8 Things Cats Teach Us About Aging Gracefully


Next Avenue, an inspirational website for people over 50, has published a heartwarming essay by contributor Christine Schoenwald, a California cat lover whose sassy senior, Yoshi, has taught her some invaluable life lessons! Naturally, these aren’t nuggets of wisdom the cat actually articulated, per se, but rather non-verbal cues Schoenwald has gleaned upon watching her feline, who she adopted as a kitten 17 years ago, gracefully age.

“I know that Yoshi’s time here on earth is limited, but I’m grateful for the things he continues to teach me every day and for the love he shows me,” she writes of the countless ways her circa 17-year-old pet — who clearly sounds like a very wise animal — inspires her every day.

What has your cat taught you about life?

8. Be Honest

Playful and spry as they were as kittens, senior cats – just like humans — start to slow down in later years. Suddenly the cat who loved to jump on the furniture might not feel so spry; kittens who loved to play will grow into seniors more interested in snuggles. Likewise, humans should be similarly honest about their limitations. Don’t avoid a challenge, but also keep your physical expectations in check.

7. Prioritize Playtime

Both felines and humans slowdown in old age, but it’s still important to keep the blood flowing. For older cats, this could mean light play, while humans could undertake some low-impact activity like walking or gardening. Yoshi, for one, seems more energetic after playing with younger felines.

J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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