|Mr M as he ages
||[Jan. 31st, 2015|07:01 am]
Mr M is well over 15 years old. I met him as a sweet, large grey cat on 48th street who would walk with me from the trolley line to our place on Cedar in the summer or early fall of 1999. By the time it began to get cold and wet, we realized he was living in the shrub by our door. We bought a collar and stapled a note to his owner on it, and never heard anything back. We built a little shelter (that was probably less of a shelter than the cedar).
Finally, one November day, Christine returned home to find him at the door with a torn and bloody ear. We took him to the vet, had his health needs taken care of, and then he was our cat, to the consternation of our alpha cat Greybeard. As we had two cats, Greybeard and Greybrother, who came to us with their names, this was a chance for repressed naming to express. Due to his extreme affection, he was Romeow Montague. However, we quickly learned that he would bite and scratch on the turn of a moment, and thus his full name became Romeow Marcel DuChomp Montague. (The Museum of Art in Philadelphia has some fabulous Duchamp pieces.) As that is a bit of a mouthful, a delicious mouthful that rolls around quite nicely, but a mouthful -- he's Mr M.
My memory is that the vet who first saw him said he was at least three. thus, he is at least 18. Some random chart suggests we should compare him to an 88 year old. He's no longer The Interloper receiving swats and glares from Greybeard, but the Senior Cat. Edward expresses respect towards him. Greycie will acknowledge that he is "chasing" her, even though she bounds down the hall in one long flying leap as he fast-walks after her in a stiff slow gait.
In recent months, when i sit on the couch he will stand next to me, one paw in the crook of my arm for balance, and he reaches his other paw at my face while engaging in the deepest, most rhythmic of purrs. He'll pat my nose or cheek. I think he wants pets back, and he gets them.
He has also become absolutely addicted to whipped cream. He's always had a sweet tooth, as the video below will attest, but now he is attuned to the rhythm of the evening so that when Christine or i enter the kitchen after dinner is over, he stands in the door, reaching his paws up: "Gimme my cream!" As he is clearly arthritic, with a stiff gait, the change that comes over him at the promise of whipped cream is all the more remarkable.
He's receiving care for a variety of health issues, and he has not seemed like a butterball for some time. Little Old Man, we are more likely to call him now. His coat is getting matted in odd ways. Nonetheless, he's still a vital member of our clowder, and i thought i would share him with you all a little more deeply this morning.