September 7th 2013 8:55 pm
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She found some pictures of me and Bear and Severian that she didn't know she had, so she posted them. The one of me curled up next to her on the couch made her teary-eyed, and she was surprised that when taking a picture of me in front of her computer screen, she also got one of the few decent pictures of Sev that she has ever taken.
July 23rd 2013 8:22 pm
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Friends, you warm my heart with all your good wishes and purrs for me and my furmily. Mom is astonished at the outpouring of love, and poems and special music and remembrances left on my page. I will thank each and every one of you, though it may take me a little time. I was very tired and sad when I arrived at the Bridge, though the love that surrounds me here will surely perk me up in no time.
I'm going to train as a guardian angel, with some help from the likes of Calvin, Buddie and Alex, and my first guardee is going to be Tigger, that handsome Chicago boy who looks so much like me at his age.
It will take my earthly family some time to adjust to my absence. I checked in on Mom last night in her dreams. Had to lick away a few salty tears. But she woke with a happy memory of me in her heart. Good stuff, that angel dust.
My angel sisfur Onyx has shown me her fluffy home in the clouds, and I took a nice walk among the rainbows with angel brofur Patch.
Sending much love to you all.
July 21st 2013 1:58 pm
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I'm borrowing Jasper's diary for a day to let all his friends know that he went peacefully to the Bridge this morning.
He had an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday, hopefully to find what ailment was causing him to lose weight so rapidly and become so weak and lethargic. But over the weekend, he deteriorated so quickly that we knew we had to let him go. That ultrasound wasn't for him -- it was for me, to reassure myself that he was dying of something that the vet couldn't reasonably be expected to fix. Jasper was far too old and weak to undergo surgery or chemotherapy. I didn't see the point of subjecting him to the final indignity and stress of a shave and an ultrasound.
And he let me know he was ready to go. When I would syringe-feed him, he would open his mouth dutifully and swallow the food, but he would look sadly at me and then turn his gaze away, looking fixedly over my shoulder, as if he saw something there. I hope it was not the angel of death. I hope it was his friends from the Bridge, come to show him the way.
So here is my little tribute to Jasper, my JazzerDazzer, Jazzie, Jazzbo.
I got him as 10-week-old kitten. A friend's ex-college roommate had a cat about to have kittens. The mom was a cat they had jointly owned in college. My friend went to witness the birth, and came back to announce that the litter included two orange tabbies (he knew my weakness for orangies). I went to see the kittens a few weeks later. One of the orange tabbies was gorgeous -- the color of a bright copper penny, with prominent dark orange tabby striping. The other was paler, with fainter striping. I put dibs on the copper-colored boy and said I'd be back to get him when the kittens were ready to leave their mother. I even pre-named him Russell, in tribute to another orangie once owned by a friend.
But when I went to pick up my new kitten, only the pale orange tabby was left, the other having been given away just that morning. "That's what I have left," the queen's owner said brusquely. "Take it or leave it."
The kitten looked up at me, eyes wide. Leave ME? he seemed to say. Well, no. Of course not. I took my new furry friend home.
Russell didn't seem like the right name, though. So at home, I picked up my little boy kitten and started running through the alphabet, just to see if there was a letter he liked. He meowed loudly at "J." I kind of thought I might give him an artist's name, but the only one I could think of that started with a "J" was Jasper Johns. He meowed in obvious delight and headbutted me. (Well, maybe he was just hungry and thought he'd get the naming over with.)
"Johns" was clearly going to be rendered as "John" or "Jones" by everybody, so it became Jasper instead.
Cats are singular and all wonderful in their own way, but Jasper was a delight from the start. For one thing, he had the loudest walk ever. Even when he was a three-pound kitten, you could hear Jasper striding purposefully down the hall. Thomp-thomp-thomp. It was as if he had on cowboy boots. People would see him walk into the room after stomping down the stairs and be amazed that he wasn't a Rottweiler.
And he was the most social cat I've ever had, bar none. He didn't know a stranger. He came with me to the front door when the bell rang, meowed a greeting to whoever it was, and proudly claimed them as his own by rubbing against their legs. When craftsmen came to the house to fix the furnace, install a light or whatever, he was their attentive assistant, even crawling under the kitchen sink with the plumber to inspect his work.
It was a different story with vets. For many years, his chart had a bright red "caution" sticker on it, and he was pretty good at demanding a drop for a drop when blood work was on the agenda. He did mellow out eventually with one vet, and a couple of favored techs. I learned to schedule his appointments when they were on duty.
He loved his outdoor walks on a harness. I regret that it was so hot and he was so weak that I couldn't give him that one last outdoor experience.
He welcomed new fursibs without a single hiss, and they returned the respect to the very last. Even when Jasper's dish held prized salmon or baby food or yummy soft kitten food, the other cats kept their distance and didn't nose in. They ate the leftovers only after I transferred them to their own dishes.
Well, I could go on, but this is already too long and it's getting hard to see the screen for the tears.
Goodbye, Jasper. I love you. You already know this, of course, but I'm glad I didn't get the other kitten.