May 2011 Archives

Jackson. (July 4th, 2009 - May 28th, 2011).

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Nearly two years ago, Teddy and I adopted two kittens from a liter that was rescued not far from our house. Teddy named them Ashley (for the color of Ash) and Jackson (after the King of Pop). Ashley was always the friendlier of the two. Not especially cuddly at first, but eventually she warmed up to us. Jackson was afraid of me. He was also afraid of everyone else, but mostly me. 

Over the first year, I tried to make friends with him, but he would usually run away when he saw me coming. But in our second year together, we found some common ground. First he started visiting me at bedtime. Once I got under the covers, he would jump on the bed and allow me to pet him for 5-20 minutes before remembering that I was terrifying and running away. Then he discovered that he liked to be wet. So in the morning, after I brushed my teeth, he'd jump on the sink and wait for me to wet him. Not just a little bit. He liked me to run the water, fill my hand, and dump it on him, petting him all over until he was soaked. If I turned off the water, he was gone.

A month or two ago, I got a new cat brush, and he loved it. Whenever Katie was sitting next to me on the couch, Jackson would feel safe enough to lay in my lap and be brushed all over. He would collapse, legs in the air, purring with his eyes closed, in complete ecstasy. I was delighted to be able to make this little guy happy, even if for only a few minutes at a time.

Yesterday, while brushing my teeth, he cried a little, then fell of the window sill where he usually hung out. He landed flat on his back and his legs got stiff and were shaking. His eyes were opened wider than I had ever seen. I thought he had either broken his leg or his back. He was clearly in some serious pain. I ran downstairs to get a carrier to take him to the vet, but 30 seconds later when I returned, he wasn't moving - just staring. I put him in the carrier and raced to the vet a half-mile away, calling from a red light to tell her I was coming. 

When I got there two minutes later, his eyes were closed and he wasn't breathing. The doctor confirmed that he was gone. After letting my cry for a few minutes, the doctor explained to me that it wasn't the fall that killed him. It was probably a heart attack or maybe an aneurysm that killed him and caused the fall. His sister, Ashley, and I watched it happen. Fortunately, Teddy was downstairs and didn't see Jackson die, but of course, he is very sad. Jackson was his favorite right from the start.

There's one more angel in heaven and one more star in the sky. But I miss my little kitten.

Jackson on the window sill
Jackson, on his favorite window sill

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