The Norman Transcript


July 3, 2014

Senior citizen adopting a pet

NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: Your comments about cat litter and trying newspaper brought me back to Japan, where I lived in 1961 and 1962.

While I was there, a pack of homeless dogs and a Siamese cat “adopted” me. I shredded newspaper for the cat, and while he would come and go, he preferred this “litter box.”

I’m nearly 78 now and have severe arthritis, but I do miss having pets. If I provide walkways in my condo, do you think a cat would be happy?

Should I get two cats or a dog and a cat? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

— J.D., Washington, D.C.

Dear J.D.: I, too, have good memories of Japan, where I gave several lectures on animal behavior, protection and rights; I was also an honored guest of one of their veterinary associations for animal behavior and ethology.

Clearly, you are an animal person and would both enjoy and benefit from having an animal companion.

You must first check to see if there are any restrictions relating to the condo where you live, then consider your age — a young animal might outlive you. You must also consider your physical limitations.

Two indoor, older cats might be your best choice. The adoption advisor at your local animal shelter may be the ideal professional to help you evaluate the possibility of fulfilling your heart’s desire.

Dear Dr. Fox: I have had my Chihuahua-rat terrier mix on the quinoa and lamb recipe I got from you several months ago. The lamb I’ve been buying lately is from another company. My dog will not always eat it when I give it to him, and when he does, he throws up some later in the day. I am concerned because he has lost some weight and looks thin. Is there another recipe you could suggest?

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