Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The old and the young

Until recently, our house has been full of older animals. Wookie is 13, Opal and Daisy are 12, Gus is 11. We had our routine and we liked our routine. Lots of sleeping on the couch and early to bed. Everyone moved kind of slow. Everyone got along. We try not to think about the aging of our pets. They are all getting up in age and every once in a while we realize how old they are getting. It makes us sad, because we can't imagine our lives without a single one of them.

Enter the next generation. Roxie was the first on the scene. We call her "the baby". She is in love with Gus. She follows him everywhere. I think she has made him a little younger, they run and play together. Daisy is not interested in playing. Roxie is just a kitten, she's a little more than a year old now, and she really likes to play. It makes me smile to see her and Gus run from room to room chasing each other. But when it is time for bed, Gus wants to go to bed and he gets upset with Roxie if she tries to play with him when it is bedtime. Roxie has now started to sleep on the bed during the day with Daisy. I love that.

Next came Norwyn. He is about 3 and he likes to play too. When we first brought him into the house he hissed at the other cats. Gus has forgotten that and will play with him. Roxie has not forgotten and every time Norwyn tries to play with her, she hisses and runs under the bed. When we are downstairs, its like a herd of elephants upstairs - Gus and Norwyn running and playing. We didn't hear much of that before the younger cats came into our home.

Wookie is just a grumpy old man and no puppy or new dog will change that. Maggie tries to be his friend, but he is not interested. When Wookie goes up to bed, Maggie wants to be right up against him as they climb the stairs. This has been tough for Wookie and it has made him slip and fall a few times. That makes me sad, because he really is old. Maggie doesn't understand and just wants to be near him. She tries to play with him, he growls. Maggie tries to apologize and Wookie growls louder.

Maggie LOVES to play with Opal. They'll run around the living room. Well, Maggie will run around, Opal stands and barks and watches her run by. They will wrestle and roll around on the floor together. This has been exhausting for Opal. It is hard to wake her up in the morning, she is sleeping so hard from all this new activity. Some times Opal doesn't want to play and she'll get up on the couch next to me or Trevor and lay down. Maggie will jump up on the couch and sit on her, so she has no choice but to engage and off they go!

Maggie goes with us during the day. This is for a few reasons, first we want her to get used to being in public places, being in the car, meeting new people. We also need to give Opal and Wookie a break and a bit of their normal life back. When we get home at the end of the day, Maggie runs to see Wookie and Opal. She really does love them. They are her family. I think they love her too. They just aren't sure why we have a baby in the house.

It makes me happy to see them all interact - the old and young. It also makes me incredibly sad to think that the young will eventually have to go on without the old. I know that is how life works, but I don't like it. I love all these animals. There are seven of them now and that'a lot to love! I love when all three dogs are sleeping on the floor - like they are right now. I like when all four cats sleep on the bed with us. I really love how the old (with the exception of Wookie) have taken in the young. There has been no real fighting or aggression. They just roll with it and welcome the new ones into the house as if they have always been here.

This is our family. I want to enjoy them all together while I can. Its a strange mix, the seniors and the babies, but we love it and we love them. Every. single. one.

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