The majority of my post are related to dogs, but today I dedicate my blog to our cat Lily.
Lily has been apart of our family for 17 years now – YES, 17 years!
Happy 17th Birthday Lily!
Today is Lily’s 17th Birthday
Seventeen years ago we made the decision to adopt a cat. Or should I say, my youngest son decided it was time we adopted a cat. Lily was not our first cat, but she would be the first cat to join our family since having children.
An Evolution of Lily Over The Years
Let’s put it in to perspective how much has changed and evolved since Lily became part of our family in 2002.
In 2002 my children were in elementary school, they are now grown men living independently. When Lily moved in with us we shared our home with our first family dog Winnie, with whom Lily became best friends with, and the reason I believe Lily prefers dogs over other cats.
Cell phones were just hitting the market when Lily was a kitten, so unlike today where every moment and memory is captured and saved to a camera roll, I had to take a photo on a camera and send out for processing, so unfortunately, I do not have many cute kitten photos of Lily to share.
We had no voicemail when Lily was a kitten, instead we used an answering machine. Someone calling and leaving a message was the highlight of Lily’s day. She would run to the answering machine, sit beside it, listen to the message being left, and if by chance it was the voice of someone she knew, Lily would rub her face against the machine – she can’t do that with voicemail!
Unlike today where mice running across an iPad or computer screen entertains and mesmerize cats, Lily’s choice of toy is a rolled up ball of tin foil tossed for her to fetch.
Three years after adopting Lily we rescued our second cat, Lloyd, who is now 14 years old. I’m pretty sure Lily would have preferred another dog 😉
At eight years of age, in 2010, Lily got her wish for another dog and our pug Edie joined the family. Just as Lily shared a special friendship with our dog Winnie, it’s not unusual to find Lily and Edie sharing a chair, a gentle sniff, or sitting on a dog bed looking out the window together.
In 2017, at 15 years of age, Lily “welcomed” her second dog, a rambunctious puppy named Edna. At this stage of Lily’s life, she was not interested in putting up with any puppy nonsense, and she lets Edna know with a “look” that says it all.
Lily has experience many years of great health, only requiring a couple of dental cleanings, with the most recent one resulting in the loss of her two fangs. But missing a couple of teeth would not deter Lily from anything. Then three years ago at the age of 14, Lily began receiving daily doses of medication to manage a thyroid condition.
Everyone knows aging sucks and that it can take a toll on the body, Lily is no different. She has been getting what I call “creaky” with arthritis setting in. I won’t lie, it’s hard to watch, but I’m reminded that Lily is the equivalent of a human in their 80’s.
At 16 years of age, Lily was no longer to safely jump as high as she used to. Her days of her leaping in a single bound up on to the bathroom vanity, demanding a drink of water from the tap would be no more – not that she doesn’t think about it, but more so that I won’t allow it for her own safety. Lily now enjoys fresh water streaming from a large water fountain.
The past 8 months or so when we go to bed and the house is quiet and dark, Lily has began meowing. I’m told this is common for senior cats, so now nightlights are plugged in throughout the house in the hopes they will comfort her. Occasionally I get up out of bed to pet and reassure Lily, and this seems to be what she is looking for – reassurance we are still here.
But today as we celebrate Lily’s 17th birthday, I hope she knows we are thankful for all the love, laughter and companionship she has given to both the humans and the other pets in our home, and importantly, how much we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with Lily.