This is my Little J. Isn’t he beautiful? He was born on July 4th 1993 and passed away on Labor Day of 2010. From the moment he was born, he was mine. He was meant to be mine. His parents belonged to my downstairs neighbor and Mama Kitty had her babies outdoors late at night. We searched and searched and finally found Little J and his sister Liberty Belle (Bella for short). Little J’s full name was Little Mister 4th Of July. When I picked up the babies from their hiding spot, I held them in my shirt. Bella stayed put, but Little J climbed up the front of my shirt, crying the whole time, put his head in the crook of my neck and fell asleep. He had chosen me. I didn’t know it until the next day but he had chosen me. You see, the woman who lived downstairs was breeding manx cats. His father was a beautiful Siamese-Manx. His coloring was buff and he had big beautiful blue eyes like the Siamese but his body shape was complete Manx. Big, hind legs longer than the front, short stub of a tail. His mother looked for the most part like Little J. A tiny little gray tuxedo tabby, rear legs slightly longer than the front, short nub for a tail. Little J had her beautiful markings, but he was a big manx shaped boy like his father. Except for one little detail. He was a genetic flaw. He had a tail. And that made him worthless to the owner. She was going to let him get big enough and then give him to her son to feed to his snake. I was mortified. The thought of that sweet little baby being raised for food sickened me. I told her that I would take him. I never regretted a day of it. For 17 years he was my best buddy. I loved that cat like he was my own child, and he was. He was my baby. The thursday before he died, he suffered a stroke. I wasn’t able to see his regular vet so we saw the associate. He told me that it was a minor stroke and he’d “probably” be ok. I knew the next day that the vet was wrong. Little J had been blinded by the stroke and was unable to calm down long enough to sleep. He kept wandering around the house, getting trapped in corners and unable to find his way out. On the following Monday, Labor Day, he started having a seizure. I knew what had to be done. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life up to that point. I held him in my arms, and as he took his last breath…he put his head in the crook of my neck and passed away. It ended, just as it had began. And for that I am eternally grateful, he gave me 17 years of joy and love. There is no price in the world you can put on that.
January 24, 2012