And in a fairy tale ending, the handsome prince galloped up to the house on his white steed.
He kissed the paw of the orange haired princess.
The Bad Math Witch’s spell shattered.
The shackles of frozen time released the orange princess.
She lived happily ever after.
Okay, okay. That’s not quite what happened.
Friends were over a couple of weeks ago and asked how old our orange haired princess, Emma, was.
She appeared as a stray in the backyard October 2006 and the vet pegged her as a Thanksgiving 2005 baby.
That’s not right.
She’s been with us for more then 10 years.
How could she be 9?
I distinctly remember the last time we calculated her age.
She was 9.
Oh wait, that was three years ago.
I know that because it happened during an Emma-loses-it-at-anything-that-smells-like-a-vet vet visit.
Wow, that’s been three years?
Guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
My age on the scale is coming up five years behind.
Doesn’t matter. Never know how old I am anyway.
Ageless and timeless is the way to go.
Suddenly, it hit me – Emma was 12.
She’s a senior!
We’d long ago accepted her cranky personality.
Emma has OCD and both her hips are bad.
The vet said the joints were such there would be no improvements with surgery.
happy juice pain meds are a life saver for her. And us.
Of late though, we notice her being a little less tolerant.
And more impatient.
The crankiness is dialed up a notch.
The times when nothing is right in her world, no matter what she asks for and what we give her, Emma’s a bear.
When she wants snuggles, they were supposed to start 10 minutes ago.
Her favourite flavour changes constantly.
The world must stop to make Emma’s world precisely how she wants it.
Just when I start to let exasperation with this new level of cranky get to me, Emma suddenly becomes 12.
She’s allowed to be grumpier.
She’s going to have more aches and pains.
She’s going to have normal aging cat stuff happen.
She deserves a break and an extra dose or twelve of understanding.
Emma did nothing.
She didn’t change a thing.
She’s not who she was.
She’s not who I expected her to be for a certain age.
Emma is who she is now.
But I shifted.
How I see her and her world changed dramatically.
Now more than ever, my responsibility is to be there for her.
To see her not as I want her to be or to fit in my world.
I try to approach life like this, although forgetting and slipping up is far too easy.
Emma’s release from time gifted me the chance to see anew –
not only who she is and what she’s dealing with,
but also who I want to be for her and others in the world.