Monday, January 2, 2012

An Epic Tale of Woe

I would imagine that most blogs are talking about diets, decluttering, and other fabulous ways to change your life for the better - but I've decided to talk about my dead cat today.
Move along if you need to.

I needed to tell y'all the details before I feel I can move on emotionally.
That and I feel anxiety about leaving for the dentist in an hour - and I need to think about something else.

Meet J. T. Peppers.

Jinksie TarTar Peppers.

His nickname was Drinksie - because we'd never seen a cat that drank so much water.  In retrospect, I wonder if that was some indication that there was something wrong with him.

My most favorite cat in the history of all cats.

I rescued him from a hoarder's house in October of 2009.

I remember the day vividly - Glen was off on a fishing trip with some buddies and I was left to my own devices.  I'd gone to visit a friend when I saw a 'Free Kittens' sign posted - and just thought I'd go take a look.  It had been some time since I'd seen kittens.

I noticed the house in a state of disrepair as I rang the bell.
I was greeted by a teenage girl smoking a cigar.
She happily welcomed me in - where there was about a 1 square foot clear space on the floor for me to stand.

The urine smell was overwhelming.
It must have been 85 degrees in there.

My first thought - 'I'm taking them all - I'll find good homes for them'.

I was informed they only had one left.  She found it (which to me was a feat in itself!) and handed it over to me.  Without missing a beat - I tucked it in my coat and said 'Thanks - I'll take it'.

Jinksie never moved.  He just nestled right in my coat and I drove home with him.

I remember calling Aaron immediately and telling him what I'd done - and he was gleeful.  He loved cats - I remember telling him about the state of the house that I got Jinksie in and saying in disbelief 'They had a human baby in that house!'.

We still laugh about that.

The thing was that I had three cats up in the house already.  I didn't think Glen was going to cotton to another one.

But this one was temporary.

: -)

My other three cats were inside/out cats.
It was a constant revolving door around here - and I didn't like it much.
After Jinksie arrived, the inside/outside cats became outside cats.
They seemed quite content to be out.

Jinksie was the cat that everyone dreams about.
Loaded with personality, little silly quirks and so affectionate it was obnoxious at times.

He had a 'lair' under my bed.  He'd collect things.  He'd go in the basement and bring up a paint roller - or a ball of steel wool.  He had a blanket he'd carry around the house.

He was beloved.
Still is.

Fast forward to December 23rd.
I was sitting on the couch early in the morning reading emails.
I heard a terrible noise in the hall - and jumped up thinking that Aaron had fallen down the stairs.
(The BoyChild stayed here for most of his winter break).
It wasn't Aaron.
It was Jinksie.

He lay at the bottom of the stairs -
I picked him up - and he was completely limp.
His eyes were completely dilated.

You know that moment where you just aren't believing what you are seeing, and you are just a bit paralyzed?

I started kinda shaking him - and then I started screaming.
"Aaron!!!  Jinksie is dead!!"

Aaron bolted out of bed and we were both just crying inconsolably - and wondering 'is he really dead?'
I had crazy thoughts like - 'maybe he's in a coma' and 'he'll wake up in a minute'.

I tried CPR.
I was massaging him, praying for him - begging God to bring him back -
it was horrific.
It was too early in the am to run him to the local vet, and the emergency vet was so far away that it would have been pointless to take him there - and I really did 'know' in my heart - he was gone.

Aaron and I sat in the floor, taking turns holding him - just crying our eyes out for well over an hour.

I had to go to one of my cleaning jobs - so I had to get ready to leave. 
I just kept going back to Jinks - picking him up - crying - checking for a heartbeat.

(this is getting long, eh?)

We wrapped him up and put him in the bathtub.  I have no idea why.  I just didn't know what to do with him.  I had the thought 'where would he be if he were alive?' and that would have been on my bed - but when I picked him up - he had urinated and I thought that it wouldn't be a good idea to lay him on the bed.

That night - we (me, Glenco and Aaron) took turns going in and saying our final goodbyes.
Aaron doted on me the entire day - waiting on me hand and foot - petting me every time I started crying.
My best friend and cousin Jim - stayed home so he could talk to me.
My Leanness Lifestyle friends were texting me that "Love is better than Dairy Queen" because they knew I might seek solace in a Peanut Buster Parfait.
I felt incredibly loved that day.

