When our cat Samantha was recently released from her farm cat duties of caring for the young birds we were raising in the house (“Farm Updates – Late Summer“), our friends from the blog Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat commented “I guess Sam’s on a grandparent footing with the babies … not full duty … can enjoy them for as long as she likes … and then she’s off!” It struck me how true that is. After all, at 16 years old (which equates to at least 80 in human years), Sam is well past Mama age and definitely more at Grandma age!
She gets to do exactly that – visit with her “grandbirdies” who she helped raise, and then go back to the house and relax! Her latest venture out to visit with them was a fun one – especially watching the “guinea boys” with her. They were so curious about her, and she was so oblivious to it all! She simply enjoyed being outdoors in the warmth, sunshine, and grass, and listening to the birds chattering near her. She wandered around with them often close behind.
Sam’s outdoor visits are completely supervised. Considering the fact that she is mostly blind, she gets around quite well. She seems to always know where I am, and even though she walks a bit gingerly at times, she really doesn’t hesitate much when exploring. Luckily, we have a lot of big open areas, so she doesn’t have to worry much about walking into things. I think she sees better out in the bright light too.
Speaking of Sam’s advanced years, she recently had her wellness visit at the vet, and it could not have gone better! Both her blood pressure and T-4 tests (for her hyperthyroidism) showed little change from her last checks 6 months ago! The vet was also pleased with her heart, her weight, and her body mass. She feels Sam is at the perfect weight now, which was a relief for us.
Most of the time, Sam’s appetite is pretty good, but it does wax and wane at times. She is mostly good about taking her pills in a pill pocket; though on occasion we do find out that she sneakily dropped it after the fact when we weren’t looking! If that happens I usually just crush it into her food, or don’t worry too much if she misses one here or there. I’ve also noticed she sleeps a little longer and sounder lately, I used to get up in the morning to her wailing for her breakfast, and now that rarely happens. But when I call her (she still likes to sleep upstairs in the room where the birds used to be), she hears me and comes down the stairs. Only occasionally do I have to go up and get her.
The vet did say her eyesight has deteriorated further, though at least her retinas are still attached (retinal detachment can be caused by high blood pressure and would lead to complete blindness). Her pupils’ response to light has diminished though. We weren’t too surprised by that, we suspected it because for a while she didn’t seem to be getting around as well, she was far more hesitant in her movements. She has seemed to adjust more now though and knows her areas quite well. Only occasionally does she stumble off her wide shelf by the window where she eats. In true cat fashion, she always lands on her feet and is never the worse for wear. Some days she seems a bit wobbly and hesitant, but most she gets around well. She has no issues with going up and down the stairs, or getting up to her shelf via the futon which is next to it.
We are pleased that she is happy and healthy at 16 years old, especially considering all the ailments she has. She will hopefully be able to have more visits out to her birds before the snow flies again, when we’ll all be following her lead and enjoying more cat naps and sleeping in on the shorter days.
Jodi Stone says
I’m glad to hear the check up went well. I know for me, I’m constantly wondering if I missed something, so those reassurances that all is going well are so beneficial!
Enjoy those ‘grandbirdies’ Sam!
You are so right about that, especially when they are seniors. Things that you might write off to old age might be something fixable, and those wellness visits are a good chance to discuss those things.
Melissa Clinton says
That is so funny that the guinea guys follow her around. I love that she is still getting around and loving her life on the farm. I can attest to the grandma thing. It is the BEST! LOL!
Sam is happy you are enjoying being a Grandma as well! 🙂
Monika & Sam 🐾 says
Guinea watching looks like hard work, dear Sam. Well done!
It sure is….thank you!!
Love, Sam ♥
Lynn LaChance says
Love hearing the good news on Sam’s health, Jan, and absolutely love the wonderful pics of her and the birds and enjoying the yard!! That must be too funny watching the boys follow her around! So good you help her get outside, it’s awesome.
It is so fun to watch how they interact with each other. The birds are really fascinated with her!
KAREL HADACEK says
I love the pictures of Sam with the guinea hens! You are making me appreciate my 13-year-old cat’s good health.
When they get to be seniors, every healthy day is appreciated!
Sand spring chesapeakes says
Oh my gosh, those are such awesome photos and time spent together.
Thank you, JoAnn!
caren gittleman says
So glad that all went well with Sam’s Vet exam! I think it is adorable how she looks like she is protecting those birds!
She takes her job as a farm cat very seriously. 🙂
Ellen Pilch says
I am so happy to read that Grandma Samantha had such a good wellness exam.I have 5 cats on thyroid pills and I find a pill on the floor every once in a while too. I also have one that gets the ear gel because I could never get a pill into her.
When we first started her on the pills, she was really difficult about it. It took us a while to hit on the pill pockets working, and I’m actually amazed that she still likes them! I am glad to know there is another option if we ever need it though.
The photos of Sam with the birds are priceless. She’s is such a good girl and is wonderful with the birds. I am so happy to hear that her health is good, and her eyes are doing as well as can be expected!
Way to go, Sam!
I simply love these shots too, thank you. Animals really can adapt to losing their eyesight!
Shadow's & Ducky's Mom says
Oh, Sam, I am so glad your vet visit went well! I’ve always gotten a kick out of the way you help raise the “grand birdies”! It’s so sweet! And like Momma Kat said, they follow you the way roadies follow their rock stars. 😍😍
Sam has never been big on hanging with other cats when we had them; so I’m glad she’s found a way to enjoy the company of other animals. She loves the thought of being a rock star! 🙂
Brian Frum says
Oh Sam, you are such a sweetie and a great Grammie to your birdies. I’m so happy your check-up went well, way to go you!
To think that about 3 years ago, they told us she might have cancer. She sure proved them wrong!!
I’m happy with you, we are fans of Sam ;O) your guineas are beautiful, of course raised by a cat they know how to take care for their feathers ;O)))
They do seem to have good grooming practices, and almost look cat-like with their contortions when they are doing so! 🙂
Mom says all creatures need more rest as they age, at least in the form of naps. Kind of a return to the early years. Samantha is so cute and how nice for her to hang out with the birds.
Goodness knows I feel like I need more rest these days, and the Dadz rarely misses an afternoon nap (I’m not much of a napper, but I do go to bed early)! 🙂
Looks like Sam has a couple roadies … how funny is that though? Four birds following a cat across the yard like she’s a rock star. I don’t know if birds have the same finely tuned sense of smell that cats do … but I wouldn’t be surprised if they remembered her in some respect. We admire Sam so much – she doesn’t let much get her down – and she lives her life and makes her own happiness. So many people would kill for that ability. I’m just struck by the way you share your babies. You have a way of sharing them that really connects to me. Sheba … Cricket … Sam … Luke … how can you not fall in love with them?
I love that thought of Sam as a rock star, and so does she!
Thank you so much for your sweet words. That tells me I’m accomplishing exactly what I wanted to – sharing my babies with others, and hoping that our love and happiness together shines through. ♥