How Jackson the Blind Cat Inspired a Business that Helps Other Kitties
It started innocently. I was looking for a companion. I chose to get a cat. I reasoned that they are easy to care for and don't need a lot of space. We were living in Dijon, France, while my husband did postgraduate studies. He traveled. I was lonely. So I chose adoption. I went to the cat shelter and in broken French explained what I was looking for. I was led to a confinement with more than 20 cats freely roaming. Some were skittish, some were downright mean. One came right to me, begged to be picked up. His named was Casimir. He purred and rubbed all over for loves. I had found the perfect match! We both knew it.
Casimir came home, renamed as Jackson. He was a cuddle monster, a constant entertainment, and he had a bit of a temper. It became obvious that his love and devotion was only for me; he did not share the feelings with my husband.
We took him on trips with us. I have fond memories of him wandering away at the Pont du Gard. He went to Switzerland and Milan with us. He was a well-traveled and deeply loved cat. As our year played out in France, it became obvious that our previous plan of rehoming Jackson was just not going to happen. He flew home to the U.S. with me, under my seat on the airplane. I had two passports in hand, one for me, one for my furry soul mate. Was I crazy for bringing home "just a cat" from thousands of miles away as some said? He wasn't "just a cat." He was legendary.
Jackson wrote our Christmas letters and spent plenty of time in sunbeams taking cat naps. He tolerated the addition of children into our family. I was always the one who could love on him, and he to me in return. His finicky attitude toward other humans -- and cats, and dogs, and pretty much the rest of the world -- became known in our circle of family and friends.
We moved. A lot. Each time he settled into new lifestyles. He always had our warm home for him to come in to, but he loved to explore outdoors. Occasionally he would come home a little roughed up and exhausted. But he knew where my lap was always waiting.
As Jackson aged he began showing signs of his "rock 'n' roll globetrotting" lifestyle. His patience with the chaos of our home dwindled. At a certain point our veterinarian told us that my beloved kitty was nearly blind. He developed cataracts, began using anything and anywhere he could in the house as a litter box. We were at a loss as to how to remedy the problem. My sister, a veterinarian, suggested trying a variety of different litters. They didn't work.
Jackson's vet advised putting litter boxes all over the house so when he was "lost" because of his blindness he could find an appropriate place to go. That didn't work either. I set up an "apartment" for him in our closet and bedroom, giving him safety and all that he needed.
We had heard that cats like the smell of freshness and outdoors. We toyed with the idea of using mixture of herbs found at our farm.
It worked, and that's when the product we named LitterGetter was born -- in hopes of letting Jackson continue his life to the fullest.
LitterGetter is a litter attractant made with all-natural mixture of herbs and plant extracts. It is designed to attract problem cats back to the litter box, assist in training kittens, and reduce unpleasant litter box odor. It's comfy for cats who have sensitive paws, and it clumps with all clumping litter. It easily sprinkles on top of clean litter.
We hope LitterGetter will help extend the life of other cats who are prone to litter box accidents. We couldn't stand the thought of euthanizing Jackson just based on that.
We were able to offer him several more months of a cushy kitty lifestyle. After what we believe was skin cancer, I had to evaluate his quality of life. He had stopped seeking me out for loves, he lived in fear because of his blindness, and he was voluntarily confined to a small space. I sought advice for anyone and everyone willing to help and listen. No one had the emotional connection with this furry kitty like I did.
In the end I chose the most humane thing I could muster, although it was heartbreaking. After 13 years together I held him in my arms as he took his last breaths. I am confident that he passed away knowing that he was more than loved.
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