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The Secret Language of Cats

Ask Lyle – I’ve Lost My Youth

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Dear Lyle,

I write to you today in something of a down mood. My name is Ephram, and I recently turned 14 years old. I've never really thought much about my age–I've been lucky to be a healthy sort of guy, and have enjoyed all of my time with my amazing family. Lately, though, I feel like I am really slowing down. In my youth, I would barely sleep at all, just for like 16 hours a day or so, no big deal. Yesterday I slept for nearly 22 hours, just waking up to have some dinner and get my nightly brushing with my Papa (my favourite time of day!).

I don't play like I used to, and while I am content in life, sometimes I think about the old days when I would tear through the house and wake everyone up at night. The memory of their sleep-addled confusion and anger still makes my whiskers twitch with joy. How can I reclaim this rambunctious past in my golden years?

Ephram

Dear Elderly Ephram,

Thanks for taking the time to write in! This is a subject I am particularly interested in, because I am a senior cat as well. I just celebrated my 10th birthday! My, how time flies when you're living the good life. The first piece of clichéd advice I would give you is that age is just a number, and how you choose to live is really what matters. I do believe that is true, but I also know the ol' body does slow down as we get older. I wouldn't worry about your increased sleep time…napping is one of a cat's greatest privileges, so take advantage of it!

The key for you is to take proper advantage of the time when you are awake. Maybe you aren't up to tearing through the house again, but now your years of experience have probably taught you a few new tricks. Surprise your humans by hopping up on the dinner table while they are eating, or hide in a closet and then pounce out at whoever comes near. I like to pull items off shelves just for the heck of it–you should see how quickly my humans come and reward me for it with hugs!

The take-away here is that if you stay young at heart, and look for ways to keep active and mischievous, I think you'll be just fine.

Your brother in elderliness,

Lyle

Ask Lyle is our weekly cat-to-cat advice column from Modern Cat (and ridiculously outspoken gentleman), Lyle. Submit your questions to asklyle@moderncat.com, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the questioning cat so that we can post it with the advice!

You can also follow Lyle's adventures on Twitter and Instagram,@lylestagram.

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