Too old?

Dianne in happier cat times

Dianne in happier cat times at the same address in 1985.

Lately, I’ve noticed that I am sometimes unable to do some of the things I did only a year or too ago.  I try to push through the pain and do them anyway, but often I fail.  For example, after I had hip replacement surgery, I gave up riding my bike and turned it over to my granddaughter Joy who uses it at school.

I have a small safety ladder I climb to water my hanging baskets of plants. Although he used to climb ladders to repair things, I won’t let David up on anything higher than a foot or two. A fellow I knew at age 50 or so, fell off a ladder, broke his leg, a blood clot formed and went to his heart and killed him.

We have safety rails on the stairs and in the bathrooms next to toilets and tubs. We rid ourselves of obstacles that trip, such as scatter rugs.  We have “senior-proofed” our home, not because we felt old, but because we are averse to pain.


The local shelter failed to call me yesterday, so I spent several hours calling different people trying to get an answer to the application for the kittens.  I’m too tired to go through the whole run-around, but the gist of it is whoever is in charge in this organization run by officious oicks “has concerns.”  I have no idea what that means.

After much probing on my part, the issue seemed to come down to my and/or David’s ages. During this process, every excuse surfaced, including “you have a history.”

So we reviewed my “history” which boiled down to:

1/ requesting cremation services for two dogs dead at ages 18 and 19;

2/ turning in a feral cat or two;

3/ turning in an injured squirrel;

4/ donating equipment including large steel cages later used by wildlife rehabilitators for large birds…hawks and owls, etc.

5/ donating money to the shelter every year for the past 30 years;

6/ adopting two Cockatiels ten years ago,

7/ dropping off one love bird (my granddaughter Amelia’s bird) 10 years ago;  and

8/ dropping off two lovebirds last week.   After I dismissed all the objections on the rap sheet, it came down to the two love birds we dropped off last week. I explained several times to several people that the issue is the bird cages.  It is difficult for David and me to haul cages outside and hose them down, which I need to do once a year.  I still have five cages to clean and they are large enough I can sit in them and wipe them down.

“What about a cat box? How will you empty that?  I told them, cat boxes are lightweight plastic and the newer cat litter is lightweight and absorbent (we’ve had three cats while we lived in this house, all deceased at ages 18 and 19).  Cat boxes can easily be cleaned out regularly. We are retired, taking care of animals is what we do.  (We hand vac the bird cages daily and I give them a good scrub weekly.)

Call either of my vets, I told them several times.  I have an Avian vet for the birds and another vet for the dogs and cats.  We’ve had the same dog/cat vet for over thirty years.

After I had exhausted all his illogical objections, he said NO.  I think it is because he thinks we are too old to have kittens.  They asked me twice if we were planning on moving (31 years at the same address), one interviewer asked if we were planning on moving into a retirement home.

Do you think age is an issue?

25 thoughts on “Too old?

  1. The ignorance and callousness evident in how some youthful workers interact with elders makes those gracious and caring ones stand out like bright stars. I echo Al’s thank you for your sharing on strategies for tackling the challenges of aging.


      • Why wait until next year? Now is when you need them, the baskets are heavy. I am sure your gardener would put them up on the brackets for you.


      • John, my former garden helper, now removed to New York, lifted the baskets into place. I ain’t taking them down until the plants die. Even then, my granddaughter or daughter will have to help me. We have a little ladder which works fine for now. The top shelves in my kitchen cupboards are higher. Got another ladder in the house for them. Thanks for the suggestion, however.

        Sent from my iPad



  2. This is absolutely crazy! I seriously cannot understand their stand on this. You are/were a beauty, Dianne.
    Thank you for your encouragement about installing the bannister on both sides of the stairs. It really makes a difference and I feel so much safer. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall these days.


  3. I agree with Al !! A good friend of mine works with feral kittens and she is always trying to find homes for them and is thrilled when she can. I can’t believe that age would be a turn off.


  4. Would you feel able to adopt an older cat, give a home to a much loved pet whose owner has died? They deserve our sympathy even more than a new kitten, which is bound to find a home.
    My daughter volunteered for a shelter for a few years. They found that older cats always got left behind because everybody preferred kittens. It broke her heart that sweet, gentle cats spent months and months, sometimes years, in small enclosures.


    • I would have adopted an older cat, but need to train this kitty to get along with my parrots and dogs. This afternoon my fellow bird enthusiasts, who also have cats, have given me ideas as to how to accomplish that goal.


  5. My daughter and I adopted a dog from a shelter when she was a sophomore and going through some depression issues. She was in tears when we left… we both felt like we had been interrogated by the FBI. I understand they want good homes, but seriously, it’s usually only people who really want a pet that go there in the first place.
    In your case it sounds partly like an age thing. the fact that you have a history with this facility makes me scratch my head.


    • I have a history with the facility, however GIGO as far as their automated system is concerned. Someone had entered the same lovebird three times as 1/lovebird, 2/Nutmeg( his name) and 3/parrot. It looked like I was abandoning animals like crazy. Also, the bird was not mine, it belonged to someone else, and the single event happened when my granddaughter was 12. She is now 22.


  6. I just couldn’t believe how much effort that shelter spent to NOT place kittens! I thought there were always more kittens than homes!!??
    Oh, yes. Age is what this is all about. I guess it’s best to forgive them. They are young and have much to learn. I think it might be “natural” to look at other people and wonder how soon or when they will die. I cut myself some slack for looking at others and wondering….because I wonder about myself! I actually love that you included the changes in how you and your hubby manage running your lives. I am always hungry to hear if other aging people are experiencing what I am. Thanks for your honesty and allowing me to view part of your life.


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