end his misery. Now I have more reason than ever to get it paid off, so I can incur other life choice debt. I wonder if he'll be around next fall. His hips are getting stiff, he's so feeble that if I cuddle him in a certain position he no longer can squirm out with ease, and of course there is his diabetes.
When I first got Smokey and Jerry when I was 10, I used to have nightmares about them getting old. Now it's here. It's not as sad as I thought it would be, but it is still a bummer.