22 July 2017


That's how we are feeling.  This past Wednesday, July 19, 2017, we had to say goodbye to our sweet kitty Jetsam.

And it hurts even more than usual.  I think because he was fine, except for his lower jaw.  On his last day with us, he ate, drank, used the little box, got brushed, played a game of catch-the-laser-dot, and purred like he always does.

 You may remember that he was diagnosed with cancer of his lower jaw a couple of months ago.  It's very aggressive, and even the most radical treatment does not provide a good quality of life.  His lower jaw got swollen, and he drooled more, but he was managing to eat and drink OK, and didn't seem to be sick or in terrible pain, so we let him be his usual self.

But then on Wednesday morning, we noticed that the tumor had broken through and his chin was bloody, which meant that infection could really easily occur.  And we had early on decided we did not want him to suffer at all.

He didn't want to get into the carrier, but once we got him there and out, we petted him and he cuddled and purred.  He purred until the last, while we stroked him, sang to him, and talked to him.

We will pick up his ashes probably in a couple of weeks, when the vet's office calls us.

All of our other cats, and then Dug, were heartbreaking to lose as well.  But all of them had been sick and physically declining, so even as much as it hurt to do it, it made sense so to speak.

But this didn't make sense in that way, and so it is crushing.  All of us are bereft, as well as discombobulated.  The others keep looking for him, which is devastating.  Jack is the only one who has not experienced this (though I'm not certain the others remember), and Jetsam was his idol, so he is particularly confused.

We will be OK eventually.  As my mother always used to say, you never get over it, you just get used to it.

For those of you who never knew Jetsam's story, you can read it here.

He was one of the smartest cats we've ever had.  He was an INSANE kitten, and his idol was our late and beloved Garden Kitty, who I'm sure is glad to be with him again in heaven.

He was the only cat I've ever known who purred while he ate.

He loved to cuddle, and it was a morning routine for us to have a quiet cuddle together without any TV or radio, or sometimes full lights on when I would first get up on weekend mornings in cool or cold weather.  He would jump on my lap and we would sit like that for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.  It was just the way the day began.  I know that's gonna be one of the things I miss most.

He adored being out in the garden.  He loved to play Kitty Tease, but when we got his diagnosis, I bought a new laser toy, since I figured that would mean he didn't have to grab anything with his mouth, and our other one had been lost a while back.  He loved everything associated with holidays, and was my primary helper most of the time, since he'd always be there until the end, when the others had given up and moved on.

He greeted you every time you came through the door, and loved meeting new people.  He loved catnip, running around the house crazily on his own or with the others, and he loved to play.

Mostly though, he loved all of us and we absolutely adored him.  I hope that Dug did what we used to call his "Doodle Dance" when they were together again.  That was the dance he would do when he got really excited and/or happy.

I put a small post on Facebook and Instagram yesterday, but was unable to write anymore until today, and this is getting to be beyond my abilities at the moment.  But I wanted all of you to know.  And to understand if I am not commenting on your blogs for a bit.  Since he would often join me when I was using my laptop, it's kinda hard right now.

As I said in the FB and Instagram post, please give your family members (furry and otherwise) a kiss and a cuddle, and do something kind.  That was Jetsam's essence, and will make him happy.  Along with the rest of the family.

God bless you, Jetsam.  Now you aren't sick, and for that all of us are grateful.  
We will always love you more every day.

Thank you for being our boy.
Thank you for saving our lives.

Now you are truly our angel.


Araignee said...

I am so very sorry....saying goodbye to our fur babies is a pain like no other. Your tribute was beautiful.

sprite said...

Oh, Bridget, I'm so sorry. Sending you all our love. Our two older cats are 15 now, so I fear we've for some similar days ahead in the next year or so.

Kim in Oregon said...

So sorry to hear. This is so tough, and you handled it with love and compassion.

Caffeine Girl said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful cat. Of course it is devastating to lose him. Not only do I say you did the right thing, but my son -- a 4th-year vet student-- agrees. You showed him love in the hardest of circumstances.

Tired Teacher said...

It's hard to say goodbye to those we love. Cling to your memories and photos, as they will keep Jetsam in your heart forever.

The Well Fed Wheel said...

