Saying Good-bye To Jessie
Our tortie, Jessie, passed away in the overnight last night. She’d been sick but it is never easy even if it’s expected.
Let me tell you a bit about Jessie. She was given to us by our daughter’s friend after one of our other cats, Sophie, had passed away more than 15 years ago. I honestly wasn’t ready for another cat so I may not have truly bonded with Jessie.
Unlike the other cats in the house, Jessie kept to herself, but if she came out and wanted attention she was relentless. She would bump against you, meow (and she had the most plaintive, kind of horrible meow — I will miss that now) and then start drooling once you pet her.
Saying Good-bye To Jessie
She drooled. A lot. She also had a skin condition and was allergic to fleas. If she got bitten by a flea it seemed that her skin just got all bumpy and kind of gross, but she never complained. She never begged for attention, but when you offered it she was the happiest cat in the world and you couldn’t help but feel bad for not having petted her more often.
Calico Lucy, the crazy and frankly mean cat, had Jessie so terrorized that she (Jessie) stopped using the litterbox years ago. We tried everything to get Jessie to use it, to no avail. To Jessie’s credit even though she didn’t use the litter box she went to the bathroom on the rug right in front of the litter box. She was so close, but wouldn’t get into it. We eventually gave up on her using it and simply scrubbed the floors and continually replaced the rugs.
I know many pet parents would have relinquished a cat with litter box avoidance issues, but she was ours for better or worse so we adapted. She rarely snuggled on our laps. She preferred to lie under the lizard tank and soak up the heat that emanated there.
Jessie did love the dogs. When they were lying about, she would come over next to them and just circle them, rub against them and make her horrible meows.
Monday, we’d come home from a day away and Jessie was lying so still on the table by the lizards that I was certain she was no longer with us. I petted her, she rolled over and started meowing and purring. She ate dinner with the other kitties.
Later in the evening, she was meowing a lot. It was kind of strange, but I honestly didn’t think anything of it. Neither my husband nor I did. I regret that now.
When my husband got up the next morning, Jessie had passed. She was lying in her favorite spot on the lizard tank soaking up all of the heat. My heart is heavy because I didn’t pay attention to her meows.
Run free on that Rainbow Bridge, Jessie. Know that we loved you deeply and you will be missed. Know that I am so sorry I wasn’t with you in your last moments. Find Spenser, Sophie and Sheila and know we will someday all be reunited. Jessie lived as she passed — not asking for anything. We’re happy that she passed, in her own home, likely surrounded by the love of Parker, the cat seen snuggling her in one of the photos.
Let me tell you a bit about Parker. He is about 16 years old — he was a rescue so we aren’t certain of his true age and he has always been the “dad” of every pet in the house. Parker spends a lot of his time washing all of the cats, whether they want it or not. In the days and hours before Spenser passed, Parker would curl up around his head and just wash his ears. It looked like he was hugging and soothing him. It was uncharacteristic behavior for Spenser to let him do that, but we knew that Parker knew Spenser’s time was coming to an end and he was soothing him.
As a pet parent you “accept” the fact that you will be forced to say good-bye to your beloved furry family members.
Hug your furry family. Let them know you love them unconditionally.