Sunday, November 16, 2014


Hope, or Sweet Hope, as her friends call her, is 21 years young!

Hope is a cat and I know her, and her owner, since she was four months old.

Hope’s early life was full of hardship, as she was abandoned as a young kitten by the dumpsters, yet her fate changed as her owner Alice heard her cries for help and took her into her home and into her heart.

Hope and her owner Alice come to see me between once and twice a week for Hope’s feline geriatric healthcare. Hope has, of course, aging related issues, but both Alice and her cope with it as true friends and partners.

Alice is now in her mid eighties, and Hope’s company and Hope’s care occupy her, naturally preoccupy her, but also gives her a purpose in her daily routine, as Hope needs her care and attention more and more.

Recently, Hope has lost her vision almost completely, yet, this event will not interfere in the true friendship between the two, and Alice has made the navigation of Hope’s surrounding much easier, by bringing all the things that she needs—cat box, food and water—close to her comfy cat bed.

As I evaluate Hope’s health, I take into serious consideration her owner’s Alice well being as a senior citizen. Discussing at length with her Hope’s health, and assessing if Hope, inevitable health decline—so far relatively slowly—affects her well being as a person.

So far the benefits of Hope’s presence in Alice’s life outweigh the very understandable sadness that she experiences seeing her age.

I believe that quality of life for both humans and our pets is paramount for all of us. Hope still eats well, and sleeps well, an activity that pussycats love to do… and her presence in Alice’s senior years is beneficial.

In my mind, Veterinary medicine is also the art of understanding the humanity and importance of our bond with our pets.

P.S. Since writing this story Hope has passed away due to old age. Her memory lingers with me forever. 

Dr. Ehud Sela

Gentle Vet Animal Hospital

Margate Florida.

© Dr. Ehud Sela. No work herein may be reproduced in any way without expressed permission from the author.