Not bad for 80 -- 05/14/09

Tiger is the equivalent of being 80 years old.

I came across a translation of cat years to people years that being one year old was a cat equivalent of being a 15 year old human; being two was the equivalent of being 24; and after that for each year add four years. Thus, at 16 years old, Tiger is the age equivalent of an 80 year old human. I have found other calculations that use slightly different numbers, but which still put him in that age group.

This winter he seemed to becoming more and more elderly... walking more slowly, not jumping and leaping up onto furniture, showing less interest in playful activiites...
However, in recent weeks he has seemed to recover his enthusiasm. Now, even lying in the sunshine taking cat naps he seems to be actively enjoying the warm rays of the sun.

And he has shown more interest in going on his cat patrols of the house.

He used always have to make at least one patrol of the garage every day. Yes, that is where he has caught mice, but he had not caught one out there in several years. On many days this past winter he would only make a quick perfunctory visit to the garage, coming back to the kitchen in just a minute or two... and some days not bothering at all. Recently, however, he has had a renewed interest in his garage patrols, spending ten or fifteen minutes out there and sometimes making more than one patrol in a day. Also, he has been exploring in the basement, sometimes coming back upstairs with so many cobwebs stuck to his fur that he must have been underneath the stairs leading up to the outside bulkhead doors.

Last night Nancy and I were chatting in the kitchen after dinner. We thought Tiger had gone off to the living room for a mid-evening nap, but when Nancy got up to put some dishes in the dish washer she glanced into the dining room and said that Tiger seemed to be just lying on the floor under the dining room table and chairs. She went closer to see if he was okay and then realized that he was holding down a mouse with his paw.
Naturally I couldn't get him to pose with his mouse; the best I could do is the above picture of him in the general area of the former mouse. And the picture below is of a somewhat annoyed cat wondering where his mouse had gone (after one of his human staff members had distracted his attention while the other removed the mouse).

Later in the evening we realized that we had not seen Tiger for an hour or so. He was not anywhere to be found on the ground floor and he was not upstairs, so I went down into the basement... where I found him staring at another dead mouse. I picked him up, praising him for being such a good predator... and as I was doing so, the "dead" mouse rolled over and dashed away. When I put Tiger down again, he immediately began to hunt.

So, not bad for 80...

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