This is a post about Mr Teddington Blush Senior, the second-hand Persian cat.
I acquired Mr Blush when I was Twenty-Two, living in Hobart, and working at the Hobart Cat Centre; a shelter that accepts stray and unwanted cats.
Mr Blush had been a show Persian, bred for his large, luminous eyes, long silky coat (that would turn out to be a nightmare to brush) and flat, eerily human-like facial features. He had been given up, I was told, by an old man unable to care for him any longer.
Mr Blush was terribly unwell with chronic cat flu, and, as cat shelters are rather utilitarian in nature, was put on death row as a necessary measure against the spread of illness throughout the cattery.
So I took him home. He was Eleven years old. Now he is Nineteen, and I am Thirty.
Time flies when you’re a gal with a disability looking after a geriatric cat.
While Mr Blush used to be a very spunky fellow indeed, as the years have advanced, so has his general appearance declined. He would not, I suspect, be winning any fabulous cat-show prizes these days. He would not win ‘Most Attractive Cat’, ‘Most Agile Cat’, or even ‘Cat Able to Chew Food’.
In fact, more recently, he has begun to show the horrific ravages of age on an almost spectacular scale. Examples of his steady creeping towards obsolescence and antiquity are as follows:
A vet told me he was ‘a bit vague’ once. I just assumed he had gotten that from me- you know, in some kind of genetic way, as obviously we are somehow related. Since then, the ‘vagueness’ mostly manifests in how he takes a really, really, really, really, really, really, very, very, very, very, very, long time to decide whether to go outside or not. Or whether to jump on the bed or not. Or whether to just stand there for a bit longer and contemplate stuff. Like I said, it runs in the family. And we’re not vague, we’re just complex.
2. Wet Chin Syndrome.
This one is weird. I think its related to him drinking lots of water, which vets have been able to find no medical reason for apart from ‘old age’. His entire chin and part of his chest is often a mass of soaking wet, dripping, sea-monster-like tendrils of wet fur. He leaves puddles on the floor and on chairs that he sits on. Whenever I think of it, I dry his chin with an old towel, or tissues. Sadly, it never stays dry for very long.
3. Missing the Litter Tray Syndrome.
The less you know about this one the better. I’m mostly attributing it to him being a boy.
4. Messy hair – and not in an urbane, ironic, hipster kind of way.
This includes fleas. Incredibly stoic, hardy, Survivor, Rambo, Crocodile Dundee, hard-core early-colonial-Pioneer-carving-a-life-out-of-the-wilderness type fleas with deep-seated attachment issues and an underground ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’ political resistance culture. It doesn’t seem to matter how many types and combinations of chemicals, pills, and shampoos I use on these little fellas, they’re not going anywhere.
5. Sludge Eyes.
Persian cats, because some sadistic mo fo breeder at some point decided cats would look really cute if their faces resembled sun-shriveled butternut pumpkins, have constant oozy discharge resembling black sludge coming out of their eyes. This is because their eye-lids are squashed into their faces like concertinas, and rub against their eye-balls, creating the discharge. Aw… What a pwetty kitty. Cold tea helps to some extent, but Poor Mr B is not too happy about the whole ‘being held down and having cold tea dripped on his eyes’ thing. Would you be?
There is more to this list, but I feel that I’ve subjected you to enough for one post. I am, of-course, deeply and profoundly and irrevocably in love with The Second-Hand Persian Cat and every sign of age is kinda awful and horrific and sad.
He’s old, and clearly falling apart.
There’s me, there’s The Second-Hand-Cat, and then of-course, on a lesser scale, there is the Second-Hand-Car. All of us seem to be running out of time very quickly.
All of these things have been pronounced by various experts to be officially On The Way Out.
I’m still here though. My car is being fixed (it might last another month). Mr B is currently asleep in a cat basket (I hope so anyway. Oh, yes, I just prodded him with my foot: he’s still alive. Oh good).
Here are some photographs depicting the absalutely amazing, superfluous, words-cannot-adequatley-describe utter gorgeousness of The Second-Hand Persian Cat. He’s fluffy, he’s golden, he’s a hotcake with maple syrup on cute fluffy legs:
And this one:
He is, of-course, highly literary and reads, like, all the time (when he’s not asleep). Observe: