I never imagined just 6 weeks after Whiskey’s passing that Jack would be doing the same. There’s 3 years between their ages, so even though Jack was diabetic, I figured I’d at least have a year or more. But unfortunately, the powers that be had other plans…
In 1993, I decided that Whiskey needed a playmate to keep him company while I was in school, so I set off to the local humane society to find him a friend. I already knew I wanted a orange tabby and it just so happened that a litter of 7 kittens, all about 3 months old, had been brought in, which included two orange striped kitties.
When I arrived, I was taken to their cage, where there were little rambunctious kitties running everywhere. I was watching the female orange kitty when I noticed Jack in the background. He was hiding at the back of the cage watching me. At first I thought he might be too shy, which his sister wasn’t. Then, all of the sudden, he pounced on one of his siblings. The two kitties wrestled and played, then Jack noticed me again and retreated to the back of the cage. He did this about 4 more times, and I realized that even though he was on the shy side, his desire to play overruled, and I decided he would be perfect as a playmate for Whiskey. So I signed the papers and brought him home.
Jack and Whiskey became friends instantly. They were little partners in crime. Whiskey was the engineer, while Jack was the accomplice. Whiskey would open my cupboards, and Jack would knock the cans on the floor. And whenever Whiskey would sneak out, Jack would be the first to let me know he was missing. I could always tell when Whiskey was gone by Jack’s cry.
Jack was always shy of strangers, but he was the most lovable cat in the world to those he knew and trusted. He had the biggest, strongest motor of any cat I’ve ever known, and I often referred to him as “My Diesel”. When I first brought him home, his favorite thing to do was climb my curtains and curl up in my hanging plant for naps. Of course, he killed the plant, but I didn’t mind, he was way too cute swinging up there sleeping. He wasn’t big on being carried, but he loved to just sit on your lap and purr. Most of all, he loved to have his belly rubbed. He had the biggest, softest belly, and he made a wonderful purring pillow on chilly nights. Tundra thought so too, snuggled next to Jack was her favorite place to sleep.
When Jack was 10, he was diagnosed diabetic. He started insulin shots and for years was symptom free, but over time the disease took a toll on him, stiffening his back legs and giving him cataracts. He never went blind fortunately, but it was hard for him to move and play like he used to. He never complained through, he was always the most tolerant kitty.
A couple days after Whiskey passed, Jack went into diabetic shock. We took him to the emergency vet and they stabilized him, but it was the beginning of a downward spiral. He wouldn’t eat enough to sustain himself. We still don’t know if there was a medical reason, or if perhaps the loss of Whiskey was just too much for him. Our vet was unable to find a reason, and Jack quickly lost weight. Jack was never a cat to eat on demand or eat people food, so finding something he liked was difficult. Last week I took him back to the vet once more, so see if he could find anything new, but again everything came back ok, other than the fact that he was starving.
Jack never regained his appetite, despite our efforts to get him to eat. Then last night he started to get worse, and this morning he was in bad shape. So I took him to our emergency vet and they confirmed that his lungs were filled with fluid and he was in heart failure. Jack went to sleep at 7:35am this morning in my arms, his diesel going until the very end. He was 15 years, 4 months old.