That sweet face!
Jack the Kitten
Born: early May 2016 Adopted: October 2, 2016 Died: June 5, 2019
No one wants to write this kind of post, and no one wants to read this kind of post, especially leading into a weekend. But I wanted to do it before much more time passed because you should know.
The photo I had originally planned to post on Wednesday, with Jack inspecting
my latest knitting project that I was going to discuss.
The day before yesterday - Wednesday of this week - we lost our Jack. It was quick, unexpected, and we are all still reeling.
Always on the move
As you know, in my previous post
, I showed photos and told about how he had been helping me in the garden on Sunday. And of course, since then, he'd been his usual happy, active, funny self. When I left for work on Wednesday morning, he was there as usual, saying goodbye as we did each day when I left for work (we have a whole little ritual in our house).
Wednesday was The Tim's day off, and he left in the morning to do a grocery shop. He was gone no more than an hour, and when he got home, he said he could hear Jack crying, but he couldn't figure out where he was. After looking, he saw him at the foot of the basement steps. When he went down to investigate, Pip was with Jack and very concerned. Jack was unable to put weight on his back legs. The Tim thought maybe he had been running and jumping around and fell or something like that, and had hurt or broken something. So he called our vet, who had no appts available until sometime next week (WTF?), and then decided to take him to the VSEC
here in town, where we had taken Dug for his specialty tests and diagnosis when he was failing. He called me at work and said to leave, take a cab, and get there ASAP.
It turned out that it was not an injury from a fall or anything else, but rather related to a heart condition that Jack had that we did not know about. (Which is ironic because he had the best heart of all!) The vet said that we shouldn't feel bad, because in cats so young, it is not common to check for heart problems unless something manifests itself, and this is unpredictable at best. Jack had suffered FATE - Feline Aortic Thromboemolism - and in his case, of the Saddle, which is of course the area that controls the back leg muscles. It is sudden and painful, paralyzes the back legs, and though it can be treated, most treatments are not successful, and not for very long periods of time - as in, not even always a week or a month. They gave him medicine to control the pain, but there was no way we wanted him to suffer at all or any longer, and especially not be able run and pop around like he did every waking moment.
They brought him to us, and we spent about half an hour talking and singing to him, and settling him down to the point where he was purring. He was clearly comforted and glad we were there, and though it was awful, we felt the same. Fortunately, the injections the vet did acted quickly, and he left quietly and peacefully to join St. Francis and so many loved ones that will take care of him and play with him and love him until we can all be together again. He wanted to stay, I'm sure, but wouldn't have known how, and we could not bear the thought of him limited in any way.
Always ready to assist, and he loved knitting projects!
Jack was only three years old. He should still be here, feisty and intrepid as always, still enjoying himself, still cuddling, playing, exploring, helping, making that little noise that only he made. We were talking about it yesterday, and he never ever did anything bad. He would get in trouble for being stinker, but he didn't have the capacity to be a bad kitty. When he joined our family, it was after we had lost Dug in the summer, and as The Tim said, he brought us some much needed joy. We called him Jackie Joy most of the time, since it described him and how he looked at everything in his life. (He was also known frequently as Jack Attack, or BooBoo, but mostly Jackie Joy.)
His first time in the garden
This is a huge loss for all of us, and the fact that it was quick and unexpected makes it all even harder. We are glad for some of the small mercies: 1) that The Tim was off from work that day, 2) that even if he had the episode right after The Tim left the house, that it was only an hour or less until he could help him, 3) that Pip stayed with him, 4) that we could be with him and help him even when we never ever wanted to let him go, and 5) that such a wonderful group of people exist in the world to help. I can't say enough about the VSEC staff, who sadly for them often see people and their sweethearts at in the worst possible scenarios. The kindness, empathetic, and immediate treatment of Jack and of our feelings makes them all heroes as far as I'm concerned.
The first time he got to hang out with his brothers on the bed
So we are sad, and it will take all of us a while to adjust, and as my mother used to say, you never get over it, you just get used to it. To quote The Tim from Wednesday, "Life can turn on a dime, can't it?"
Exploring the goodies from Santa with Pip
But thank God (or whoever/whatever you believe in) that there are Jacks in this world and that they find us. He truly saved us, and his everyday love and joy made it clear that he was a happy boy. So yes, be sad that he is no longer with us here to cuddle, see, and laugh about. But then try to live a joyful life however you can. Whether it's chasing a bug, helping/assisting even if not asked, or just enjoying everyone and everything around you, try to find some joy every single day.
Always happy to lounge in the garden!
That is the main thing about Jack - he was joyful without even trying. He lived a good life every day, and shared it all with us. He was our baby, our shadow, our goofball. Please give your family - any and all of them - lots of love, joy, and kisses for us and for Jack. Now he really is an angel in every sense of the word.
Sleepy baby boy. Things will never be the same.
I hope you are all able to have a good weekend, and that you will always remember to say I love you whenever you get the chance. Enjoy your life when you can, because we only get one chance. Take care, and thanks for all of the wonderful, funny, and kind things you have always said about our sweet baby Jack the Kitten.