Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mudpie Interviews...Whisper: Senior Cat, Working Cat

Meows from Mudpie!

Did you know that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month? Mommy had lots of experience with senior kitties before Angel Truffles and I and she'll have more on that Thursday. I'm nowhere close to being a senior myself, so as any good reporter should I sought out a source to help me tell a story!

On one of our local news stations there's a segment each week called "Super Seniors" featuring people who are working well into their senior years. (I should submit my grandpa's name for consideration!) My interviewee today is a feline version of a "super senior", a cat who has some years on her and has been through a traumatic experience, but holds down a job and is as full of life as ever! I hope you enjoy meeting her as much as I did.

Welcome, Whisper! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you came to arrive at the Dumb Friends League?

Hi Mudpie! Thanks for having me!

My name is Whisper and I’m 10 years young. I’m the official clinic cat to Parkside Animal Health Center. It’s an important job but I try not to let it go to my head.

As far as how I got to the DFL, I don’t remember much about the early years but I remember the last several very clearly! I was living with a lot of other cats in a house that was too small for all of us. After a little while, some people nearby saw that we needed help and brought us into the shelter.

There were 9 of us in total!

I was really worried when we left but luckily the shelter really wasn’t a bad place. Don’t get me wrong- I wouldn’t want to live there forever but of all the places a cat could end up, it really wasn't bad. I had my own litter box, my own food bowl, and my own water bowl. Almost my own everything! But I didn’t have my own human. I had to share the humans with all the other animals and I didn’t like that much.

You weren't in very good condition back then. What was your road to recovery like?

Long! The first problem was I was pretty nervous at the shelter. Nowadays, I’m certainly not known for being shy. Quite the opposite. But I was so overwhelmed by how many cats, dogs, and people there were there that I guess I kind of shut down. The people at the shelter said I was afraid. Since I was labeled as shy that meant I got extra attention and extra treats. Which definitely helped.

From there I had all kinds of medical tests done. People just kept looking in my mouth which was a little embarrassing since I didn’t have many teeth left. Not sure what they were looking for exactly.

At one point I thought they were going to look in my mouth again but instead, someone poked me with something and I started getting very sleepy. I woke up without ANY teeth! Even though I only had a few left, it sure did feel funny to not have any at all.

After that, I went home with Dr. Eisenhauer. That was a good day even though my mouth was feeling strange.

Along the way, you came into contact with Dr. Brenda Eisenhauer of Parkside Animal Health Center in Colorado. Tell us how your relationship evolved and what made you realize you were meant to be together always?

Dr. E, as I like to call her, seemed to take a liking to me. I took a liking to her too. I don’t know exactly what it is. You know how you see human after human and then suddenly you see one and think...I could get used to this one. Well, that’s how it was. I just kinda knew we would do great together.

I found out later that Dr. E is also the one who took care of all my teeth. In fact, she always seemed to be around when I was having something done. I think she was really looking out for me. Like I said before after my teeth were “fixed up” Dr. E even took me home!

Her house was awesome! Not like anything I’d ever seen! There were cats with no fur (they all seemed to be called “Rex”?) and some dogs. The best part was, everyone was my friend! Where I come from, there wasn’t enough food, room or litter boxes so everyone had to compete. But here with Dr. E, there was plenty of food, lots of soft beds and more than enough litter boxes. It was paradise. But just when I didn’t think things could get any better, Dr. E decided to give me a promotion! I went from being in charge of the house to being in charge of a vet clinic! That’s right! I now run a fully functional veterinary clinic in beautiful Colorado!

But back to Dr. E, I wasn’t eating after my teeth were removed because my mouth felt so funny. Dr. E thought I would do better out of the shelter so that’s why she took me home. But after a few days, we really hit it off. Dr. E is the best and most caring human I’ve ever met! I also think she liked the way I managed the household and chased the dogs around. That’s part of why I think I got the promotion.

A little birdie told me that you will only eat dry food in spite of being toothless! I have the exact same aversion to wet food! It drives my Mommy crazy.

What is it with these humans and wet food! I mean, have they smelled the stuff? And the texture! Teeth or no teeth I simply refuse to lower myself to THAT!

What’s strange is how excited they get! They pop that can and look at me like I should be excited too! Yuck!

Now that you're the mascot of Parkside, what is a typical day like for you? What are your duties?

