I still can’t believe that our cat Wapshot is 11 years old this year. That is 55 cats years. Why, he is almost the same age as Tom =) We first got him when he was 3 from the shelter. He was exactly what I wanted my cat to be: big, long haired and handsome. The opposite of what you commonly see in Philippine cats.
I remember joking to a family friend Dondon who was bound to the U.S. for the first time as an immigrant at the age of 15, to get me an alley cat as his pasalubong when he visits us in the Philippines.
Wapshot’s personality however, was a far cry from what we were used to for a pet cat. He was aloof. He wasn’t a lapsitter and doesn’t want to be petted or stroked for longer than 5 seconds. As children my siblings and I would fight over who would get to sleep with our pet cat Miming, who could comfortably lay on our stomach or rest in the crook of our arms throughout the night. Because we had lots of dogs it took us a while to get a pet cat (I was around 10 already) even if my maternal grandmother living 2 blocks away had dozens. Miming was a stray kitten who wandered into our backyard during a storm during our dead paternal grandfather’s birthday. I think my parents took it as a sign that the cat was for us even if it meant keeping her as an indoor cat forever (safe from the dogs) an unusual arrangement in our country.But this year however there is an enormous change in our cat. He has started becoming more affectionate, to me particularly. He has taken to sitting on my lap whenever Tom and I would watch a movie. It has taken him 8 years to let his guard down with us. Once in a while I would wonder why his owners gave him away in a shelter. Wapshot was kind of destructive with our rugs though, and he was very fastidious with his litterbox. Don’t clean it for one day and we’ll have a goldmine on our floor to show his displeasure. So that could be the reasons although the past year he has been more lenient litterboxwise – he now gives me a week.
Which made me a little worried if this is all a sign of aging because if you go by the average lifespan of an indoor cat he only as 4-6 years more to go although I have heard of cats living up to 22 years old – but it wouldn’t be pretty (lost eyesight, teeth, too long nails).
Wapshot has been a huge part of my new life here in the US – we got him 3 months after I arrived. Evan has known our cat from day one of his life and treats him like family. Just today after coming home from school he greeted our cat with: “Hi Wapshot, I had a good day today.”
I hope he’ll stay around for a long time – even if he can be a pain sometimes =)