He is approaching his 13th birthday, trying to put as much dignity in the process as he can, yet slowly and surely Loup-Garou is finding out that growing old isn’t really a cakewalk, oh no. He’s discovering the hurdles and hidden traps of advancing age and he’s coming to the decision that he doesn’t like it a bit at all.
First of all there is the tiny little problem of failing almost every jump he tries to undertake. It had Grumpy Man and The Mistress worried: watching the old black geezer gathering his haunches for a mighty leap, witnessing the power explosion that’s supposed to bring the wiry old body on top of the desired surface in a soaring graceful arc, and observing how he crashes back down to the floor in an ignoble fashion because he… missed his jump.
He hates that.
And then there is the deteriorating condition of his once lustrous and shiny pelt. It used to be all black, with a tiny tuft of white just on the chest, making for a dignified coat that inspires fear in the prey (who most of the time don’t even see him coming) and admiration in the simians (who almost invariably want to stroke said lovely fur). But now the white has been turning up just about everywhere – more and more obscuring the black, the hair has become coarse and brittle, the skin underneath less supple and far more susceptible to injury. No matter how hard he tries to groom it into perfection, his pelt will never attain the same luxurious splendour again.
He hates that.
At the same time his body seems to have lost quite some fat. He looks more skinny than ever. And he must be feeling skinny too, because lately The Mistress has observed him crawling into whatever warm spot Loup-Garou can find: lying under or next to the little wood-stove in the Work Den, sleeping on top of the cooking plate in the kitchen next to a nicely simmering cauldron of soup, snuggled up close to the orange-hot coils of the stone grill on the festively bedecked table… This new habit has a dire consequence, since fur can singe and skin can blister. And the old geezer just can’t understand how his proximity to the desired heat-source is connected to the new hurts on his back and tail. All he knows is that his simians yell at him just when he’s comfortably ensconced in the tray with hot ashes under the stove.
He hates that too.
Finally there is a new danger to our beloved old feline, the éminence grise of our little bewhiskered tribe… last week The Mistress, still grieving from the sudden and dramatic demise of Frankette, noticed that the drool coming out his muzzle was quite stinky indeed, and his front paws carried a noticeable pong that told of dire happenings the run-off of which he tried to clean. And so Loup-Garou was swiftly transported over to the Man In White (who surely must be thinking of charging discounts, the way I have been visiting his practice lately) where he was politely asked to come out of the travel cage and on to the MIW’s practice table. Which he did with a dignity rarely witnessed by the vet. He may be a crybaby constantly meowing his furry little head off whenever he’s in the cage, but he has no inhibition whatsoever on leaving it on his own, even not into the presence of the dreaded MIW. I hesitantly told the MIW that Loup-Garou may have lost a tooth or two, one fang that I was certain of, and that he may have some kind of infection in his mouth. The MIW deftly opened Loup-Garou’s muzzle, took a peek inside (much to the annoyance of our black baby who tried to claw him), and smiled back at me: “One or two ? My dear lady, it’s more a matter of one or two being LEFT…”.
Indeed, a forlorn tooth here and there… and way back in his mouth were a few wounds which were infected and one tonsil which was inflamed as well. How in the name of Bastet did he get clawed THERE ?
Well… see… we have the following theory: there is a feral entire tom trying to enter the House of Chaos, who has earned the undying enmity of both Bean Sidhe and Loup-Garou. There must have been a fight. Lou-Lou must have gotten hold of the other one’s paw and must have though: “a-HA ! Now I can bite him truly and well !”. And found out subsequently that it’s hard to injure a foe without proper utensils, and that when said foe has his claws inside your mouth he might be inclined to use them.
He hates that.
But for the rest he’s a very -extremely even- healthy specimen who is bearing his almost-13 years quite well. His lungs and heart are in perfect working order. His eyes, thought to be the cause for his mis-jumps, are still seeing perfectly. And his overall health is just splendid. It’s just that with old age come less strong muscles and those cause him to make mistakes when gauging the trajectory for his jumps. He’s simply not able to understand that he’s not as powerful and strong as he used to be, just like he had not taken into account that the lack of sufficient tools in the dental department would make him vulnerable.
But I suspect he hates it.
Picture below: nice and hot ashes a soft warm bed make…
Sorry we haven’t been visiting the Carnivals and Friday Ark lately… too much grieving had to be handled. And The Mistress bought a lovely little motorbike (Skyteam Bubbly) and got entangled in Belgian bureaucratic mazes and rat-traps so she had to run to and fro’ in order to get her paperwork in order which took her 2 weeks !! The good news is: she can now ride her bikey to her job. The bad news is: the winter isn’t over yet.