A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps, but how can it prove its title? -- Mark Twain
Above: Properly Revered Cats, Josef and Marcus (in 1993)
Could anyone have posed these cats any more perfectly or symmetrically than they posed themselves? How did they know to do that? When we adopted these two little guys from the Animal Shelter (way back in 1988), we could tell they were going to grow up pretty, but we never guessed just how gorgeous!
When they were about a year old, we were heading out of town for a week and needed to board them. This would be a new experience for them and also for us, since we had only recently moved to the area and had to find a new vet.
We finally picked a place to leave them, based on reputation and location, and were asked to fill out a questionnaire when we dropped them off. The last question on the list was "How long do you expect your pet to live?" We were puzzled by this question, and my immediate thought was "Well, we certainly expect them to be alive when we come to pick them up, if that's what you're asking!"
What made the question even worse for us was that Marcus was, in fact, recovering from an illness, which was the main reason we wanted to board him with a vet instead of with a friend--so that he could get emergency medical care if necessary. During the week we were gone, I called at least once every day, just to be sure that the cats were staying alive! And, boy, was I ever glad to get back home to them.
Luckily, Marcus did make a full recovery, and he and Josef went on to become very long-lived pets indeed. Marcus was with us for eleven years, Josef for nineteen.
As for that question, "How long do you expect your pet to live?" Gerry finally decided on "As long as we do" for his answer; and I wrote down: "Forever."