Goodbye, Jim

Sorry I haven't posted today. This morning, Mr. Shakes and I had to have Big Jim put to sleep. He was 11.

Shakers who have been around awhile have read about Jimmy before. I got him from a local animal shelter. There was a huge cage full of kittens right inside the front door, one more adorable than the next. One was all white except for a black tail. One was all black except for a little white moustache. Fourteen of them—thirteen of which mewed and pawed out through the bars of the cage for my attention, purring and doing their best to look cute. The other one, ugly as sin, all ears and completely pathetic, sat in the food dish, looking miserable. “I’ll take him,” I said. The animal shelter volunteer looked at me like I was nuts. “The one in the food dish?” I nodded. “Yep.” She gave me a look that tells me they probably still tell the tale of the girl who adopted the antisocial food dish cat a decade later. My rationale was that all the others were so cute, they’d be adopted in no time. But who would take the ugly little sod who made no attempt at affection? He was definitely the one.

Jimmy was later diagnosed with epilespsy, and much later, with diabetes. For years, we've been giving him two shots of insulin a day. Recently, he started to go downhill. He couldn't always make it to the litter box anymore. We pulled the carpet out of the office and covered the floor with plastic lining, so if he had an accident, it wouldn't matter. That worked for awhile, but in the last week, he stopped eating and got so weak he could barely walk. He dropped from 18 pounds to 13 in a matter of days. He couldn't clean himself anymore, so I brushed him and cleaned him with a damp rag, which he enjoyed, flicking his tail and thumping it against me in the way he always had to let me know he was happy.

He was a great cat, and in spite of all his troubles, he never fussed and never complained, and was always in a good mood. My heart is just breaking thinking about not seeing him anymore; I really loved the little bugger more than I can say.

I'm going to miss our boy. Goodbye, Jimmy.

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