What a beautiful tribute to him. I'm so sorry for your loss. He certainly was a handsome boy and it sounds like he was a joy to you all. May he rest in peace. Savor those memories.

Mereknits said...

Oh Bridget, I am so sorry. First Dug and now your beloved Jetsam. My thoughts are with you my friend because I know you love your animals with a fierceness. I am sending you a big, big hug. Wish I was closer to take you out for a walk and a bit of tea.

Anonymous said...

Best recycled item EVER!!! Oh that cute little black nose!

Hugs to you my sweet friend. Know that you were a great big blessing to HIM, just as he was to you and Tim.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I'm so sorry. I know just how you feel. We just said goodbye to Mom's cat Deuce - a growth in his urinary tract. It was a hard decision but like you, we didn't want him to suffer in the slightest.
At least Jetsam was happy and loved to the last.

Mo said...

I am sorry to hear about your loss of Jetsam! Your blog tribute to Jetsam was lovely. Good-byes are so hard but the love and gratitude you feel for having Jetsam in your life and family is very, very real. And I personally think Jetsam is able to feel your love too.

Lilly's Mom said...

Oh, I'm so so sorry for the loss of your beloved Jetsam. I know what you're feeling as I lost my dear cat Pumpkin a few years ago. The routine you have is the worst part as they are no longer there. I know your heart is broken but hopefully in time you can venture on. Sending you hugs, Pat

Nance said...

What a wonderful soul Jetsam was! What a warm and loving life you were able to share with one another; truly, it was the best of circumstances that brought you together.

I'm so sorry for your loss, but certainly Jetsam knew your deep love his entire life, right until the last moment. There are, sadly, many people who do not have that comfort.

Thank you for sharing him with us, especially in this post. He was a beautiful pet.

Lorraine said...

Bridget and Tim- It feels as if Jetsam was one of our family. He was such a playful and successful kitty- he did all the cool kitty things.

He will be missed, but just know that he is no longer ill, and up there playing with Garden kitty. He's a happy boy.

So sorry, you guys.

karen said...

oh Bridget, I am so terribly sorry. I am emotional just reading the post and feeling sad for you. You were the bestest family ever to have him and love him. I'll be praying for you.

AsKatKnits said...

I am so sorry! Sherman and I are sending our love. It is not ever easy. Be gentle with yourselves xo

Kym said...

Oh, Bridget. What a lovely tribute to your dear Jetsam. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know that the hole he leaves in your hearts will never be filled. I continue to send you all my love and virtual hugs. Do be gentle with yourselves. Much love to you all. XOXOXO

Vera said...

I'm so very, very sorry Bridget. This is a beautiful, but sad, post.

Michelle B. said...

What a tough time you have been having lately. I'm sorry about that and I'm so very sorry to hear of Jetsam's passing. He was a lucky cat to have you in his life. And what wonderful caretakers you and The Tim are! I first read your story of how Jetsam came into your lives not long after I first read your blog. Knowing that you took in the little guy and gave him an amazing life, I knew I had to keep up with your blog. You are the kind of person I like to hear from!
As much as you know he made your life better, you did the same (and really, much, much more) for him. The final decision you made for him, while so difficult, was truly a kindness. He got to live his last days doing what he wanted. Everyone should be so lucky. I firmly believe that there is enough suffering in the world and if we can prevent some of it, we should.
He sounded like an amazing cat. I wish I had met him.

J said...

You never get over it, you just get used to it. That's exactly right. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Kathleen Dames said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful post. Our deepest condolences to you all. xoxo, Kathleen & Co.

Bonny said...

I wish I had words that could help all of you feel even the tiniest bit better, but all I can do is offer my sincere condolences, and I hope that your sadness can fade over time while you remember all the happy times. My grandmother said that we feel so sad when someone is gone because we love so much. You did love Jetsam deeply, and that's a good thing.

steph said...

what a lovely tribute to a loving, faithful friend. How lucky he was was to have had you all in his life.

My first dog had a similar tumor...aggressive although not malignant; after two surgeries (expensive when we really couldn't afford it!!!) ...and with no hope of a successful third surgery, we made that awful, hard decision before the tumor closed his windpipe. We knew it was the right decision. Didn't make it any easier.

Memories. Thank goodness for memories.