The oldest of our cats is Aloysius. He is a millennium baby, born in May of 2000. His mother had an infection when the kittens were just a week or so old, so their caretake, a lovely woman named Caroline, would bring them and mom into work so she could bottle feed them every two hours until mom was well again. Aloysius was the runt of the litter, and for some reason as he grew ended up with one front leg a little shorter than the other.
That didn’t stop this fellow from being a primo jumper, though. He could jump higher and better than any of our other cats, going straight up a wall at least five and half feet to tag a toy. His feats of daring with feather toys have been unequaled in our house to this day. In his prime, he was magnificent – amazing amber eyes, beautiful black fur, and “cute little pantaloons” – yes, he would let me tell him how cute they were and never offered to correct me. He embraces his feminine side.
Aloysius was born in Colorado, traveled with us to Washington state, and now is back in his state of origin. He has always been the mediator; gentle and nonagressive with all of the other animals, he’s a lover, not a fighter. At night, he curls up on the bed between our pillows.
At his last birthday, Aloysius celebrated 16 years on the planet. He’s thin and he’s
slowing down a little, spending most of his days napping in a warm shaft of sunlight. He still sleeps between the pillows at night, and when it’s really chilly, he’s been known to slip under the covers for a while.
He still is an amazing jumper, even if not quite as high as in his heyday. His amber eyes are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. He takes his medicine like a trouper, even though I know he doesn’t care for it. He has told me, though, that it helps him feel better, so it is worth it. He is happy and mostly healthy, and his gentle presence is felt by every member of our family. Elder cats have a wisdom and presence that is unparalleled, and we are so lucky to have him in our lives.