College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

First of all I would like to thank you for posting the story of my daughter's cat Scooter (March 14 1992 - September 17 2004). She was pleased to share her story with everyone about a truly remarkable cat. In her story she speaks of my cat, Jasper; and this is where my story begins as a life is ended. On Friday July 8th 2005 just short of his fourteenth birthday, I finally made the decision to have Jasper put to sleep. He was suffering badly from diabetes and had lost 10 pounds. He had begun to urinate and defecate where ever was suitable and seeing as cats are notoriously clean I knew he could not be happy in this state.

Jasper & Scooter
Jasper was the first born in a litter of six. He was the only long hair, the only male and the only orangey coloured one in the bunch. Jasper's Mom was a Queen Anne calico and his father a big red tom. Jasper's dad looked a lot like 'Mrs. Norris' from the Harry Potter books, just as big; only orange. I think this is where he got his lion looks. Right from the start he was of a kind. I picked him out of the litter days after he was born and took him home 3 months later. He would go for car rides with me to the donut store, sitting on my pregnant stomach inside my jacket. I used to share my donut with him! One month later I gave birth to my first child and he insisted on sleeping with her. It didn't matter what I did to deter him he needed to make sure she was okay; something he did to his final day.

I can remember other things he used to do too. I would stand at the sink washing baby bottles and he would climb up my leg to my shoulder and sit there watching me do dishes. He would also hide on the stairs and jump out at your ankle as you walked down them. I cannot tell you how I never broke my neck by falling down the stairs...I always looked for him, never saw him and he always got me! He would also do anything in the world for shrimp. It became difficult to take the baby and Jasper with me every time I left the house so when an opportunity arose for another cat I took it. Scooter entered our lives and was taken under Jasper's wing and taught the ropes. They became life long friends. Even when they were 12 years of age they were still behaving like kittens. It was always like a scene from the Lion King - Scooter would attack Jasper, just like Simba would attack Nala. Jasper would back flip Scooter and pin him just like the Disney movie, poor Scooter he never won a battle but he always started them! He also used to jump from the floor up into my arms if I first patted my chest and then held out my arms...I would carry him around with his front paws wrapped around my neck. Oh, those are good memories.

Jasper always took care of me and eventually my children as well. I know this sounds strange but for the years I was on my own he would check in the bedroom to see if my daughter was asleep...if she was he would leave and sleep on my bed with me. If she wasn't he would stay in her room until she fell asleep and then he would join me. For ten years this was the way it was. It was just me, my daughter and our 'boys' Jasper and Scooter; we were a team; the fantastic four, we had many adventures and we traveled across Canada together.

When I met my present husband Jasper and he did not get along well. Jasper would hiss at him whenever he would walk in the room! It took a while for Jasper to accept him. In 2001 I gave birth to a girl and again in 2002 to another girl. This made our family complete and my husband away working a lot. Jasper would go through the same routine...making sure all was well first with the girls and then sleeping on the end of my bed, unless my husband was home. Then he wouldn't bother. It was as if he was in charge of taking care of the family while my husband was away and he would step quietly aside when my husband was at home. It is hard to explain how 'humanlike' he really was. His life was a miraculous one and although I have had many cats in my life there never was or will be one quite like him. I can quite comfortably say that I will never own another cat.

But now my best friend in all the world, the only one who had never let me down, who licked my tears away when I was sad, who stayed with me through thick and thin, a nasty divorce, single parenthood and extremely hard times lasting ten years is gone. My 'Little Lion' and protector was at the end only waiting to die. I miss him so much. He was a part of our lives and he will never be replaced. Some mornings I come down stairs expecting to hear him greet me for breakfast. Since Scooters death last year Jasper's health had been getting progressively worse. I knew it was only a matter of time and when the time came I agonized over the decision to put my best friend at rest or wait. We have a memorial stone in the rock garden with Scooter's name on it and on August 29th, what would have been Jasper's 14th birthday, we will add another rock to our garden with his name on it. No one will ever know what Jasper meant to me and words can never describe him. All I can say is that my best friend is gone and I will never, as long as I live, forget him. No other cats could hold a place in our hearts and lives like they did and still do...they were a part of our family and never thought of as pets.

I love you Jasper. Your death marked the end of an era for my daughter and I; the fantastic four has officially disbanded.

July 27, 2005

Posted April 4, 2005  |     Printer Friendly Version