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View Full Version : Jake got his purr back


Joe King
August 7th 12, 03:21 PM
Hope nobody minds me posting this. It seems kind of strange replying
to a posting after 9 years, but I think it may be cathartic ... You
can find the original thread, from Aug 2003, here:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.pets.cats.health+behav/browse_thread/thread/01c2db4470b8be18

Jake is a cat my parents owned, and I would look after during their
frequent trips away. Both he and his little sister Chloe where adults
when they left the rescue shelter, so it's hard to know exactly when
they were born, but Jake must be at least 12. When I asked for help
all those years ago, Jake had gone from trusting, playful and
intelligent to aloof and somewhat lethargic; most notably his purr had
dropped from almost deafening down to permanently off. This was
shortly after being used as target practice by somebody with a pellet
gun.

In the intervening years I've spent a lot of time with Jake, when I've
had the opportunity, and although he maintained the habit of never
looking me in the eye, and still didn't like spending too much time in
my parent's house (he preferred his various holiday homes scattered
throughout the neighbourhood), I'm glad to report he did get back a
little bit of his playfulness. And he eventually started purring
again when stroked, although it was a long slow process.

Well, as you've probably guessed, Jake is getting old now. In recent
months he'd started to put on weight, and I'd noticed he was having
trouble cleaning the fur along his spine (he always kept his fur
immaculate) so I knew old age was taking its toll. When I saw him in
July I noticed he'd really ballooned up in size, so I knew he wasn't
exercising -- I even teased him that he'd have to go on a diet. Then
I saw him last week and he was skin and bones; that kind of weight
loss in just a few weeks is not good! I told my father to take him to
the vet, but it wasn't until one of the neighbours offered to take him
that Dad made an appointment. It was Cancer, of course. Apparently
there had been no warning of it when Jake was last checked over in
June -- given the pace at which it must have spread, the kindest
option was to let Jake go now. Dad did the sensible thing.

Of course when I found out (yesterday) I was choked, and my mind
wandered back over the times I'd looked after him, and I realised I'd
been very privileged to have known such a character. Then I
remembered the posting on this forum -- I tried to recall how I'd
described 3 year old Jake in that message. Google (as they say)
certainly was my friend, and when I read the message it brought back a
lot of happy memories. I umm'd and arrr'd over whether to post an
update -- I mean, after 9 years nobody is going to care(!!) But I
thought it might help deaden the pain a little to tell you all that
Jake got his purr back, and although he was never quite the same cat
as when I first knew him, he certainly had his moments...

The last memory I have of Jake is him curled up in my parent's
kitchen. The weight loss had the silver lining of him being able to
reach to clean his back properly, and I complimented him on how lovely
his fur now was. I stroked him, and he immediately purred very loud.
He purred just like he did when he was young.

So in a few days time my parents are off on their travels again, and
this time it will just be Chloe who needs looking after. Not sure how
I'll cope, it will be strange indeed not having to trawl the street to
find him (he rarely managed to organise his diary to be at the house
when I was, and always liked to keep me waiting!) But I have a lot of
happy memories, including (in a rather unexpected way) the comments I
posted about youthful Jake on this group all those years ago.


Thanks for listening,
Simon