Tag: senior cats

‘My Grandfather’s Cat’ Finds Future Homes For Pets of Seniors And The Terminally Ill

Buddy has a dirty little secret: He’s a biter and scratcher.

The little guy has improved dramatically over the past few years and it’s something we actively work on, but he occasionally has his moments when he gets freaked out and indiscriminately lashes out, or gets frustrated and redirects his flood of emotion on the nearest person, which is almost always me.

I love the little dude anyway, I can anticipate his moments of overstimulation or freak-outs, and I know how to calm him down.

But I also know that, if anything were to happen to me and Buddy ended up in the shelter system, he probably wouldn’t make it out. He’s even more likely to lash out in a scary, unfamiliar situation, and cats who bite and scratch are usually deemed unadoptable and put on the express route to the needle.

That’s why I made my relatives promise that, if I get hit by a bus or something, one of them has to adopt Bud, give him a loving home, and treat him as an extension of me.

Not everyone has that luxury, especially the elderly and the terminally ill. That’s why Angela Rafuse, a 27-year-old from Novia Scotia, founded My Grandfather’s Cat.

Rafuse’s grandfather had recently lost his wife of almost 60 years and had his own health problems that demanded urgent attention, but he resisted going to the hospital because he didn’t want to leave his wife’s cat, Mackenzie, alone.

“That cat was all he had left of my grandmother, and he didn’t want Mackenize to end up in a shelter,” Rafuse told People.

Rafuse with Mackenzie. Credit: My Grandfather’s Cat

When her grandfather passed away in 2019, Rafuse adopted Mackenzie. When she posted a video of the quirky cat to TikTok, the resulting discussion in the comments led to the realization that lots of people have been in similar situations, with relatives whose illnesses were compounded by worry about what will happen to their beloved pets when they’re gone.

“We heard stories from people who had to put their grandparents’ pets into shelters after they passed because there wasn’t a family member to adopt them,” Rafuse told blogTO, a local news site focused on Toronto.

My Grandfather’s Cat works “to keep the animal with their human up until the very last day and provide the comfort of knowing a loving family will adopt their pet when the time comes,” according to the non-profit’s site.

Refuse and volunteers work with people who are terminally ill, seniors who are forced to move into housing situations that don’t allow pets and other situations, and helps them find loving homes for their pets. Knowing their cats and dogs will be taken care of after they’re gone grants peace of mind to people who are already dealing with major life changes or their own mortality.

The group relies entirely on donations and doesn’t charge clients or adopters. My Grandfather’s Cat offers its services to all Canadian regions, and Rafuse said she hopes to expand to the US.

“It is the most rewarding thing in the entire world to be doing this,” she said, “and I know my grandfather would be proud.”

Kiwi Cat Dad Builds Lift For His Aging Buddy

Liam Thompson is a 21-year-old Youtuber who’s known for building cool stuff.

His cat’s name may be Frodo, but Thompson said he’s in “Gandalf territory” at 20 years old and has been having trouble getting around to his favorite spots, especially a sunny corner of the backyard where he likes to sit poolside and enjoy the New Zealand warmth.

“Despite his ancient-ness, he still insists on hobbling down these stairs every day to sit out in the sun,” Thompson says in a video about his latest project. “That is, until today.”

The video shows the handy Kiwi building an “elevator” — more like a stair lift for a cat — out of wood, an electronic hoist and a handful of small hardware pieces. The passenger compartment is a simple cart, and at the press of a button the cart descends or ascends the stairs along a wooden track.

Frodo isn’t bothered in the slightest.

“Are you ready to go downstairs without having to move a muscle?” he asks his cat before the maiden ride. “I hope so, because it took me four days.”

Thompson is delighted as the elevator works perfectly and Frodo rides it without fear or protest, laughing as the orange senior cat makes himself comfortable during the ride. The current setup requires Thompson to push a button, but perhaps in the future he can add a simple button for Frodo directly on the cart.

Speaking of elevators, this cat thinks he’s Leslie Chow from The Hangover:

World’s Oldest Cat Dies At 31

When Rubble the cat came into the world the radio waves were dominated by The B-52’s Love Shack, Debbie Gibson’s Lost In Your Eyes and De La Soul’s Me Myself and I.

George Herbert Walker Bush was in the White House, America hadn’t yet become a politically polarized wasteland and a gallon of gas cost 97 cents. Ghostbusters and Lethal Weapon both returned to theaters with sequels, the USSR withdrew from its war in Afghanistan and hundreds of thousands filled China’s Tiananmen Square to protest the communist government.

“It was just before my 20th birthday when I got him,” Michele Heritage, Rubble’s human, told the Daily Mail in 2018, for a story marking Rubble’s 30th birthday. “He was part of a litter [from a] cat that my sister’s friend had and I had just left home. I was lonely living on my own so got him in as a kitten.”

Rubble — a Maine Coon who became the world’s oldest cat a few years ago after the death of a 30-plus Texas feline named Scooter — died in May, just short of his 32nd birthday. His death wasn’t reported publicly by Heritage until July 3.

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Heritage, who lives in Exeter, UK, said she’s inconsolable over Rubble’s death, but attributes his longevity to lots of love and affection.

“I have always treated him like a child,” she said. “I don’t have any children and had another cat called Meg, who passed at the age of 25. If you care about something, no matter what it is, it does last.”

At almost 32, Rubble lived the equivalent of about 150 human years. The record for the oldest-ever cat belongs to Creme Puff, who died at 38 years old.

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All photos credited to Michele Heritage.