It’s with great sadness that I write this blog, to commemorate the passing of the fifth member of our family and (sort of) my third ‘child’: Jesse the cat.
He wasn’t with us for long, just over a year in fact. Found originally lost and alone in a small forest, he was given to us by a friend. He soon settled in and became part of the family quickly. My son already had a name picked out for him, in fact he’d had a name picked out for ‘his’ cat for a few years – Jesse.
I won’t say it was a smooth introduction between the cat and myself. I at first just saw this creature as something else that I would have to clean up after, and, while there’s no escaping the fact that this was true, he soon won me over.
He would shower me with cuddles and became almost dog-like in his behaviour. Every morning when I would return from dropping the kids and my partner off, at school and work respectively, he would be waiting for me in the kitchen. He would then head towards the kitchen door and wait patiently, but pointedly, for me to open the door so that we could go into the lounge where he could give me his morning cuddle. This could go on for an hour, and would sometimes impact my morning cleaning schedule. But I never complained.
He was fabulous with the kids, and they adored him. Although my daughter could love him a bit too aggressively, and he would repay this by taking the occasional bite out of her leg. Or claw her face a bit.
Yes, we always used a lot of plasters when Jesse and my daughter got together.
With my son he was more relaxed, as my son seemed to understand that cats didn’t like being disturbed when they were asleep. And that they really hated having an inflated balloon slapped in their face. Something my daughter, for all her smarts, never grasped.
The way Jesse played with the kids was another amazing aspect of his character. He would always be with us when we were outside – even trooping along with us to the postbox to collect the mail (hence why I came to look at him as a third child, he would always walk along behind us, bringing up the rear). And would even participate in games of football, actively chasing down the ball and catching it, like a goalkeeper. Something I have never seen in any other cat.
It was just over a year since Jesse joined us, and we were returning from our holidays, on the way back in the car, when we received the call. He had one of those ear tattoos you see, the ones vets use to identify them with. We knew it wasn’t good news, and as the vet told my partner over the phone what had happened I glanced at her while I drove, seeing the tears shimmering in her eyes, and I knew what was being said. He’d gone venturing one night and hadn’t seen the car coming towards him…and that was that. We were just grateful – as the vet told my partner later – that it was quick, no suffering.
We took the decision to tell the kids immediately, and they cried their eyes out. But, kids being kids, they bounced back soon, and we all participated in building him a memorial garden, as well as planting a flower for him.
So yes you are gone our friend, off to chase flies and spread your hair everywhere in a better place. We will never forget you, and thank you for bringing so much joy to our lives, even if it was for such a brief period.
All our love, always and forever xxxx