We need to talk.

This is a serious post. 

No silliness today.  I want to prepare you for a rapidly approaching wave of sadness that may break at any time.  It’s about Jumbo Kitty.  The first week in May I posted some pictures of JK and Janie, the cat and dog who won’t be joining me in the fulltiming adventure.  For new readers, an arrangement has been made with the man who is buying my house for JK and Janie to stay with him and his son.

JK was a robust cat in his prime. (The photos don’t show how huge he was!)  When I inherited JK from my grandchildren (I think he was about five at that time.), JK was known as Tweety.  He outgrew that name to the more apt Jumbo Kitty.

He hasn’t been jumbo for quite some time.

Those photos are several years old.  JK dropped the excess weight during the intervening years and lost a lot of muscle.  In short, JK is old.  I’ve been estimating his age at about 16 years, but he may be as much as 18 years old.

In the past week I’ve noticed his movements are a lot slower and he isn’t eating as much.  He curls up in the cool dirt between the exposed roots of the maple tree in the back yard and sleeps most of the day.  Oh, it’s probably just the summer heat.

No, there’s no denying the obvious. 

JK is nearing the end.  It could be weeks or months, but I don’t think so.

I’ll keep him as comfortable as possible.  I don’t want him to go through any “heroic measures” which means unsettling trips to the vet with all the anxiety of a car ride and being handled by strangers in a foreign environment.  I think we are inclined to do for our pets as we would want done for us.

I’m sorry this post isn’t fun to read.  I’m writing about my life and it’s not always entertaining or amusing.

Thanks for taking the bad with the good.

In conclusion . . . My wish for Jumbo Kitty is for him to peacefully fall asleep into the cool shade and gentle breeze of forever.

rvsue

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19 Responses to We need to talk.

  1. Laura says:

    Awww, Sue. 🙁 Is there any way that your vet would make a visit to your home to see JK? Cats are even more stoic than dogs & I’d hate to think that he may be in pain. I understand your desire to not want to stress him out at this point, but I’d really encourage you to consider finding someone who would come to your house to help him go “home” …

    Hugs to you and your other furry family members …

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Laura. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain, at least no more than anybody old goes through daily, but of course how would I know.

      My choices are keep him at home or haul him off to the vet. I go over both choices every time I look at him. I actually hope he gets sleepy enough that he won’t care where I take him. (I’m not kidding myself … that would make it easier on me, too.)

      • Laura says:

        Sue, I don’t know if you’re an RV.net reader, but on their Pet Stop forum there’s a new thread called “Knowing When”. Seems kind of providential, but reading it might help at some level.

        Having put down too many (one is too many in my book) pets over the years, I asked my vet how he was able to handle doing it. He said that it was the absolutely hardest thing he does, but also the most important thing. That’s helped in the years since, when it’s been time to make the decision for them.

        My prayers are with you.

  2. Kim says:

    Well, bless his heart!

    Laura has an excellent suggestion. We arranged for a vet house call when the time came for Sidney ,our BOB (big oily bohunk) of 15 years, to go. It was very peaceful.

    I’m so sorry you are having to go through this.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate Laura’s and your concern for JK and me. Kim, I’m glad your BOB had a peaceful exit. It is so difficult to know not only what to do but also when. I don’t want him to get prolonged treatments. He’s an old cat. He deserves to go when it’s his time.

      Thanks to you and Laura for sharing this with me.

  3. Greg says:

    Sue,

    Having walked down this road many times ourselves – we know what you are going through. Unfortunately no matter how many times we have to say good bye to our beloved companions it never gets easier – but you know I think in retrospect that is a good thing.

    You will know when the time is right – JK will tell you.

    greg and jean

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Greg and Jean,

      Your empathy is very comforting. Thank you.

      JK’s mother (Midnight) and his sister (Knicknack, so named because she loved to sit on window sills) both chose a similar way to exit. When it was their respective time, they simply walked away and didn’t return. I suspect they lay down in the thicket or some other secluded spot near my property and expired.

  4. John @ http://hwyfly.blogspot.com/ says:

    I have had cats all my life. My current one, who my blog is named after, is without a doubt the best cat I have ever had. When his time comes, I seriously think it will be all I can do from dying myself. I most sincerly wish your final sentence to come true. My thoughts will be with you Sue. Give JK a gentle pet for Sinbad and I.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, John, for your sensitive response to my bad news and also fo your sincere wish.

      May all our sweet pets have a peaceful exit! They give us so much for so little.

      Warm regards to you and Sinbad . . .

  5. rvsueandcrew says:

    I appreciate you understanding my desire to keep him at home. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

  6. Hotel California says:

    Our cat, Sallie, passed away in front of our fireplace while we were at work. She was almost 22 years old. I guess it was time for her to go. We had to put down Rosie (yellow lab) at age 17 and Pilau (small mut) at 20 years old. Never easy, but we always remember the great times we had.

    Here’s a link to my Rosie story on RV.NET several years ago. Many very compassionate RVers there.

    http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/17310646/srt/pa/pging/1/page/1

  7. Vickie Bailey says:

    Sue,
    How sad and beautiful. I do hope Jumbo Kitty goes quietly. Today we had to have our guinea pig put to sleep. In the scheme of things many might say “so”. But I think you understand. I prayed Buttercup (we were told he was a “she” when we got him!), would go in my arms this morning. He had bladder stones, and tho the vet was so willing to do surgery ( telling us they could come back quickly), I knew that wasn’t the way to go. He was in so much pain, and no longer passing urine. I couldn’t bear the heartbreak of his cries—-so had to make the decision of euthanasia at the vets. Peaceful thoughts coming to you and JK.

    Vickie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Vickie,

      I do understand your grief and it sounds like you did the right thing. I’m sorry you are hurting right now. After some time, as you surely know, the hurt goes away.

      Thank you for your wishes for JK.

  8. Laura says:

    My thoughts and prayers have been with you today, Sue. I hope JK is doing okay — and you, too.

  9. Jill Blythman says:

    There isn’t anything I can say to make it easier. JK knows he is loved and that is a beautiful thing. That gives him the freedom to go in peace. My prayers are with you.

    Jill

  10. Pauline Nash says:

    Oh Susan, I know your heart is so heavy. Wish I could say something to comfort you. I pray that JK goes peacefully in his sleep.

    I love you
    Pauline

  11. kat says:

    It’s mid-2013 and perhaps Jumbo Kitty has gone on to rainbow bridge by now. I had a Siamese calico sweetie named Simone who lived to the wonderful age of 19. I hope you remember her fondly. Love the blog…just found you through my camping group. Safe travels.

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