The fast track life

My family has an old cat–a paradoxical, or at any rate a relative concept, given that she hasn’t yet crossed her 16th year. But she has diabetes and probably some other health problems, so she is suffering real indignities of age. She reminds me of what Claude Lévi-Strauss said about the cities of the New World: they go from freshness to decrepitude without stopping at agedness. The amount of memories and experiences you have isn’t totally dependent on how much time has passed in your life, so I suppose cats are probably about as well acclimated to the amount of time that they have on earth as we are to ours, which is to say not very. The fact that she hardly does anything all day long also no doubt makes the time pass more slowly. Even so, having to deal with getting old just a decade after being born is something no human has ever had to endure (unless they have some weird genetic disease), and it does seem like a burden in its own right on the bendy, elasticky back of a cat. Surely even in beings that look like walking lint balls that deserves our respect enough to temper any over-idealizations of their “carefree” lives.

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