I was an utter wreck until late Christmas Eve.
In fact, I cancelled my big Christmas Eve dinner.
For real.

I'm telling you a truth.
That cat is missed.
There is an ache in my heart that no other feline will fill.

I have brought Calvin back in the house.
We'll talk about him tomorrow.

Hi, my name is Jayme - and I'm a crazy cat lady.


  1. Oh Jayme...

    I'm just in tears over here for you.

    I would have cancelled the dinner party too.

    God bless you as I know there still hurt in your heart right now.

    Love Carissa

  2. I am not really sure if I should laugh or cry here.

    1. My heart hurta for you and your sad cat story. For realz. Loss is no fun, no matter what.

    2. The last comment "crazy cat lady" made me laugh. You may be borderline. I still think of you a the chicken lady.

    3. I can not come and spend the night now (as if I were ever even invited), because, alas, I am allergic to the cats.

    4. Woe is me. There goes my plan to move in with you. That, coupled with the lack of wheat and caffiene, may just tip me over the edge.

    5. Amen.


  3. Oh Jayme, so sorry for you! You really lost a special friend. Cats don't come around like that often. My heart goes out to you. I sure understand.

  4. You are not a crazy cat lady. You just had the wonderful opportunity to bond with a lovely, feline soul and you are now a better person because of it. Enjoy the memories of this dear cat and be happy that he felt loved by you for his short life. Give Calvin a chance.They are all unique and wonderful. {{{Hugs}}} Deb.

  5. Oh Jayme, I'm with you on this one. It really, really hurts to lose a little loved one. I'm sending hugs, too. xo

  6. Bless you for sharing...I hope you feel a tiny bit better! What a handsome kitty Jinksie was...and so much love flowing from him and to him! He died in a home where he was loved, respected, cared for rescued him from a place where he would never have had any of that. Jinksie was special and you and your family were the ones who were able to enjoy his specialness!

  7. Jayme, you have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. You are like a big mother hen and you want to gather everyone, animals included, under your wings to make sure they are safe and loved. All pet lovers have had that one "special" pet in their lives, and Jinksie was that one to you. Thanks again for being so honest and open in your blogs. You encourage me to be that honest and open.

  8. Jayme -- your Jinx sounds so much like my Sambo - he was also a black cat and I loved him like no other. I still miss him all these years later and have never felt the same about another cat. Currently I am a dog Mom and miss having a cat in the house.

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Hang in there and cling to your sweet memories :)


    P.S. my daughter had a cat named Calvin -- great name and he was a great cat too :)

  9. Sorry..I do that too. I swore no more cats after the two I had in my life passed away this last year at the ripe ole age of 21. They were sometimes a pain, and always characters...and I said..NO more. It lasted 8 mos and now I have two more I adopted. I told myself not to bond too is hard sometimes. Now I can tell you the endearing qualities of both. I join you in crazy cat lady!

  10. What an angel you must have been in Jinksie's eyes. Even as a kitten, he had to know his world was a big smelly scary mess. But then this nice lady came and tucked him up inside her coat and his life was grand from that day forward.

    I'm so sorry for your loss, Jayme, and I know Calvin doesn't take Jinksie's place never replaces another. But I think if Calvin could talk, he would tell you he's honored to be your cuddle buddy and help you heal.

    No, you're not the crazy cat lady. You're not even the crazy chicken lady. You might be a little crazy in general, but aren't we all? You just have a special talent for putting your crazy in a post, laying it all out there so we can read and say, 'YES, that's exactly how I feel!'

    Hugs to you all, Jayme.

    : )

  11. I totally understand your feelings for your cat. My Chloe is 113 now and is beginning to show her age. I dread the day.
    Keep going crazy cat lady. Remember all the beautiful memories you have of your cat. Unconditional love-that's what pets give us.

  12. Jayme- I can so relate to that. My own FOREVER IN MY HEART cat is my sweet little Mistycat. I lost her 3 years ago this past Fall and still can't think about her without a tear in my eye and a catch in my chest. She was just THAT cat to me. There will never be another like her. It is so hard to just "let go", isn't it? My heart aches for you. One of my friends said...Well, it IS just a cat....she didn't GET IT...and I don't GET HER anymore either.

