It's Gozer's Birthday: What to Know About Living with a 12-year-old Cat

O Gozer! my Gozer! 

To commemorate Gozer's 12th birthday today, and for being the oldest cat I've ever had, I compiled a list of 12 observances about living with a 12-year-old cat, particularly a Gozerian.

1. Cats get more awesome with age. Gozer hasn't lost one ounce of his felinality that has always made him him. In fact, his felinality has only grown stronger with age, making him the most awesome Gozer in the house.

2. Cats get louder with age. I'm not sure if it's only a Gozer thing, but he has a tendency to use his outdoor voice indoors, repeatedly and unnecessarily, at 3:00 in the morning, next to our heads.

3. Cats get more demanding with age. Again, maybe it's only a Gozer thing, but with his increasing volume he has added a strong tone of demand to his meows when his incessant meowing goes unnoticed. Cats these days.

4. Cats are always kittens at heart. At the age 12, which is 4 years older than what a senior cat is considered to be (8 years old by my reading anyway), Gozer still has kitten-like enjoyment and curiosity when he roams around the yard, plays with his toys, or sniffs out a box that soon becomes his new temporary shelter.
5. Cats are bed hogs. The older a cat gets, the bigger it gets. And when a cat lays perpendicular to everyone else in the bed, that cat takes 'bed hog' to a whole new level that I call 'catspreading.' It's a good thing Gozer's so cute when he's hogs the bed.

6. Cats are alarms, not alarm clocks. Cats do not necessarily care about the time its humans need to get up; therefore, they are not alarm clocks. On the contrary, what a cat does care about is alarming its humans with loud meows at any time it chooses, day or night, to make sure the humans know that the cat is awake and ready to have its demands met.

7. Cats have a limited vocabulary. While I have tried repeatedly over the years to teach Gozer words beyond 'meow' that could help him convey his messages better so his humans will understand him, he has not taken to my suggestions, not at all. Chump don't want no help, chump don't get no help.

8. Cats can say one word in many ways. Even though 'meow' is the beginning and end of Gozer's vocabulary, he has not let that limitation hold him back from mastering a range of tonal inflections that reflect his many wants and moods; from 'Feed me NOW,' to 'I didn't mean it,' to 'Fuck that, I'm a cat,' he has learned to communicate it all with one word. It's as if he's a god or something.
9. Cats are gods and they know it. All that cats want is for humans to recognize their godly status. Is that so much to ask? Okay; so, maybe cats are gods who can't open doors to let themselves out, or open their own cat food, or clean their own litter box. However, since cats can get humans to do the dirty work for them, that only proves their godliness. Touché, Gozer.

10. Cats nap, period. What's good for the Gozer is good for the Gozer worshipers, and that includes two 10-hour naps a day. 

11. Cats steal hearts and seats. It doesn't matter if you call 'dibs,' a cat will take your seat without apology the second you stand up, and they get better with age. Now that he is 12, Gozer has become such an expert seat thief that he will steal my seat before I even sit down. What a cat.

12. Cats make every day Caturday. When Gozer chose us as his humans all those years ago, I never imagined he would be with us 12 years later, nor all the joy that he would add to every day life with his felinality that only a Gozerian such as he can possess. 

Happy Birthday, Gozer!

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