Saturday, March 21, 2009

Eulogy for Jessie


___ Jessie [1994-2009] ___


The other four cats and I ("we") just lost Jessie, 15, a shiny jet black female who usually liked to keep to herself but who loved female visitors. She got sick about a two weeks ago with a cold and fever, and we cured that, but she was losing weight and energy.

So her treat was getting to go outside for hours each day, which perked her up. They haven’t been outside since moving back to Georgia from California in 2001, due to foxes, bobcats, roaming dogs. She had felt ok enough even today to go outside, she walks around out there, seems to enjoy it and never got bad enough to be falling down.

Tonight about 9:30 pm was the first time she acted like she didn't feel well - she kinda moaned at me, I held her and she got down after not too long, so that didn't feel good either... I almost called the vet to put her down then but figured it may take awhile for them to come if available anyway. So I did a healing and asked her to go ahead and leave so I wouldn’t have to take her to the vet, and she crawled back under the computer again, in the warm hole by the woofer (that's usually on so it's warm, it's the power for the whole computer speaker system)..

She seemed to be going to sleep or try, so I left her alone.. a little later I sorta sensed she was gone - but was afraid to look, afraid I might wake her and she'd be uncomfortable again. I lit a candle for her and tried to talk to her spirit and tell her how great she was, and how pretty, which was her favorite word; she knew it was a compliment. When I finally had the guts to touch her, her body was already turning cold.

For some reason I didn't let the other cats see her dead like I did with Scooter, who died at 18 on New Year’s Day, and was the “cathouse matriarch”, so I let all the other cats smell her and check out out when she was gone. Not this time. I went to the garage and got one of my rubbermaids with the snap lid, covered her with a towel and put her in that - when I carried her out, Sarah was following me and giving me such a look that I had to stop and tell her it was Jessie - she knew anyway, you should have seen the look I was getting.

Tabby, her littermate brother, the only other one to survive (we think a hawk or owl got the 3rd one when real small), followed me to the door and was waiting for me when I came back in and I had to try to tell him too - he's been sniffing her all week and looking at me like "what's wrong with Jessie?".. I’m sure they sense the aura of death, it’s likely easier for animals to pick up.


[Jessie when a kitty] At least I held her a lot when she'd let me and took her out every day for hours, she loved that, it’s been warm and sunny with lots of birds who would come squawk at her. The others would watch and were jealous and I had to tell them "Jessie doesn't feel good, she deserves a favor"..

In her prime, Jessie was the best dragonfly catcher I've ever seen, back in California. She'd see them coming and time her leaps and grab them about 4-5 feet off the ground. Then with the big wings sticking out for inches from her mouth, she didn't know what to do with them. She had the same wide-eyed look you see in the photo at the top. I'd gently pry them loose and let them go, they'd always fly off again, apparently unharmed from a mere carnivore's big teeth. Feral cats are actually the most efficient hunters in nature, successful around 75% of the time.

I buried her today next to Scooter. She liked to lie on my cool slate stepping stones in the garden, so I pulled one up and put that over her as a marker.

Epilogue
Tonight I'm burning an outdoor fire for Jessie. I think we do that because the flame represents their spirit, and somehow this makes us feel that its still there. But no matter how hard we try the flames will also eventually go out.

2 comments:

Dawn (Twisted Sister) March 22, 2009 at 9:15 AM  

She was beautiful. It's so sad when we lose a pet.

Jose Sinclair March 22, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

thanks Dawn..
I love animals and of course the saddest part is that we usually outlive all our pets.

I also have a frog pond and have to chase away stray cats who want to eat my resident bullfrogs, and I put out shallow pans of water for lizards, if not they may drown in a deeper water source. I have lizards I recognize year after year who hang out in the exact same places; I now consider them pets as well - we share the same real estate.

I moved a turtle out of the dirt road in front of my house one day, looked him up later and it was an endangered gopher turtle, just slightly different from the common box turtles.

you never know when you save a wild animal, it may be one of the last of its species.

and cats, of course, saved us all from the plague - we owe them a little food and shelter in return!

thanks... Jose

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