Snufkin Aged Nine
Summer, Autumn, Winter 2005
Lincoln, Nebraska

Snufkin turned nine in April 2005. This is two years past the putative start of feline old age, but she continues to be perky. She was diagnosed with borderline high cholesterol (219) a year ago but otherwise given a clean bill of health. She shows no signs of slowing down and is still endearingly kittenish when she chooses to be. She attacks toys and human legs with abandon, often flopping suddenly onto her side for maximum grip (30 teeth plus 18 claws). Reina has switched her to Newman’s Own Organics Cat Food, cat food, due to ethical concerns about Eukanuba/Iams and some worries about feeding her meat and meat “by-products” from unknown sources. (Click here for more on her diet.)

For a rather high-strung cat, she had a relatively stress-free relocation to Lincoln, Nebraska, at the end of May 2005. Reina attributes this to the use of Feliway, a pheromone-based miracle product.

In her new house Snufkin has access to many windowsills and enjoys staring at the squirrels, birds and rabbits that overrun the neighbourhood. During warm weather she is allowed into the garden, with supervision (see Snufkin Aged Ten: Garden Outing).


(October 2005)


Catching some late-afternoon sun in one of her favourite new napping spots.
(October 2005)


Snufkin also naps on my desk. Her daily sleep quota (18 hours) is a serious matter for her,
and she is rather sullen about the intrusive and unnecessary photography.
(August 2005)


One of Snufkin’s many windows.
Yes, her cat tree is a bit wonky. It’s five years old,
and Snuffy has been rather rough with it.
(August 2005)
Hmm... snack time.
(August 2005)


Yum! Vegenaise!
Vegenaise is a vegan mayonnaise, made with grapeseed oil.
It tastes phenomenal ... but should cats like it??
Snufkin comes running whenever I make myself a sandwich.
It’s cute but a little annoying.
She also likes vegan pâté and vegan waffles. (Waffles??)
I’d say she just has good taste,
except that she also likes vegan soy cheese.
(June 2005)


Preparing to clean the Vegenaise off her face.
A rare picture of her tongue.

(June 2005)

The cat step fiasco


In view of her advancing age, I buy Snufkin a set of carpeted steps to spare her joints when she jumps on and off my bed.
She uses the steps in a variety of ways -- napping inside (the unit is open at the back),
scratching the sides, propping herself up against the base for a nap.
She even scrambles up the six steps to scratch the top one.
She pointedly refuses to walk off the top step onto the bed, i.e., to use the steps for climbing.
The unit is now in the living room next to nothing in particular.
(August 2005)

Update (Summer 2006):  Snufkin is now using the steps! See, you do like them after all.


The ball-on-the-track

Marketed under the forgettable name ‘TurboScratcher’.
One of Snufkin’s favourite toys, despite its non-inclusion in her toy catalogue.
(July 2005)

Usually she plays with this standing up,
but she has flopped to her side in a catnip frenzy.
Got it!
Rubbing herself against the catnip
on the scratching pad.
Distracted by a blue plush mouse.
Very tasty.


Grooming on her Purr Padd, AKA “Les Chats L’Adorent!”.

These are the last photos to feature her beloved felt dinosaur, which had to be put to rest a few days later when it disgorged a bellyful of catnip.

(June 2005)
The Purr Padd is also good for sleeping.



Snufkin is new to vertical blinds.
First, sniff.
Next, step slowly out onto the sill.
(This is ten minutes later.)

Mission accomplished.
(August 2005)


Lucky Snufkin enjoys a fireplace, a heated pad, and a catnip hamster (left).
Yes, those are her gleaming eyes reflected in the glass.
(October 2005)


She soon abandons the heated pad* and commandeers a beanbag chair** by the fire.
[*Designed for a cat. Purchased especially for Snufkin.]
[**Designed for a human. Bought by a human, for a human, with money earned doing human things (philosophy).]
Snufkin doesn’t care. “What? You wanted to sit here? Well, you should have got here earlier.”
(February 2006)

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