Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Cried Tonight

Usually people cry at weddings. I did not yesterday. I did not think about it at the time, but a little later I guess it came to me that it was a wonderful thing to be witness too and an honor to be invited to share the experience. Jeff and Val's wedding was the second I've been to, but the first I was only a guest at, since I married Amy five years ago. I digress.

We got home and were discussing the schedule Amy got for her job for November and with five years seniority she has Thanksgiving and Christmas off this year. We were talking about who to have over and could we get my mother to come up from Orlando. I had talked to mom yesterday driving back to Jackson from Millington, but we lost signal out there in the cotton fields.

So we called her back tonight and then we got the bad news. One of my mother's cats, one of MY cats died yesterday. While I was in college I brought home three cats over the years that became Mom's when I married and moved out. They were more attached to her and Amy and I had adopted a pair of kittens 3 months before the wedding. So there are Nittany, Rascal, and Jasmine. That's their order in age and the order in which we adopted them. Nittany came from the humane society and was 2 when we got him, as a replacement for Smokey who got feline leukemia and was put down. He's now about 15 or 16 yeaqrs old and is skin and bones and throws up a lot of what he eats, but he has a cool personality and still has a lot of energy to play with Mom's youngest cat, Rusty, who she found outside her office in December, 2000.

Rascal is a problem as he used to weigh about 20 pounds and has lost a lot of weight and poops runny poop all over Mom's house. He has no diagnosis, but obviously has a problem. Mom has talked about having him put down in order to save the value of her house, but it is hard when you have loved this big fluffy thing for 11 or 12 years, as he is that old because I got him from a co-worker when I was a driver for Pizza Hut. I expected him to be first, out of mercy if not Nittany out of old age.

Jasmine is the one who was put down yesterday. She was never a very sociable cat, but she was pretty to look at with a blended patchwork of orange, black, and white. She's the only cat my Mom never had declawed because she found out about the process right about the time I brought her home from the Humane Society. I remember doing it on a whim and lying to Mom that they had called and asked if we would take another cat due to overcrowding. Jasmine was loyal to Mom and would sleep with her each night and during the day Jasmine would nap on Mom's pillows or under the covers of the made bed at the base of the pillows. This Friday, Mom noticed she was listless and sitting on the floor in the open of the living room which was out of character. As Mom works, she hadn't been home to see Jasmine eat or not eat, and she brought her water and discovered she had lost a lot of weight. Saturday morning Mom found Jasmine hanging from the bedspread, her claws stuck as she had not had the strength to pull herself up on to the bed. Mom called and took her to the vet and held her for over an hour while they ran tests. Evidence pointed to cancer which had caused kidney failure. One radical treatment was available, but the vet had only seen it succeed one time in her career. Jasmine never liked to be held or touched unless it was on her own terms. She purred a bit while Mom held her that hour and never fidgeted, and here I am in tears again as I recount this story, hoping it will be therapeutic to share, and thankful for God allowing us to enjoy the companionship of domesticated animals, but sorrowful for the emotions we feel when we lose one like this. I don't even have a working scanner to be able to find and post a picture.


Janene said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Jasmine. We were never really "cat" people, although my sister was always rescuing them and we'd find homes for them. We always had dogs.

Hallie, a dalmation, lived with us for 13 years while I was growing up. It's really hard to lose a pet ~ no matter what happens.

By the way, my husband LOVES the name Nittany (Penn State Alum there!) and is now thinking we should consider it for our daughter! Could you imagine?

Michael - Lover of Amy said...

Nittany was something digfferent. He had the name when we adopted him, and as he was 2 years old already, i figured why confuse him by calling him something else. Besides, Nit-Wit works well as he talks to the walls and likes to lick photographic paper for the chemicals and loves the smell of mint so he'll steal and play with your dental floss if you don't watch him.

Coincidentally, I lived in PA growing up and have a cousin who went to PSU. Nittany is solid white and very sleek so he has a mountin lion look to him. :)

Kelly said...

I am sorry that Jasmine has passed, we know the love of animals and the joy that they bring from Charlie :)
Have a great day!