Monday, May 05, 2014

That Effin' Killing Crate.

For much of the eleven years she was in my life, I was never truly hers.
Jasmine was not the cat that I loved most, no. I never really loved cats to begin with - at heart, I'd call myself a dog lover - and she was as catty in behaviour as they came. It's part of the reason why I loved my orange boy cat Pumpkin so much because he acted very much like a dog. 
He was the one that was smart. The one that I found using the toilet one morning because the door to the basement where his litter box was, was somehow closed and he had to take matters into his own paws. He was the one that I played video games with and revealed my secret love of the USA network to. Why? Because one day, Pumpkin decided he was going to be a lap cat. Whenever I sat down on that couch, Pumpkin would find himself nestled in my lap.
I was Pumpkin's girl. He owned me.
Jazzy was my cat. I owned her.
Pumpkin and Jazzy were my Brother Bunji's cats in the years before he and my sister-in-law, Angelo started a family. Soon after my first nephew, little A-Face was born, we discovered that he had severe allergies to the cats. And so, some tears later at the thought they would be sheltered, I took both of them into my home. I couldn't bear to think of them living in a shelter again after having been a part of our family for so long.
Jazzy had always loved my Angelo. Jazz was aloof and cold towards every single one of us except my sister-in-law. Due to that, my relationship with her was that she was just this pet I had. I tried to be nice to her but was often met by slaps or an evil eye.
It took a few years but things started changing after she moved in with me. I became the hand that fed her. I was the one that pet her daily. I was the one that let her lick my toes and sleep by my feet. I didn't realize it at the time but she started to love me. In fact, she loved me too much.
Her bad behaviour began about four years ago when she began to get very aggressive towards Pumpkin. She began acting out for one reason that was very apparent - she was diagnosed with stomatitis. Her gums were inflamed and she was cranky. Some hundreds of dollars later on medication and pet clinic visits, Jazzy became well again. Except, her naughty behaviour continued. And on the walk from the ice-cream truck to the Tabletop RPG store, Beetchie said something that struck a chord with me. It was the second reason for her behavior that made me terribly sad.
"Hmm, you know...Jazz is very jealous of Pumpkin. She's a one person sort of cat. It's probably why she's acting up and being so aggressive towards him. You're the one she loves now," she said.
It was true. I had caught Jazz giving Pumpkin the evil eye whenever he sat in my lap. She was prone to dishing those out all the time to anyone who would dare look in her direction, but with Beetchie's words in the back of my mind, I began seeing the signs.
The cat that I didn't think shared in all my passions for questionable television programming and fifty plus hour long RPGs, was actually sitting behind my head the entire time and taking it all in too. She just wanted to be close to me.
Last Labor Day when I had to put my little Pumpkin down, I sobbed. When I brought the crate home without the cat, Jazz sniffed it with curiosity. When the days went by and she showed no interest about the cat that never came home, I recalled Beetchie's words.
With no other cat to stand in her way, Jazzy became enamoured with me. She would stalk me around the house, always at my heels. She would wait outside my bedroom door. She even dared to step on my lap a few times, but she was never quite sure how to be a lap cat. She instead would constantly nudge at my hand for me to pet her. All those years of ignoring me, and for my part, all my years of somewhat ignoring her were gone. Jazzy actually became affectionate, something I never thought I would see.
A short time ago, I knew something was wrong again and attributed it to her stomatitis flaring up. Even with her drooling mouth, she followed me around and tried to cuddle. She was sick but she was as trusting and loving as ever.
I knew I had to do right by her - and although I thought about the monetary set back it would be especially having been unemployed for nearly a year - I knew I would just have to suck it up. It was the least I could do for my little cat. 
I packed her up in the crate Saturday morning and took her to the vet. Thinking I would be set back $235 or so with an additional $35 for her steroid medication, I came home instead with the same empty crate and a $368 cremation fee and pick up slip. And tears. Lots and lots of tears.
I am happy to report that my little Jazzy girl left this world as the bitch she was until the end.
When the vet gave her her second to last shot to calm her, she hissed and snapped at him. When I stopped petting her head after the five minute session and took my hand away, she gave me a cut eye as if to say, "Bitch, I didn't tell you to stop petting me."
Someone told me today that I should think about the good times I had with her. And yeah, I'll remember how adept she was at killing moths and assorted bugs. I'll remember her sweet little meow. and how she used to jump on the front door and look out for me. Just last night I went to open the front door and thought I heard a little familiar meow. H1 says she was saying goodbye to me.
I'll definitely remember how close she and I became in past few years.
But the first thing I remember of the good times with her, was that she was a mean little bitch like you wouldn't believe. It was a part of her personality and she had sass. And you know, I can't help but laugh.
Here's to you my little Jazzy - a true bitch amongst ourselves.
I love you.

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