Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pink was his color.

Jakie looked good in pink, I don't care what anybody says.

When I first brought him here from Middle Village, I knew I had to get him a collar & tag because he was going to be an outdoor cat.  Not that I wanted him to be.  But that's who he was.  Keep him indoors too long and he would leave you gifts that you really didn't want.  Not because he was a fresh cat, but because he enjoyed the outdoor life &  if he couldn't poop wherever he wanted to in the great outdoors, well, he'd poop wherever he wanted to indoors.

So off I went to Petco.  I found a lovely pink collar, with a pink harness and leash to match.  Now you may wonder, why would you buy pink items for a tubby, male cat?  Well, for the same reason fair skinned, blond haired men wear pink:  it suits them.

Pink looked good on Jake.  It complemented the colors of his fur: the misty grey of soft fog, and the white of those fluffy clouds you see on a bright summer's day.  We went with other colors over the years like royal blue to give him that princely look, or black when he went through his Goth phase.  Of course whenever the Christmas season came around so did the requisite red collar.  But pink was really where he was at.

Pink reflected his gentle nature.  Don't get me wrong, he could be a total grumpus when he wanted to be and he was a real ball-buster with the other full-time house kitties.  He used to terrorize my beautiful, lady-like Kelly and my poor neurotic Tommy.  Yet he was very respectful of my mom's elderly kitty Peppers, even though he was three times her size and 10 times her weight.  When Peppers died, Jake moped around the house for a week.  He didn't want to go out.  He just laid around.

Jake is gone now too, along with Kelly and Peppers.  He left us in the early morning hours of June 10th after suffering for the past few weeks from ascites - a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity.  I was going to bring him in for an echocardiogram on Wednesday morning to ascertain if it was cardiac-related, but that became a non-issue.  The necropsy revealed that he did indeed have an enlarged heart and metastasized tumors in his liver and spleen.  So even if his heart was good, we would have lost him in a few months to cancer.

No matter how you work it out, Jake went too soon.  He was only about 12 and he should have had several more years with us, so it pretty much sucks in every way it possibly can.

That said, I am thankful I was with him when he made his crossing, as I was with Daisy, Peppers and Kelly.  I'm glad Mom and I were able to share one last evening in the garden with Jake while he sat on my lap.

Our family was so lucky to be blessed with his intelligent, affectionate personality.  He was very effective at communicating with his eyes, and even more talented when it came to jingling the bell on his collar.  He'd rattle it in the morning so someone would get up to let him out or to feed him.  He'd rattle it when he was outside to let us know he wanted to come in.  And he was just as adept at moving without the bell jingling at all when he wanted to employ the element of surprise.  No doubt about it:  our Jakie was one smart cat.

Jake liked to sit on the arm of the loveseat and when I was sitting there with him he would reach out his paw with his claws out just slightly, and pull my arm over to him and keep his paw rested there.  And if I moved my arm for whatever reason, he would pull it right back to him.
He couldn't get comfortable on mom's lap but he went he wanted to spend time close to her he would lay on her foot while she watched TV.  And he knew just what drawer she kept the catnip in.  When he was in the mood for some SMACK, he would follow her into her bedroom where she kept his stash hidden, sit down in front of her chest of drawers and stare up at it.  Then she'd give him his hit and he would curl up in his cat bed and drift off into his catnip induced dream world.

A few years back I picked up a little charm for Jake's collar.  It was a pink enamelled bow with the word Cupcake embossed on it.  That had been Jake's name for a while when he lived with someone else. However, her son convinced her that Cupcake was not macho enough so she changed it to Jake.  I always thought Cupcake was a perfect description of him so when I saw that pink charm I just knew it belonged on his pink collar.  The charm is still there, but now his collar is with me.  I hope some day I'll hear that jingle again when he comes to visit.  I hope I'll hear it often.

Rest now Dinky-Doo. We'll see you in Heaven.