My name is Derek and I’ve just had my 21st birthday – for those humans who might be reading my story, that means I’ve passed the 100 year mark! I’m doing OK for such an old man – my main problem is a bit of arthritis that’s slowed me down a lot in recent years … but that’s fine – I get lifted up onto people’s laps and onto the couch so I can sit next to my Dad (and purr loudly) while he’s eating his breakfast or waiting for Mum to come home from work (yes, like me, Dad has retired).
You’ll notice that my nose is sort of grey (instead of the bright pink you’d expect); that’s because there was a time when vets thought that tattooing a pink nose would help prevent cats from getting cancerous growths … I don’t mind coz there aren’t many cats with body art!
I’ve had quite an interesting life since I was born in Canberra in 1991. When I was 2 years old, Mum moved to Melbourne and I got to travel all the way in the car. They tried to give me a cat sedative to help me deal with the anxiety but I really think it just made me more anxious. I like being able to see, hear and smell what’s going on around me – indeed, I haven’t lost those faculties at all and I’m especially good at knowing when there’s some fillet steak, free-range chicken or other delicious human food being prepared for dinner.
Since moving to Melbourne I’ve had a couple of house moves and I also had an adopted sister come to live with me when I was 4 years old; she was 4 years old too. I pretended that I didn’t like her but we really got on pretty well and I missed her terribly when she died 3 years ago.
Anyway, life goes on and the most important thing is that everyone puts up with my foibles (like any oldie, I’m pretty insistent on getting what I want) and I know how much I’m loved by my family. So, even though I don’t really enjoy being wrenched from a warm bed to be taken for laser acupuncture and arthritis injections, I know they are trying to make me as comfortable as possible as I suffer the inevitable consequences of getting to such a ripe old age.
… and one final thing – thank you Manningham Veterinary Clinic for helping Mum and Dad deal with the challenges of a senior+++++ pet – and thank you too for your birthday present!