I'm preparing for my cat's death

Photograph reproduced under creative commons, copyright YanivG (Flickr). This is not Binnie Do, my cat, just a well made but very sad photo of an old cat. The upload of this photo has made this cat look in worse condition than the original photo on Flickr. Remember though there a lot of feral cats like this.

The lady cat who lives with me is Binnie Do (proper name Judds). She found me on the streets of Notting Hill Gate, West London in 1993. She was under a car in the street seeking protection from the cold rain on a dull November day.

I guess she was about a year or so old at the time she found me. That makes her about 15 years old.

The average life span of a cat is about 10-12 years. Domestic cats living as domestic cats (with humans) should live between 9-15 years. That puts my darling Binnie at the top end.

The life spans mentioned above refers to the average Moggie (mongrel cat). Moggies are cross bred cats. Pure-bred cats are also sometimes cross bred but under controlled conditions. Moggies will have a history of unmanaged and unrecorded cross breeding, while pure-bred registered show cats have breeding records that meet the registry's requirements.

The lives of pure-bred cats is sometimes shorter than that of Moggies due to a lack of hybrid vigour. Hybrid vigour means the improved physicality of the cat due to out crossing resulting in a better genetic makeup (in terms of health). Cat breeders, though, do their best to maintain hybrid vigour through careful breeding.

Old age for cats takes place during the last year or so their life. Binnie Do has signs of old age. She is less flexible and jumps poorly by cat standards. She likes complete routine and I give her it. She is nearing the end of her life and I must get myself ready for the moment.

Binnie at 19
I will miss her sorely and I tell her this. More on old age to come..........{Sorry if this is a bit morbid. It is not meant to be. I am just aware of and thinking of the time when I will be without here. I need to do this to minimise some of the impact.

This is an update about 5 years later. She is still alive but near the end. She has a tumor on her right kidney and is on permanent antibiotics. I am stressed and anxious. She stays out all the time 24/7 and if I try and keep her in she gets stressed and claws at the cat flap/door. She is frail and anemic with a heart murmur. She is about 19 years of age.

The picture right was taken about 5 days ago in early October 2011.


Anonymous said…
I feel your pain. I have 4 cats that have been with me 17-18 years. I keep thinking ...wow, in maybe as little as 3 years they will all be gone. Seems wierd. One has cancer now and its not looking good. Life sucks.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the above post. Yes it is difficult because we as humans live much longer than cats and must face the death of a dear companion.

I lost my last cat in an accident and I have not gotten over it yet. It was 13 years ago.
*hugs* I have never had any of my cats die on me yet, but my two tabby boys are 10 this year and I´m already thinking that more than half their life is over.... morbid yes, but we love them SOOOOO much, and it´s part of life and one day they´re going to leave us. *more hugs*
Michael Broad said…
Thanks for the hugs. Hugs to you too. My girl is next to me at this moment. She is old and tired and beautiful and my love.

krissy said…
I understand what you are saying, it has hard to lose a pet you have been close to for years. I lost my siamese i had named caesar, i cried with him in my arms. I could not bring myself to have another cat for years after losing him.

Michael Broad said…
Hi Krissy

Binnie is still alive although looking and behaving like a 17+ year old cat. She is a strong girl but all the time I worry about her.
Anonymous said…
The cat stays out because she wants to die near to nature. Obviously she doesn't conceptualize it this way but that's what it comes down to . She wants to be nearer the earth and sky, at one with her god, even humans tend to want this at the end.

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