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.
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.