My name is Aretha. I’m 17 years old now. I’m not sure how old that would be in human years — pretty old, I think. I feel things changing in me, just like I feel time moving faster — like sometimes it’s moving on without me. I don’t chase birds anymore, although it does bother me when a bird just hops right up to me while I’m sunning myself in the yard. Does the silly bird have to make it so obvious that I’m a senior citizen now?

Recently, I developed an affection for closets — any closet, as long as it has a door. I meow loudly outside said door until my mother opens it for me. But then, on certain occasions, I can’t remember why I wanted to go in there. My mother has been very patient with this… sometimes I have to check out a few closets before I choose which one I want to go in. Or maybe remember why I wanted to go in there. It gets confusing.

My mother took me to the vet and said she believed I’m getting kitty dementia. The vet agreed it was possible. It turns out, though, that I now need thyroid medication. I guess that’s another thing that can happen with age. I must say, the medicine has made me a bit more focused. These days, I only want to be in the linen closet. I also no longer want to eat my food out of dishes. I prefer plates. I’m not sure how my mother figured that out — I guess she’s pretty smart. I also prefer my fresh chicken pieces just cooked — warm and still juicy. The next day, after it’s been in the refrigerator, is not acceptable.

I hope my mother knows how much I appreciate her patience and her insight. She does manage to figure out what I want, even if it takes a few tries. I do tell her often how much I love her. Although when I try to tell her at 3 in the morning she doesn’t seem terribly receptive. Oh well, no matter — I know she’ll pay closer attention once it gets light out. She’ll do my bidding and give me my food, on a plate, in the linen closet, balancing it on a stack of sheets. The other day, she moved some sheets and put towels where the sheets had been. I let her know that wasn’t appropriate, and she moved things back to where they’re supposed to be. No matter how old you get, you still have to keep training your human parents.


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