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Surrounded by Geriatrics

I received a letter from my veterinarian the other day.  She wrote to tell me that my cat Jade was going to be nine in June, which in human years means she is the equivalent of sixty.

Well, I thought, maybe that explains it.  I have been wondering why she seems to be forgetful or why she thinks I am.

If I so much as twitch she is up and running to the kitchen, crying that she needs to be fed.  I tell her that there is food in her bowls, both kinds, her usual smorgasbord but to no avail.  I have to pick her up, carry her over to the bowls and show her that there is indeed food in them.  She looks, sniffs, takes a few licks and walks away.  And repeat when I twitch again.

But the letter got me thinking that I have three geriatrics in my life.  Jade, my aunt Charlotte, and my oldest brother Robert, who is almost seventy and has major health issues.  I’m not just dealing with intergenerational aging problems but also interspecies.

We live in the same metro area but in different corners of it.  My aunt lives alone in a very large house and constantly says how lonely she is.  However she will not consider selling her house and using the money to move to a nice seniors’ complex where they do everything for you on bended knee.  She could afford that type of service without even selling her house.

She still drives and should not be, but the licensing department renews her license without a worry on their part.  I, on the other hand, do worry.  She is about 4’5″ tall and drives a Cadillac.  She is a cliché.  I know if she’s in an accident that she will probably come out of it unscathed but I worry about the people she’ll kill.

Yesterday she was going to drive to the cemetery to put flowers on her mother’s grave.  It was the day before Mother’s Day but she didn’t want to contend with the crowds that would be there if she went on the actual day.  I know that I am far removed from the “going to the cemetery on any occasion group” but crowds?  Her parents, my grandparents have been dead for over 50 years and they were in their eighties  when they died.   Any one who might have relatives, mother or not, in that area of the cemetery are more than likely dead themselves.  For the life of me I can’t picture crowds, throngs at the cemetery.

Later in the day I checked in with her to make sure she had got home safe.  She had but she didn’t make it to the cemetery because she had gotten lost on the way there.  I thought, if you were lost, how did you get home?   This scares the stuffing out of me and there are many more stories where by the grace of the trees nothing awful happens.

My brother lives in a co-op and it is undergoing a major renovation / restoration.  As I mentioned he has major health issues.  He had bypass surgery three years ago and while the operation was a success, he had complications that were bad enough themselves but they also exasperated other health problems and continue to do so.

I find that he is constantly on edge with the renovations going on, and people constantly in and out of his property.  Part of that I understand but his reactions seem over the top at times.  He was recently informed that the construction company would need access to his unit over the next four weeks to make plumbing repairs.  He immediately panicked and to ensure he would be home when the company needed access, he cancelled all of his medical appointments for the next month.  Some of which he couldn’t reschedule until the fall.  Let me point out that he does not know exactly when they need access to the unit and that over the four weeks they only need to come in a few times.  The construction company also seems to be agreeable to changing dates if requested.

He also worries about being homeless, but that is another story.

So I have my aunt, my brother and my cat.  All tipping towards senility.  I deal with all of them on a daily basis, my aunt and brother over the phone, and Jade in person.  I will say that I am glad it is Jade that I deal with in person, because I just have to point out her food and litter box to her.  Hate to have to do that with the other two.


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