We have a 16-year old cat, named Benjamin, which means he’s over 100 years old in human years. You can see that he is getting older. He’s got a cat belly that hangs down, he has trouble going up and down stairs, and sometimes when he meows nothing comes out. Despite all that, I want to age like my cat.
If I was like Benjamin as I got older, this is what a typical day would look like for me:
I would sleep until someone gets up to give me some food, and if no one is downstairs before a specified time each day, say 9:00, I would sit at the bottom of the stairs and yell, “Hey! Hey you! I’m HUNGRY so come and feed me. I know you’re up there, so come give me some food. A little water would be nice, too, preferably without hair in it. Hello? Are you listening? Hello?” At that point, having expended the energy I have before breakfast, I would go lie down again and wait for someone to get up. Maybe I’d even go back to sleep again.
When someone finally got up to feed me, I would run to the table and sit down with great expectations for the morning meal. However, once the food was brought and I realized it was the same thing I had for the last 4,357 days, I would start complaining. “This is it?” I’d say. “This is what I’ve been patiently waiting for?” I’d look from the plate to the person who brought the food a couple of times, give it a little stir with a fork, maybe give it a little sniff, and then just sit there for a bit. “You know, you’ve given me the same thing every day for the last…” (Being old I wouldn’t remember how many days it had been) “…month and I’m tired of this” I’d say.
When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to get anything else, I’d start eating. After a few bites I would go sit on the couch and talk loudly, to no one in particular, about what was going on in my world. “You know, I really didn’t sleep that well last night. You left me down here all by myself all night, and my bed isn’t the most comfortable thing I’ve ever been on. Then I have to wait FOREVER for my breakfast and you give me the same old, BORING food. Well, I’m not going to eat that slop!” After looking around and seeing nobody listening to me, I’d go back to the table, eat some more food, and drink my orange juice. After going to the bathroom, I’d probably go back to sleep, being tired from all that eating and complaining.
Around noon, I’d get up and eat a little lunch, drink some water, go to the bathroom again, and then I’d walk around the house talking to myself. “Why does it always seem like no one is around? Where is everybody? Hello? IS ANYBODY HERE? Hello?” I’d suddenly stop, overcome by a horrible thought. “Oh my gosh. Maybe it’s me! Maybe nobody likes me! I’ve become a crotchety old man. What am I gonna do?” After realizing that was crazy talk, I’d walk around the house once or twice more, mumbling something unintelligible, and then I’d go back to sleep. What else am I going to do all afternoon?
After sleeping for most of the afternoon, I’d somehow force myself to get up. As soon as I saw another human, I would run to the table, waiting for my next meal to come. If they walked past me, I’d yell after them, “Hey. Hey you! I’m hungry here. Can’t you see I’m waiting for some food? Don’t you just ignore me and walk away! Hey…HEY!” Thinking quickly, I would go after them and endear myself to them. I’d go sit close to them and in a soothing voice I’d ask them how their day was, how things were going. I’d stare intently into their eyes, waiting for their answer. If one wasn’t coming, I’d put my hand on their leg until they gave me their attention or pushed me away…whichever came first. Then I’d go back to the table and wait for dinner, elbows on the table, sour face in my hands.
After eating, I’d get myself cleaned up and then I’d go to bed, having dreams of being a young, frisky guy again. I’d be scoring an amazing goal or getting the game winning hit as the crowd went wild – until I realized the noise was just my thunderous snoring that woke me up. I’d turn over and then sleep until someone came to give me breakfast and we’d start all over again.
If I live to be as old as Benjamin I’ll probably have a belly that hangs down, I’ll have trouble going up and down stairs, and there may be times where nothing comes out when I speak. As long as someone brings me some food, I should be okay.