Posted by: AMcGowan | 11/15/2011

For Jack

It’s times like now that I’m glad I write. I can put my memories, my feelings on paper, and that gives me a bit of relief. And today, I need that relief–we had to euthanize our kitty. He’d suffered from illness for most of his life, and lived quite a long time for a kitty with feline Leukemia, although he went downhill quite fast this past weekend. He was 4 1/2 years of age.

Our Jack was a spitfire at 5 weeks, taking on our adult cat, Spookers, and winning. Spookers lost his voice after hissing at Jack so often, but he never put Jack in his place. The alpha cat (if there is such a thing) had clearly arrived. At two pounds, he’d taken over, making it clear through his actions we lived in HIS house, not the other way around. Even so, he feared non-family members—so most outsiders never got to see his fuzzy, cuddly side. But, I assure you, he had one.

We first met Jack as our family was out for a walk. A small, orange bundle of fur hopped and skipped across our path. We were dismayed that no one claimed the little guy. After two weeks of advertising, we realized he’d been dumped and decided to keep him. He immediately ingratiated himself to our family through cuddles, goofiness and fun.

Partially due to his own personality, and partially due to illness, Jack was highly OCD. He had ingrained routines like walking my husband to the door every morning on his way to work and giving the scratching post a good going over. He didn’t like variations on his routine. One time my husband left (Jack scratched the post) then came back inside with something he got from the car. Jack hissed at him, upset that he’d come back—Ken’s role was to leave and not come back until dinner time!

Jack hated things out of place, letting us know how unhappy it made him to have a sock left laying around. He had a great fear of slippers (even doll slippers). My kids would position slippers around the house to keep him from places he shouldn’t be, away from toys they didn’t want him getting hold of. He had a passion for pipe cleaners (the kids use them for art projects), and could some how sniff them out no matter how well we hid them. He loved drinking from the faucet of the tub. He would chase plastic Easter eggs around the house (only the green ones). He scampered about after tiny Lego blocks up and down the wood floors at 2AM (groan!). He enjoyed hiding under things and racing out to grab our toes. His favorite perch was on top of the entertainment center—I think he was keeping an eye on his pride (I fancy he believed himself to be a tiger). Wherever there was activity, there was Jack—sitting on our school books, climbing into grocery bags, sleeping in game box lids.

When Jack was a kitten, he loved to be pushed in the doll stroller. Even as he got too big for that, he still enjoyed being wrapped in a blanket and rocked by my daughter. He would steal bracelets, necklaces and had a soft spot for My Little Ponies (would carry them around the house by his teeth). The kids often had to build barriers around their things (remember the slippers!). I wondered when company came over if they’d think we had some odd habits or collections!

It’s hard to say what I’ll miss the most. Jack would often sit on a small chair in the kitchen and watch me cook. I got in the habit of telling him what I was doing. He seemed so curious and interested—much like the kids when they were younger. I’m sure if he had thumbs, he would have been quite the chef. After watching me for a bit, he would flop down and press his feet to ours, a sign of submission and love. And then, every night, at about ten, he’d climb onto my lap and purr himself into a pre-bedtime nap. He was my therapy cat. A constant companion. My cozy friend. I’m so glad God chose him for us, and I feel so privileged to have had him in my life. I’ll miss him so.



  1. Oh, April, I’m so sorry. I know just how you feel, having had to make this decision for more than one beloved cat. I am certain I’ll spend a lot of time in heaven with my kitties in my lap. 🙂

    • Thanks Jamie. I still look for him every day. He made himself such an integral part of our family. I imagine all our pets hanging out together, waiting for our some day arrival.

  2. Oh Sweeties, I am soooooo sorry for your loss. As a long time cheetin person I totally understand what you are feeling right now…I am in total agreement with Jamie that our laps will be full of cheeties when we get to heaven and until then they get to take turns in our Lords! They are so much more than just “pets”. They do become family and become our tiny therapists. It is true that some of the funniest and most precious moments of my life have involved these furry little terrors! To Jack!!! =) May his memory live long and sweet! HUGS to All!

    • Sis,
      Thanks so much. He’s so much a part of our household still! I keep thinking about how integral he became to our family. It’s amazing such a little thing could capture so much of our time and hearts. Then again, I’m the one who used to raise mice…and they are pretty small! I’m sure Jack is playing nice with the rest of our pets!

  3. Hugs, April. I’m so sorry.

    • Thanks so much, Tammy. We sure love our fuzzy kids, don’t we?

  4. What a beautiful tribute to dear Jack. So sorry about Jack, April. ((hugs))

    • Thanks, Susan. We were equally sorry to hear about your kitty. They are so important to our families!

  5. Yes, absolutely wonderful tribute. It brought tears to my eyes! Hugs to the whole family. And we’ll all look forward to our furry babies in our laps in the forever Kingdom. ❤

    • Thanks, Kimbo. I imagine our family that has passed on before us are giving him lots of love on our behalf. Hugs.

  6. What a tender tribute to your special kitty. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • Thanks, Joy. We sure miss him. It makes is a little easier to be able to write about him. 🙂

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