Sam is deaf. The vet questioned this when I mentioned that Sam howled occasionally during the day and often at night. 4:30 AM being his time of choice. His question puzzled me at the time. What did howling have to do with lack of hearing?
Then there was my first clue. Sam has had a life long fear and loathing of the sound of the vacuum. I was vacuuming Frank’s office before I realized that Sam was sitting in his usual spot on the back of the couch. He just looked at me and yawned instead of making a mad dash for the door.
This morning, I walked into the bathroom without turning on the light. Sam was drinking out of the toilet. Don’t ask why. He has his own dish of clean water, but he prefers the toilet or Daisy’s water dish. It’s another one of his quirks. My approach startled him. It was so obvious that he hadn’t heard me that I’ve accepted the fact of his deafness.
Perhaps it’s one of the reasons that he sticks so close to Daisy. She may be helping him navigate his silent world. At least, she appears to be a source of comfort to him. From what I’ve read, deafness is a relatively common result of aging in cats. It’s particularly dangerous for cats who go outside because they can’t hear signs of danger. Fortunately, Sam has always been an indoor cat. His surroundings are safe, and he’s well cared for.
And he has his buddy, Daisy, by his side.