    You just grieve as long as you need to grieve. The thing of it is that you are ot numbing yourself with food so you are feeling the pain...experiencing the loss and not burying it in a donut. You are going to be okay. xo Diana

  13. I belong to the crazy cat lady club so as I sit here with tears in my eyes I can feel your grief. We have 4 cats now 19, two 3 yr olds and our last a rescue around 8 months old. I know that my old girl probably won't be with us next year and it makes my heart ache. To add to the madness we have 2 young children aged 6 and 9. We are 51. Madness I tell you. Until a couple months ago we had a beagle mutt dog age 13. My chest is getting tight thinking about her. We found out she had cancer everywhere and was suffering. I'm just now able to think of her without crying. Be kind to yourself.

  14. This post brought tears to my eyes. I'm very sorry for your loss. Our pets become part of our family and they are our little friends, they bring so much joy and never ask for anything except love. Take care and try to focus on the happy times with your cat, your friend.


  15. Jayme, my dear, we all feel that grief when we lose something/somebody we love. DH and I both cried like babies when we lost our Tiger.

    As for the excessive water drinking, YES, that can be a sign of serious illness like kidney failure or diabetes. So keep that in mind for the future. If they seem to drink a lot of water, get them checked out sooner rather than later.

    Meanwhile, spoil Calvin rotten, just like Jinksie!! Hugs, girl.

  16. Oh, Jayme, you are not a crazy cat lady. We love our animals like they are our children. My Milo is thirteen. He has good days and bad. I know one day I will find him and I will be so sad.
    It is o.k. Let yourself feel sad.
    love, Cheryl

  17. Did you ever find out what happened? At least you can rest assured that the time you had him was the best time of his life.

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is just a terrible thing to go through.

  18. I'm just soooo sorry you lost Jinksie. How unexpected and shocking for you. {{HUGS}}}

  19. Oh dear (((jaymee))) I feel your pain part of us just wants to die with them . . .

    The loss of a pet is a pain unto itself.

    I'm a dog lover, my guy passed at 17+yrs old, it doesn't matter, how old, you mourn terribly.

    Time passes, you never forget them, evaaa. . .in time you feel peace, keep lookin up!

    We rescued Bradley, I can't imagine life without him. He's such a lover, he knows love, he knows when I'm happy and he wags his tail at me, and when I hurt, he sits on my lap looks up at me, as if he could, he'd take my pain away, I love him to death.

    God love you for rescuing Jinxie and showing him love and a great life. . .

    Keep bloggin Jaymster we're here to listen to every jinxie blog you want to write, it helps healing to share your grief.

    ohnooo buuut it's november, yet another jinxie story. . . "I'm not tellin her you tell her," "no you tell her" "I'm not tellin her. . . let Janie tell her.

    love you girl!

  20. You are not a crazy cat lady. You loved your dear cat and that's pretty sane! I feel for you so much. I will lose my Gus sometime in the not too distant future and I already think that I'll need bereavement days off from work. How can I work and cry? Pets are so very important.
    Hugs and Prayers!

  21. If loving a cat enough to be totally despondant at his death makes one a crazy cat lady, sign me up. Our cats and dogs love us in ways that people cannot ... and we love them ... and it is totally normal to grieve for those we love.

    I am so sorry about Jinxie.

  22. I am so sorry for your loss...while I don't have cats, I do have an 11 year old golden retriever who is my constant companion. My heart just aches for you.

  23. You are NOT a crazy cat lady! YOU, are a kind, compassionate, unconditional loving WOMEN!
    Dh and & I have spoken many times about what would we do without our loyal cat Harley James..and it's a for real heartache when they leave our side..

  24. Lovin you right now...I cry when people's pets die...I cry in theaters where pets get hurt or lost or separated or die...I cry at Humane society rescue videos...I cry over "one more successful adoption" story...I LOVE animals. In the the Garden of Eden....along with God,... there was a man - a woman - LOTS of Garden land - and........ANIMALS...
    Life was complete...and so that is my picture of the perfect life. When the picture gets a tear in it...we feel it. It's okay to cry.... xoxoxoxoxoxox :-) big hug.

  25. heart aches for is so sad to lose a pet...and this was so sudden, it is hard to grasp. He sounds like he was a wonderful kitty! Hugs and blessings

  26. I am so very sorry. Thinking of you. x

  27. Oh Jayme. Bless your heart. I'm a crazy cat lady too and I understand just how attached you are. That's how I am with my orange and white guy. It just isn't normal and God help me when he goes. I'm sending you hugs and love from down south.

