Yes, three score and ten today (15th) - the first age which my father never reached (as also didn't an elder brother), so I ought to feel privileged. What have I done to deserve this honour? It's a dubious achievement, especially when there's been so little to show for it. However, I'd much rather be here than not, so I'll get on with life unmoaning.
Here's some recent pictures of my triumvirate of 'masters' who expect me, their long-suffering slave, to be at their beck and call 24/7.
Blackso must be getting on for 18 now. Getting rather wobbly on his legs, sleeping about 23 hours a day, only waking to eat and my putting him out twice a day to do his business, after which he's waiting to come straight in again. As sweet as ever, purring and rubbing my face whenever I pick him up and always wanting to get on my lap. May he still have a long, healthy life yet to come.
Noodles, probably around 13 now, is the 'nuisance' of the household, never ceasing to cry for food - just pecking at what he's given, then leaving most of it. Of the three he's the least demonstrative with his affection (what affection?), only purring when I'm giving him his breakfast, which he'll mostly waste anyway. Won't let me pick him up, never jumps in lap, he lives in his own world, using me solely as a means to help him survive. Can only think that he must have gone through some tribulations as a kitten which he's never forgotten.
Patchie, the latest arrival since around 3 years ago, will now be about eight yeaars old, according to his one-time owners. Like the other two, he left his own home to come and live with me. Notwithstanding his relative youth, he tends to bully the other two and he's become self-appointed 'sentry' at the kitchen window, vetting those who want to come in, and refusing entry in particular to one tortie with long bushy tail who likes to come in and pick at the leftover food of which there's always plenty. (She came in this very morning, a fish-morning, something which she won't eat, so had to open some meaty for her). She only comes in when Patchie's elsewhere, he currently liking to sleep on my bed, daytime, as well as at night with me - and gets really annoyed when, in order to get into bed myself, I have to disturb him. But he will insist on sleeping in dead-centre of bed, leaving me with just the choice of margins, struggling to cover myself with duvet and trying not to fall out.
And here's me at the youthful age of 69 - yesterday. 'Scuse me for not giving a toothy smile ('toothy' being the operative word!) as you'd be getting more than you'd bargain for.
So come on the 70s! Do your worst! - or maybe, on second thoughts, be gentle, please.