May Newsletter, 2006
There was very little hesitation when I asked Pree what she liked to share on this month, and her response surprised me.
"Old age", she said.
I have to say that startled me, because although Pree will be fifteen in July and her mother Sachet turns sixteen on June first, neither of them are "old" to me. They are lively, playful, and look much younger than their years. When they go to visit their doctor, everyone always marvels at the birthdate listed on the chart. So her response was unexpected!
Pree said that was precisely what she wanted to say, that the adage "you're as young as you feel" does have some truth to it. She also wanted me to know that, unlike many humans, she does not look at growing old as a "problem". Most animals have no serious concerns about the aging process, and see it as part of life, just another aspect of the cycle of progression, and even something to celebrate. Although she herself has no aches, pains or symptoms yet, she tells me that when she does, she'll see them as a badge of honor rather than a serious cause for concern, and she knows that she has trusted humans who will help to relieve any discomfort for her, and keep her healthy and content for as long as it's the right thing to do.
She also wants us to know that our animal friends don't think about "growing old" ... and that it sometimes surprises them to know that their humans are counting calendar years, often waiting for "signs of age" to set in. Although she understands, to some extent, the human fascination with time, she says that animals only think about years and time in light of how their humans are perceiving the issue. If they didn't have human-people to care for, most animals wouldn't even be aware when a birthday had passed. It's only an issue because it makes their humans happy to sing Happy Birthday once a year.
Well, except for the birthday treats. Those are pretty good.
When I ask Pree why she chose this particular topic, she reminded me that the other day I was carrying both her and Sachet around talking to them about how wonderful they look "for their age". She teasingly said I could have dropped the "for your age" part ... she looks wonderful, period!
And she's right, of course.