Ahem. I’m sorry Mudpie, you may have misheard me. I’m not exactly a mascot, that’s really Dr. E’s job. I mean she does important doctor and business owner things like surgery, clinical work, hiring, managing the vet clinic, handling the books and saving the lives of the cats, dogs, and other pets but I’m really the brains of the operation. I make sure things are done the right way and at the right times.

One of the most important jobs I have is greeting clients. It’s an important job and I follow a careful process. First I start at the window to and try to size up the new visitors. I pride myself on being able to tell exactly how they would like to be greeted. Whether that’s a quiet meow or a big strong MEOW I jump to the desk and proudly welcome them to Parkside.

Then I usually let the receptionist take care of the rest. You know the boring stuff like collecting information and getting the client into the exam room.

I also do consultations with some of the pets. They don’t always seem to understand what they’re doing at the clinic so I give them a quick update on what is going to happen. You know, just to make sure they aren’t too nervous.

I also supervise cleaning. I find the vacuum particularly interesting and I want to make sure the humans are using it properly.

One of the ways I like to manage the staff is to hide inside any cabinet that’s been left open. When someone goes to get something from it or close it I jump out! That usually startles the humans quite a bit but they just shouldn’t let things get cluttered up like that!

I always make sure to get my exercise and I’m an avid soccer player. I also do a sort of jump rope exercise. You have to see it to really understand.

I like my job because I get to meet a lot of new people and new creatures. I like being able to help them with their visit to the veterinarian. I think that when they see me living the good life at the clinic they realize the vet can’t be all bad, you know?

I also get to see some strange creatures! Have you ever met a thing called a tortoise? I have and it is something else!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. As a mature ladycat of 10+ (with a job!), what do you hope people take away from your story with regards to adopting an older animal?

Dr. E taught me that age is not a disease. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me! I’m still a happy cat!

The other thing is that age doesn’t define personality. When clients see me jumping out of cabinets, playing soccer or doing my string exercises they always think I’m much younger than 10! They think only a young cat would do the things I do! Sure, some older cats like to sit around more but just like humans, cats come with all types of personalities!

In short, don’t write us older cats off! We need homes too!

Lastly, is there anything about yourself that your fans and friends might be surprised to learn?

I think some of my fans might be surprised to learn that I think dogs are actually not so bad. I know, I know, dogs don’t always get the best reputation in the cat world but the important part is to lay the ground rules. Once you have some boundaries set things can go pretty well.

I’ve met hundreds of dogs at the clinic and most of them have been pretty great. They just don’t know when to stop sniffing! That’s when a well-placed paw on their head helps straighten things out.

Thanks for having me Mudpie!


Summer at sparklecat.com said...

What a hard worker Whisper is! I'm so glad you interviewed her - she is quite an impressive kitty.

The Menagerie Mom said...

What a wonderful interview, Mudpie! It is so wonderful to meet Whisper. This here human has such a fondness for senior kitties, and Whisper sure is a special one. She's also a real beauty!

Patricia T said...

Whisper is a sweetiepie! What a wonderful interview.

Three Chatty Cats said...

What a great interview with Whisper. What a gorgeous senior kitty she is with a very important job!

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

What a beautiful story and a beautiful kitty! I'm glad someone finally saw the beauty within as well. Years ago, Bear had to stay overnight at the emergency clinic - and their blood donor cat (I don't really like that they would have one ...), Moose, struck up a conversation with Bear. Bear was terrified and the staff noticed Bear perked up quite a bit during a meow fest with Moose. Sounds like Whisper helps kitties (and woofies) in the same way and I'm eternally grateful to Moose for being there when I couldn't be :)

Eastside Cats said...

Whisper, what a cutie you are! Great interview, Mudpie.

pilch92 said...

Wonderful interview, such a pretty kitty. And so brave to supervise the vacuuming.

Anonymous said...

This is a very sweet post. Thank you for sharing this. Hugs.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

It's very nice to meet you Whisper and we are buzzed happy you found your purrson Dr E ! we enjoy soccer too but have to say you're WAY braver than us, we hide from that vacuum whatchacallit....hey, if we are ever in colorado we will stop bye and say hi !

Unknown said...

Great interview with a super senior, Mudpie! "Age is not a disease"--so true, and something we should all remember :)

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

What a PAWTASTIC interview! Whisper is a very smart, very sweet cat.

Mark's Mews (Marley, Lori, Loki, and Binq) said...

TBT says he will adopt senior cats after us. But that better be a lot of long years from now!

james brownn said...

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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