  28. you are my favorite kind of crazy! One who loves like crazy. That is a good thing. I miss thee and I need a chicken fix.

  29. My beloved Belle, died in front of the Christmas tree six years ago and I'm still grieving. She was not a cat, but a border collie X. I did, however, have a seal point siamese cat named Jinx who died after Christmas five years ago. My sweet Jinxy. Jinxy saved us from dying by Christmas tree fire when he noticed sparks coming from an outlet behind the Christmas tree. 911 was called and we had Jinx to thank for saving us! Sorry for the long note.

  30. No, no, you're not crazy.
    My Jinksie likes to drink from the faucet, and she drinks a lot too......her back end seems disconnected from her front end sometimes, and I think she might be deaf....sometimes I think it is the in breeding.
    You have to remember that you loved Jinksie and he may have had a short life, but you made it a good one.
    And you will love another cat, and another, and another. In the end, that's what matters.

  31. From one crazy cat lady to another, my heart breaks for you. I can't imagine having to go thru that! And he was so young too. I love my cats - people who don't have them just can't understand.

    Sending hugs your way : )

    Karen in MD

  32. I am so sorry it is so hard to lose a beloved animal. Just remember what a great life you gave him.
    our baby is 17 and is showing her age. She adopted us a stray that jumped in my husband's truck.

  33. Oh, Jayme, I'm so very sorry. My heart hurts for you. We also lost our treasured kitty over the summer, and I remember the heartache like it was yesterday. Still feel it some days, but it's become more tolerable with time. I will definitely pray for your family as you heal... Hugs to you...

  34. Jayme....I so understand, love is animal children mean the world to me and my husband.....we sat last winter in the middle of the night in our mudroom floor with one of our goats that we were losing, we both cried like babies as Murph Man took his last breath, it has been a year but still so raw in our hearts...we still miss him something terrible......I'm so sorry you lost your boy....these critters really pull and hold on tight to our heart strings!

  35. Oh Jaymes, if you're crazy, then crazy is a good thing. (But we knew that already.) The whole lotta love to give kind of crazy!
    So sorry about your kitty, my friend.

  36. Hi Jayme - so sorry to hear about your little Jinksie. I had a cat just like him, too, and her name was Tia. I know you must miss him terribly. I think somebody already said it - that maybe he was diabetic or something... Poor kitty. I'll bet there are more hoarded kitties out there that need a loving home like yours. Thinking of you...

  37. You are not crazy, I too love cats that way and had 4 all inside at one time. NO other way to live so I know the joy and the lows when one by one they have to depart us.

    Your heart will mend but to this day I still cry when I think of my babies. The vet said to go out and get another one, it will help the transition. You are not replacing but helping to ease the pain and adopting something that needs your kind of love.

    My heart goes out to you, Aaron and Mr G.

    GOD bless and lift your spirits.

  38. Dear Jayme ~ nothing but love in all your words and though unseen by you Jayme I only imagine that many a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye from 'we'. Your Jinksie was a very handsome fellow. Hope you 'feel the hugs' from all the replies Jayme.

    Understanding thoughts from one who has also grieved a faithful friend,

  39. So so sorry...jan

  40. Sometimes love hurts. But we still have to do it.

  41. I'm so sorry for your loss!

  42. I am so sorry for your loss of such a sweet spirit your beautiful cat had. Thankful for the time he blessed you so, only wish it could have been longer.

  43. Oh dear Lord, I just cried like a fool. Like the ugly, slobbery, snot running kind. I'm so sorry. I'm a cat freak too and it reminded me so much of my kitty's death almost 2 years ago...and I'm still not over...don't know that I ever will be. I was nuts about that crazy cat, and he was nuts about me. They aren't "just cats"...they stay in your heart forever. And every once in a while, you'll know they're around. Something will happen that reminds you of them. And you know that they're still with you in spirit.

  44. They're wonderful company and comfort. Welcome to the club :)

  45. Did I know you when you met Jinksie? I'm thinking so?? Law, Aibie. This was a heart-wrencher. I'm so woefully behind here. I've thought about your loss so many times. And you know, my Mom would be so much better in these moments, but I can see the love you have for your brood. I loved the way you told his story. Especially about his lair. That was my favorite part. You are so dear. I'm glad Aaron was with you when it happened. RIP, JTP.


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