Dusty is 17!

Such a handsome boy and a lover to boot!

Hard to believe, but Dusty is 17 today. He and his bridge sister Coco joined us when they were a year old. A friend had adopted them for her kids and I tried to coach her through cat care, but she just wasn’t a cat person: the kitties weren’t allowed on the beds or in the window sills and she kept them in the rec room downstairs. Then she got upset because they messing with her mini-blinds (which she kept closed) and her dried flower arrangements.

They were eating crappy Friskies dry food and filled the litter box with stinky poop — garbage in, garbage out. They became my first example of how quality food makes such a difference. They were eventually transitioned to a raw diet and thrived.

Sweeter cats could not be found on the planet. They moved from being newbies to becoming our senior kitties as different ones joined the household — and departed.

Dusty and Coco: One of my favorite photos.

Sadly, we lost Coco in February 2009 to some weird neurological disease, perhaps a brain tumor. Even if we had the resources to diagnose and treat her (I had just been laid off and my husband had just gone back to work), it wouldn’t have made a different — how often is brain surgery done on a cat?

Being solid gray and living with various Russian Blues, Dusty automatically became the Russian Blue wannabe. He was much larger than a Russian Blue and his coat was more solid than silvery and his eyes not as green.

In a multiple cat household, there always seem to be a top cat — I define that as the cat that gets along with everyone. Dusty is such a cat. Even at 17, he plays well with the others, purrs at the drop of a hat, and snuggles under the covers when it’s cold. His health has been impeccable (diet? minimal vaccinations? good DHS genes?) though now he’s got old kitty hips and kidneys.

The life span of a kitty is often a crap shoot. We can take all the precautions in the world and they still die too young. We have the collection of little urns on our fireplace mantle as a testament to that! What counts the most is the love we give to them and they give back to us. And we know that goes on forever.


About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

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