Her owner had already prewarned me: the groomer had come by. Lately, she had not been able to brush her fur herself as it caused Donna pain due to the progressing arthrosis. It was simply too painful and it caused her owner anxiety. Nevertheless, I shortly but certainly held my breath when I saw the result: it was not a pretty sight. In fact, it scared me a bit. It was now pretty obvious her hind legs were crooked. The otherwise thick fur was now cropped quite short at the back. And not quite symmetrically so!
It was already clear as she merely walked by, but now she undoubtedly looked like an ageing cat. Dutch singer Peter Koelewijn sang his well-known song in my head: “You’re getting older Donna, just admit it”. Where she used to patter by light-footedly on the tile floor, she made a much heavier sound now. She still had enough spunk to jump off the furniture, but it all appeared quite a bit less smooth and graceful than before.
Her reserved shyness was still present. Waiting for me at the top of the stairs, quietly meowing, in the exact same manner as she did when I tried to strike up a conversation with her. Those rituals were there to stay. But at the same time, she appeared to be more able to enjoy a bit of fuss; tickling her around her neck, or at the point where the tail is attached to the body. It would cause her to stretch her hind legs in sheer delight, even though she was not able to hold that pose for very long. After a short while, her bones would no longer be able to carry her weight and she would lie down.
And finally, there was a clear difference in her manner from before: she would lay down beside me, and take a long time to go away again! While she had always been careful to maintain a certain distance!
“Cause you’re still quite fast but tire more easily,” Peter Koelewijn hummed in my head again, with Donna purring joyfully right next to me.