Sweet Senior Sixteen – Happy Birthday to Zee!

Happy. Grateful. Blessed. These are the feelings I have when thinking of our Zee who is celebrating his 16th birthday today. Last year gave us a scare. Zee had been losing significant weight, he was lethargic, and he was drinking water excessively. A trip to the vet gave the initial prognosis of diabetes, with us going through the traumatic experience of drawing blood from a vein in his ear each morning (maybe twice a day, depending on the results) to test his glucose level in order to determine his proper insulin injection amount.

Thankfully, it turned out to be a false prognosis, something that is not uncommon when diagnosing diabetes. Cats under stress, such as from the experience of the veterinary visit often have high glucose concentrations in their blood (called stress hyperglycemia) and after further tests, he was diagnosed with a hyperthyroid.

After a change in diet and a small dose of methimazole twice a day, Zee has slowly gained and maintained his weight and he’s doing well. He’s not the same cat he was a couple of years ago, but considering his senior age that’s to be expected and we’re grateful for every single second of his company we’re blessed with. He’s a lot clingier than he used to be, literally spending much of the day as close to Dan or me as he can get.

Zee lying next to me and my computer while I work.

This can get a bit awkward as his athleticism is not what it used to be, so when he jumps up on tables and desks where we keep our computers to be next to us it can be a challenge for him not to knock everything over with his clumsiness or wreak havoc on the computer keyboard. But how can you say no to him? He’s just so endearing and all he wants is to be next to those he loves.

When he’s not next to one of us, he’s typically napping on the couch, often settling between two pillows for extra comfort for hours at a time. Despite the extra napping, he does have incredible spurts of energy. He still enjoys playing chase the human, a game in which we’ll run and he’ll run behind us to get us, and he still brings an occasional stuffed toy to us as a gift. This is especially the case recently as I’m finding the need to be on more Zoom calls in the evening, taking time away from our couch time. He will very politely let me know with a meow and plush gift that he’d like me to wrap up the call so we can be together.

Zee spends much of his time napping on the couch, nestled between two pillows.

His feline family still loves him immensely, too, and often he’ll be surrounded by Zoey, Mia, Peanut, and Rolz, or any combination thereof, sometimes also joined by Jazmine or Kizmet. Shadow doesn’t join in, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like Zee, he’s just still too wary for any group snuggles with the gang, primarily thanks to Jazmine who still can’t find it in her to accept he’s part of the household even though deep down we suspect she has a crush on him.

Peanut, Zoey, and Mia are surrounding Zee.

Nights are the most interesting. Sometimes he insists on staying on the couch when I finally go to bed and other times, he’ll follow me in like an eager puppy, happy to spend the night swapping his time with Dan and me in bed, typically sleeping on top of one of our heads or next to us. I’m also grateful for those moments, even if he sometimes drools while sleeping, or if he makes it awkward for me to get comfortable. That’s what loving a cat is all about as we know the time we get with them is precious and fleeting.

Happy birthday, Zee. We love you so, so much!

We are blessed to have an enclosed outdoor area where we can bring the cats for a few minutes of fresh air. Zee loves these moments so very much.

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  1. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Zee!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Happy Birthday, Dear Zee! And wishing you many, many more Happy Birthdays to come!

  3. Happy Birthday Zee! We love the family photo.

  4. Bernadette says:

    Hapy Purrs Day, Zee! We’re glad you’re getting your due respect and adulation as an elder in the household, and once that medication takes effect you’ll be back to your graceful self. But keep all that extra attention you’ve gained.

  5. Happy Birthday to Zee!

  6. Sue Brandes says:

    Happy Birthday Zee. My Cashew has diabetes and hyperthroid disease.

  7. Brian Frum says:

    Happy Birthday from all of us handsome Zee!

  8. jmuhj says:

    Happy Sweet Sixteen, handsome Zee! May you enjoy it in safety, good health, comfort, best care, and Love!

  9. Leah says:

    Awww, a very Happy Birthday to Zee! What a grand fella he is; those senior kitties are just extra sweet.

  10. caren says:

    I cannot believe Zee is 16! Where has the time gone? Happy Happy Birthday Zee! xoxo

  11. Theresa Spaid says:

    Happy Sweet Sixteen Birthday Handsome Boy!

  12. databbiesotrouttowne says:

    happee bee lated birthday two ewe dood; hope yur day total lee rocked and ya had donuts 😉
    heerz two a yeer a head filled with happeez and healtheez….yur 16 now buddy; ewe can DRIVE
    A CAR !!!!! WHO YA !!!! 🙂 ♥♥

  13. Mary McNeil says:

    happy Purrthday handsome Zee !

  14. Ellen Pilch says:

    Happy sweet 16 Zee!!! My Joanie and Sammy will be 6 at the end of the month and both are hyperthyroid too. XO

  15. meowmeowmans says:

    Happy birthday, Zee! Sending you love and scritches on your special day (and always)!

  16. Happy belated Birthday beautiful Zee ! Purrs