sixteen years. That is longet than any human I have had a relationship with except my son. We met at the SF Humane Society 1993. I was looking for an hour for the perfect companion who would live with me on my boat...I did not have a boat at the time but I fantasized having one someday and wanted a cat who would not be afraid of living on one. There were so many wonderful cats I could not choose. Finally a volunteer approached me and asked me if I was looking for someone in particular. I told her my plan. She immediately said "You want Austin!" She took me to his "room" and I sat down on the chair, he jumped in my lap and nipped my hand..."I'll take him" I responded.
I found out he had been a resident at the shelter for over three months, was abandoned by his owners and was found by the sheriff who had come to evict the tenenants. Austin was the only one left there. He is a wonderful cat but likes to nip when he gets excited so he is not a good choice for people with small kids.
Austin and I have been through many boyfriends, good times and tough times...He is likes other animals so he always welcomed new friends. He is social...definitely the alpha cat and lets anyone new know that he is the boss.
Austin turns 18 next month and this past year I have noticed the physical changes. He lost his catnip gut and is skinnier. For the past 6 months he has become senile...at least I thought he was because he would ask for wet food every hour and would clean his plate. I just found out via the internet that he probably has hyperthyroid issues... he has all the symptoms-constant eating, weight loss, fur pulling, pacing, howling, restlessness. The good news is it is treatable. The vet is closed for the holiday but first thing tomorrow I will get him in to start treatment, hopefully they will use a natural method. I do not like western medicine for me or my furbabies. In my opinion western medicine is all about money, they lost site of what they used to be about which was to help people get better. Now it is the bottom line and selling over priced drugs to people...
I know my time is limited with Austin even though I have not found an expiration date on him...I look at him and I get a pang in my heart. A few years ago we lost Joey and Sasha within 6 weeks, that is the only time I saw John cry. I will not dwell on the thought of losing Austin, instead I will enjoy him and live in the moment.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to laugh and hug your critters if you have one.