She's not able to jump up onto the bed very easily anymore, and typically ends up clawing her way up with her front paws. Rubbing her rump gets her pissed off, and she'll meow in pain.
She always has to be in my lap when I'm at the computer. It used to be that she'd just jump up on my lap, lay down, and sleep while I was typing away. Now, she claws at me to lift her up.
She's only 10, or is she 11... I don't remember which Christmas I got her as a kitten; '94 or '95.
I've heard that calicos don't have quite as long of a life span as some other cats, 12 or 13 years. I once had a cat who lived to be 17, and he definately used up all of his 9 lives... and lived them to the fullest!
Patches did make it on national news a few years ago. When I lived in an apartment, the lady who lived next to me left a cigarette burning in bed while she ran off to the store. The fire department rescued my little girl, but didn't realize she was strictly an indoor kitty. At the bottom of the stairs they let her go, and she scrambled her way back up and back into the apartment. So they had to rescue her a second time.
This time, they didn't let her go. When one of my other neighbors said they had her, I went to where the guy was holding on to her, and had to pry her claws from the fire-man's suit. When she's scared she tends to use her claws. But once I had ahold of her, those claws retracted, and she hung on to me with just her paws. I kept thinking she was going to scratch the hell out of me while holding on to her, but I didn't even get so much as a puncture wound. She knew who was holding on to her!
The camera crews caught all of that on tape.
In the interview they made it sound like I was crying for my kitty. Actually, I was just pissed off that the landlord had allowed a crazy woman to live there and that I was inconvenienced by the whole ordeal. I guess it did look and sound like I was crying, and I was upset... but mostly just mad. I actually wasn't worried about my little girl, I figured she'd take care of herself. The thing that was really upsetting was thinking that I might lose all my photographs.
Fortunately, there was no actual fire or water damage to my apartment... but it smelled like smoke for several months until they got the apartment next to mine fixed, with all the burned bits out. Had to wash all my clothes, bedding, and furniture, though... it stank of smoke, too.
I've still got the tape of the newscast, somewhere. If I can figure out how to hook up my video camera to the VCR, I can probably make a little movie clip of the apartment fire incident. Even though the fire didn't kill anyone or cause major damage, the newscast went nationwide because of my little girl having to get rescued twice.
I don't think she could spint up the stairs quite so quickly, anymore. Not that she would have to. I live in a single story house, now, paying mortgage rather than rent. So much nicer! I don't have to answer to anyone but me. I have my own rules. If I want an animal in the house, there's no rental agreement to have to deal with.
So I've got two kitties; both calico, one female, and one male... although male calicos are more like Down's Syndrome babies with the XXY chromosomes... which is why they're so rare.