When our 7.5 year old sable Burmese cat Jasper died of lung cancer, I was so sad he wouldn’t be spending Halloween with us! He liked to watch the action and was very curious. He might come back as a friendly ghost I said, in reference to Casper, the cartoon character who was the ghost of a boy who had died of pneumonia.
Since the Burmese breeders we had our minds set on wouldn’t have any kittens available until spring, we thought why not rescue some cats if we can? We decided Sunday to give the Moncton SPCA a try. We first had our eyes on a Siamese mix cat but then we saw two white siblings trying to get our attention. They were one year and one month old and their names were Sampson and Delilah. Sampson was very playful and showing us his new mouse and how good of a hunter he was. Delilah was very shy and stayed at the back tucked in the traveling cage. We weren’t able to handle them but we could tell Sampson was smart: he was trying to seduce us because of course he could tell we would be perfect masters! We filed an application and as we weren’t able to put a reservation on them I was so anxious not knowing if we’d be able to get them on time. On our way back home it started to hail and all became white…
Monday evening, after a stressful day of waiting for a phone call from the SPCA, we went to pick up the cats. We made sure our cat room was ready for them and stopped by the pet shop to get some pheromone spray, a catnip banana (was one of Jasper’s favorite toy) and a Kickaroo. We had some time with them in the play room and Delilah was very shy and afraid, standing low in one corner avoiding eye contact. We were so happy she wasn’t deaf! That is thanks to the tiny barely noticeable grey spot on her head; most white cats with blue eyes are deaf. Even though she didn’t let us touch her or come near her, we were still willing to adopt her as we didn’t want to separate them. I was hoping she wouldn’t be like this forever. Sampson was playing and jumping everywhere growling and hissing any time his sister came near him to play. The cats went into the carrying cage without any fuss and they were quiet and so relaxed on the way home! It seems like they were happy to finally get out of there. The car was quiet compared to the shelter with all the dogs barking and cats meowing.
That night, their names changed and they became Casper and Lily; quite a ways from Spotty and Spotta (the original name their previous owner gave them). After a restful sleep, Lily turned from a lily of the valley to a white lily growing towards the sun.
Tuesday evening we brought them to the vet. Exactly one week after Jasper passed away, we were back at the vet and this time it was all cuddles and good times. What a difference. They all thought the cats were beautiful and were impressed at how well they behaved and how they were affectionate. They are very friendly and not afraid to travel. They said we were lucky… and at the SPCA they said the cats had won the lottery! We think the SPCA was a step up from where they were before… so from there to here is definitely the biggest jackpot! They can’t even imagine what is waiting for them behind the door…
Casper and Lily gained one pound each while at the SPCA and for Lily that was 20% of her weight! The poor thing must have been skinny! Skinny and dirty with her ears full of ear mites and she had fleas. They were able to gain that much weight on a very low daily calorie intake; a quarter cup of dry food twice a day each.
They are quarantined in a room because they need some treatments for about 2 weeks. Alaska is anxious to meet them and I am sure they are anxious as well to meet her. Dami bought a webcam so we can keep an eye on them from our computers or at a distance on our smart phones and even control it! It’ll be interesting to see the dynamics when they meet Alaska!
I hope she’ll like her new friends. We’ll have to wait two more weeks!
On Tuesday October 13th, we lost our Burmese cat Jasper to lung disease. He was 7.5 years old. It was all so sudden that we were not prepared to say goodbye. It was all so unreal. In the morning he was breathing fast and we thought he was having some trouble with a hairball so we gave him his regular wet food and then some hairball chews and he hadn’t forgotten his tricks: turn, sit pretty, shake a paw and high five!
Then after he jumped on Dami, he seemed to be worse and we could see his abdomen inflate and deflate as he was breathing fast. It didn’t seem normal. Jasper had a scared and worried look on his face so at 2 PM we decided to bring him to Coverdale Vet Hospital. They took X-Rays and it showed a lot of liquid in his lungs. We had to leave him there in observation. I kissed him while he was in the technician’s arms and we went home, a little worried but not too much as we knew he was in good hands.
We got a call from the hospital at 6 and were told he wasn’t responding well to the injections to clear the liquid in the lungs and he would need to stay overnight with a dedicated technician to look after him. Then, a little before 8 O’clock, they called again to tell us he was in grave state; as he had trouble getting air in his lungs, he panicked, jumped all over cage and lost consciousness. They kept him alive with the breathing tube, massaging his heart, keeping his pulse but he didn’t have the energy to breathe on his own. As we arrived, we were explained what was going on and it was a very tragic moment for everybody. We all fought back our tears. More X-Rays showed that liquid continued to fill the lungs fast even after the injections. There was blood in the breathing tube and Jasper was already gone. He had lost the light in his eyes, his tongue was blue and his bladder emptied itself. After all this work to keep him alive we had to let him go with an injection, to stop his heart this time.
Our hearts are since so heavy and the house feels so empty without Jasper. Alaska, his half-sister, is now all alone. She looks for him and then I tell her he’s gone, and that he won’t be coming back. She sees us cry from time to time, we seem to take turns Dami and I but sometimes we cry together. She is such a smart cat that I now she understands what is going on. Ever more so today as she was watching me do a complete clean-up of the litter boxes, keeping only one, putting the second one in storage and removing one food bowl. With Jasper gone, we get double the affection and she hops in our arms more than ever.
Jasper left us so soon. He won’t be there with his red bow tie to greet the kids in two weeks on Halloween night; he loved it so much! The children always had compliments for him; he was such a handsome cat. Maybe he’ll come back as a friendly ghost and wag his tail on the kid’s noses and purr in their ears…
Just like any pet owner, we gave Jasper lots of names. Sometimes he was JJ, Jasper Jones, Jujubes, Sweet Lips, Little Brownie, Little Monkey, Bébé brun, Bébé loup. I sang him so many songs, originals too! How fortunate both of us were.
As we are mourning, we were thinking of adopting a couple of Burmese kittens! It would be so nice to see how Alaska would react if she saw two kittens! She has such a great maternal instinct we’re sure she would love them. But then, we went to the Moncton SPCA and fell in love with a couple of white cats and hope to be able to have them with us in the next few days. For those cats it will be like winning the biggest Lotto Max ever! They are in for quite a treat! To be continued…
Our dear Jasper passed away suddenly. We are very sad to say goodbye to him. We did not expect to have to say goodbye when he was so young. He had an aggressive illness that took his life within a day of the first appearance of symptoms. Alaska has lost her brother and is sad. We are sad to have lost such a kind living and affectionate creature who had been with us for almost 8 years. Jasper was a beautiful animal who loved to be held and carried and cuddle and play. He liked to hop up on his papa and liked to snuggle with his mama under the covers.
We are very sad to lose our Jasper.
We will always remember him and are glad to be able to look at pictures of Jasper and his sister Alaska.