This is Mrs. Wilberforce. Today is her 15th birthday.
Which according to the various cat-age calculators available on the Internet makes her the equivalent of a human in their mid to late seventies. There is nothing left of her but the essential cat - bones and sinew, fur and whiskers, and a purr. She is an old gray-haired lady for sure.
Of course, she was gray-haired when we got her at 8 weeks old. Some folks just go gray early.
The first time I saw her, she was in a little cage at our local humane society. She and her brothers had all been neutered that day, and she was the only one awake. She was walking around on top of the pile of kittens, and as soon as she saw me she put one little white-gloved paw through the bars. I was a goner.
She is quite shy, and hides when other people are around.
My friend Marcia maintains I made up this cat, though she had to give in and believe in her the day we were on Skype, and there was the elusive Mrs. W in my lap. Of course, you have seen her before, because she is very good at helping demonstrate things I bring home from yard sales.
She's helpful when I am writing, or sewing.
She likes to be up high.
At our last house, she loved to hang out on the roof. And she insisted that the hubs climb a ladder to fetch her down.
She has possibly the softest fur in the world. Like rabbit fur. Her nickname is Bunny.
Mrs. Wilberforce has been through quite a bit. Nearly five years ago she went into kidney failure, and we thought we would have to let her go then. The x-rays the vet took revealed that she was born with only one kidney, and that one wasn’t working very well. But we started giving her sub-cutaneous fluids nearly every day and she responded amazingly well.
At first it was SO hard to stick a needle in her, I cried, she cowered. But now, after almost five years, we’re both unbelievably blasé. The whole process takes about three minutes, she chows down on a little canned kitty food, and we’re done.
At her last check up, we found she now has a serious heart murmur. She takes thyroid pills too. One of the things I love about pets is that unlike humans, they never complain about their ailments. She can no longer do everything she could do in her early years—she was a mighty huntress of gnats; if one landed on the wall she would leap straight up six or more feet and take it out—but she gets around just fine.
She is my role model, exactly what I want to be when I am her age. I’m doing really well in the gray hair department!