Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yesterday . . .

. . . I said good-bye to my cherished cat Jordy. He lived a good life (16 years). Yesterday, was a crappy day all around. I just knew when I got up that something was wrong. Boy, was I right on that count. I made the painful – trust me, I kept Kleenex in business this morning – decision to have him put down. He’s just not been doing well, arthritis was setting in, and he was just having a really hard time of it lately.

Jordy was the best cat ever. Not that his sisters Tasmyn and Squeaky aren’t good cats, they just have an attitude most of the time. Jordy, on the other paw, was just Mr. Laid Back. He accepted life (the addition of Tasmyn to the household, then Spanky and Arthur when Frank and I moved in together, then Squeaky after Arthur passed away, and finally Jesse and James once Spanky had journeyed forth into the great beyond) as just another day.

I went to the pound sixteen years ago looking for the most adorable kitten ever. They had no kittens that day and kept showing me cat after cat. None of them seemed “right”. I’d finally settled on a cute cat, when all of a sudden I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there was Jordy – cute as could be, just looking at me with those big green eyes saying “Uh, excuse me, excuse me, but I’m the best there is!!!” Truer words could not have been spoken. He melted my heart with that simple tap on my shoulder. I took him home that day and despite the neutering two weeks later, oh, and then the declawing incident two weeks after that, he was my little sack of flour that I could carry around like a baby . . . for sixteen great years. Okay, there was the diabetes in 1999 and two shots a day, but he took the shots like a trooper and showed up in the kitchen every night around the same time to take his medicine. I rarely had to hunt him down to give him his shots, though there were twenty or forty such occasions where he made me look for him. He was a cat after all, and had to remind me that I was at his beck and call, and not the other way around.

I went to the vet alone yesterday morning, just Jordy and me, kind of like the beginning of our lives together. Frank offered to go, but we had a contractor due at the house, and I think I just needed some “me” time with Jordy. Frank said his good-byes at the house, giving Jordy a ton of treats and petting him while he ate them. I said my final good-byes at the vet, just Jordy and me!

No one ever tells you when you adopt a pet, that the final day just sucks big time. Trust me, it does. Still, he brought joy to my life for a good long time. I miss him terribly. I’m still keeping Kleenex in business. He was the best!
There are so many good memories of Jordy . . .
  • The Closet Incident - okay, there were many times when this sneaky cat of mine snuck into the closet without either Frank or I knowing. We would only learn of his closet presence when he woke up from his nap and began to bang on the door to be let out.
  • The Scratching at the Door Incident - Jordy was an indoor cat who just loved to go outside. I would take him out every now and then and sit with him while he prowled around the yard. At one point, after finally adjusting to Spanky and Arthur (the dogs), Frank would take Jordy and the dogs out together. The three of them would run side by side across the driveway to the fenced in backyard. Jordy, at least for a time, was one of the dogs. Well, when Jordy wanted out, he would scratch at the door in the den. No, Jordy, you're not going out - was my normal response. One night, he was scratching at the door, and I made my usual response without even looking. It wasn't until the next morning, when I couldn't find Jordy to give him his shot, that I realized he was not in the house. I went outside, shouted for him, and here he came from the deeps of the wilds of the backyard. He was not a happy camper. Little did I know when I said No, Jordy, you're not going out, that he was scratching from outside wanting to get in. Boy, did Frank get a talking to that morning about not bringing Jordy back in . . . and not for the first time, I might add.
  • The OMG What Did You Bring Home Incident - this was when, after only having Jordy a few months, I brought Tasmyn home to join the family. Jordy went up to the carrier, sniffed at Tasmyn, turned his back and walked away. If you think I'm having anything to do with her, you're out of your mind. Jordy stuck to his word. He would have nothing to do with Tasmyn at all. He ignored her. If he was on the bed and she clawed her way up, he got down. If he was in a chair and she leaped over to sleep with him, he got down. He wanted nothing to do with her. Nothing at all. So, months go by and I come home from work early one day. What do I find? Jordy and Tasmyn curled up in a chair together. Jordy looks up in surprise and leaps out of the chair. After I stopped laughing, I told him that his secret was out. From that day forward, they were pretty much inseparable.
  • The I'll Protect You Incident - when Frank and I first moved in together we had the pleasant task of introducing the cats to the dogs (Spanky and Arthur). Let me tell you, Tasmyn drew blood from the dogs on many occasions. Finally, a truce was called . . . or so I thought. One night, the dogs are on the sofa with Frank, sleeping soundly, and Tasmyn struts by, reaches out, smacks the hell out of Spanky, and keeps on walking. Well, next day, payback time and Spanky corners Tasmyn. He barks. She hisses. From behind me a hear a low growl. Here comes Jordy, tail puffed up big as can be, eyes, wide, and coming across the room toward Spanky. Nobody, not nobody, messes with my sister, BUD!!! He might have disliked her to begin with, but she somehow wormed his way into his heart, and nobody was going to bother her, not even Spanky.

The memories go on and on, and the tears continue to flow. The picture above is of Jordy in one of his favorite places - on the dining room chairs beneath the table cloth. He always thought no one could find him there. His only problem - he always let his tail dangle out from beneath the table cloth. Still, when in doubt, no cat about, look beneath the tablecloth!!!