07 June 2019

Sweet Baby Jack the Kitten

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).

His photo on the adoption site, The Philly Kitty

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.

Window closeup

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.

Sunshine belly

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.  


Araignee said...

Oh dear, it must the the time of year for kitties. I just read Kathy's post and now yours. Last week Daughter had the same drama with her 14 year old kitty and I am still not over it. Her kitty is still with her but it's not looking good so I am afraid hard decisions will have to be made soon. My heart is breaking for all of you. There is no pain like losing a pet. Pets take a part of your heart when they go and leave such a giant hole in the family.
My thoughts are with in this difficult time.
May his sweet little memory be a blessing.

Bonny said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I am very glad that Jack found you and you found Jack, even if you weren't together nearly long enough. You write eloquently and lovingly of Jack, and I hope you'll remember the joy.

AsKatKnits said...

Sherman and I are sending you all our love. (and I am holding you and Tim close in thought and prayer)

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I read your blog often and have never commented,until today.
So sorry to read about Jack. Our animals are such a source of comfort, entertainment and love. Glad that Jack was able to be held and comforted.
Your blog post was most inspiring! Lynn

Vera said...

I am so very, very sorry Bridget.

Witchknit said...

oh I am so sorry. I lost my "Sherman" that same way many years ago. I agree with Araignee; there is no pain like losing a pet. Jack was loved, that's for sure. May the memories be a balm to you.

karen said...

I am sending you lots of prayers and love. I'm sorry for your loss.

Nance said...

Oh, Bridget, I am so so very sorry. That you both had such a joyous life together is truly a wonderful thing. He always knew he was loved.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Oh no. I am so sorry. Rocky's loss was very sudden like that - I know just how you feel. He was a joyful cat too. The house felt very empty without his happy presence. And you never forget them - the always live on in your heart. Big hugs from Canada!

Kim in Oregon said...

Oh I'm all weepy at reading this post. So sorry for your loss. What a sweet sweet kitty and I'm glad you could be together at the end.

teabird said...

oh, Bridget. You know that I'm crying for the little one, and hoping you can keep your sense of blessedness for having know such a sunny soul - hugs and light coming your way.

Patty said...

I am so sorry Bridget. Jack surely had the best 3 years any cat could have hoped for. Take it easy this weekend, you'll be in my thoughts.

Dee said...

I don't know what to say other than I am so, so sorry. I'm so glad I got a chance to meet him and love on him a little bit.

He had a very rough start to life and you made the rest the BEST life.

Very big hugs to you.

KSD said...

What to say? You are loved.

sprite said...

Oh, Bridget, I'm so sorry. My heart breaks for you & The Tim & the rest of your family. Sending hugs.

Lilly's Mom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you as I know the pain of losing a loving pet. Jack was lucky to have been in such a loving home. Pat 💙

Michelle B. said...

I'm so sorry to read of your sad news. How unexpected! You talk about how much Jack saved you and your family but I also know that your family saved him. And what a fantastic life you gave him! He had animal friends, human friends, love, toys, everything a little cat could ask for. This is a crushing time for you all but my hope for you is that your sadness quickly turns to fond memories.

Mereknits said...

Bridget, I am so sorry for all of you. I am sending you love and prayers as you travel through this tough time. I am still grieving my Max and that was over two years ago. Bless you and The Tim, hugs.

kathy b said...

Oh I AM SO SO SORRY Jack was such a trooper. I have heard of this life ending condition. Poor poor baby. WE had to put baby bear down 3 days ago. He was only 11 months old. He died of FIP. Our poor son, was not prepared at all for the diagnosis. Bear was with him for a reason. They bonded. Zach and Bear had a great run, but it was far too short. We are still crying. Hugs to you as you go without your Jack.

Caffeine Girl said...

Oh, Bridget, I am SO sorry for your loss. He was just a beautiful and joyful creature. I know he is leaving a hole in your household. Know that my thoughts are with you.
It's so odd that this happened at about the same time that Kathy's Zach lost Bear. And one of my closest friends lost her 11-year-old cat suddenly last week.
Very sad.

busybusybeejay said...

This is the first time I have read your blog and it is so sad.We lost our darling Ziggy two years ago.He was only two.He was a climber and fell off the roof.I can feel your pain.We couldn't face going through it again so have never replaced him.

Jeannie Gray Knits said...

Oh, I'm SO sorry for your loss. Jack will live on in your heart.

Kym said...

Oh, Bridget. I saw your Instagram post when I was on my trip and couldn't contact you then. My heart is just breaking for you. Jack was such a sweet, sweet kitty! I will be holding you and Tim in my heart as you grieve this loss. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute post for Jack. XOXOXO