Treasuring our elders is something we do very earnestly at Tabby’s Place. It is the quintessential multi-generational home. Growing up in a three-generational home provided an early training ground for me, personally, in being more gentle, more patient, more understanding. As cats – and we humans – age, grace is sometimes defenestrated (“thrown out the window” – one of my favorite words!) as aches and bodily challenges increase. These changes and abandonment by gracefulness makes it all the more necessary that we, the less elderly, compensate by showing greater grace.
As cherished, venerable Tux nears twenty – lagging only months behind Tabby’s Place itself – his leaps to the floor from the desk and up to a window sill are, perhaps, somewhat less fleet and agile than once upon a time. He may also be a little more apt to holler (I was stunned!) from a perch on the conference table. He has more than earned the right to squawk a little more, take a little extra time doing whatever he wants, and to receive some extra gentle pets simply because he is one of our most cherished old friends.
Sweet Steven is also showing the weight of his fifteen years – virtually all of them at Tabby’s Place. Our long-time friend is more apt to stay within a smaller area of his suite than in the past. Cold and bad weather clearly make his bones ache, and that makes our hearts ache for him. Yet, treating him tenderly and with great care does Steven and us a great deal of good. He still has plenty of space in his precious days for ample amounts of affection, which he is delighted to give and receive.
For both Tux and Steven, time at Tabby’s Place is filled with staff and volunteers who are willing to do everything it takes to ensure their comfort and happiness continue. Together, we treat them with the respect and kindness our elders should always be shown. We don’t stop there, though, because it isn’t just our old friends who are in their golden years. We have some newer old friends too.
Bursting into the lobby, Buster busted open our hearts with his bright eyes and eager energy. It wasn’t long before the powers that be rightly recognized that Buster is a Cool Kid. With due haste, he was introduced to the Community Room (CR). Therein, Buster makes it a point to personally greet everyone who enters, not just the feeders. If you’re feeling remotely low, Buster will bust that mood while he busts a move, getting closer to swap stories and share snuggles.
With relocations at Tabby’s Place, one typically follows another. Spunky Theodosia was introduced into the lobby after Buster got his boost into CR. Upon approach while crated, following a brief period (sometimes) of warnings, she would purr and coo and let visitors know they are loved (especially if providing squeeze treats). Befriended and content, Theodosia was mortified when the crate door was left opened and it became clear that she was expected to share her space with other cats.
Always respecting our elder’s wishes, and following NOLA’S ADOPTION (!!!!!!!!!!!), Theodosia’s request for fewer suitemates was granted. Jaunty Jae, Volunteer Coordinator and all-around amazing person, carried the growling, grousing, grumping grey girl to a transitional crate in the coat room. Once re-crated, purring resumed. Later that same day, following other assurances, someone said comfortingly to the pint-sized goddess, “There’s only one cat here for you to hate.” As there was only the lovely, silence-is-golden volunteer Cindy to witness, you can’t prove it was me who uttered such a thing, except it was me. Je m’accuse!
Regardless of who may point fingers at whom (Just not at cats. It’s never a good idea to point fingers at cats. They might react with deep umbrage and never forgive.), everyone at Tabby’s Place is responsible for ensuring our elder friends, old and new, are provided with all the comforts they deserve and require in their golden years. With that in mind, the Elderly Care Fund was created especially for showing our seniors some extra love. We can’t prevent aging, and we don’t care about fine lines and wrinkles, but being a senior is a special need as well as a special time of life. It is indescribably rewarding and wonderful to give the best of everything to our dear, old friends.