Two weeks ago we said goodbye to our precious kitty, Jinx. It’s hard to put into words what a sad day that was for us. Jinx was our only pet and he adopted us back in July of 2005. He started hanging around our house and lounging on our back deck for days on end that summer, till hubby finally agreed he could stay. We took him to the vet, checked to see if he’d been microchipped (he had not), and claimed him as ours. Much later on we would find out that Jinx’s first owner was a person who lived up the street. He’d come from a multi-cat home and apparently wanted to be the only feline, not part of a pack, so he found us. I was secretly thrilled to have a kitty again. All my life I’ve had cats, so at least for me he was a very welcome addition. Here’s one of the first photos we ever took of Jinx:
The vet estimated his age to be about 2 years when we got him. He was young, spry, and more than a little wild at times. Hubby was somewhat reluctant to let him in the house (claiming he was allergic), but it didn’t take long before Jinx knew just which family member he needed to win over.
In absolutely no time at all, “Daddy” became Jinx’s favorite human, and stayed that way all his life. Yes, “Mommy” was okay, but Daddy was special to Jinx and pretty soon Jinx became special to Daddy as well.
Jinx loved to go hunting all his life. He had a lot of fun stalking birds, mice, and even an occasional squirrel. I think the word has gone around the birds in our neighborhood – “the threat is gone”.
We live in a forest, and while we have neighbors on either side, there are nothing but trees across the street. Jinx had a very fun life as both an outside and an inside kitty. Here he is, wandering through the woods near our house:
On cold, wet days Jinx loved to “hug” the heat dish. We often expected his fur to singe, but it never happened.
He grew into a big, pretty boy. At his heaviest we weighed around 12 pounds. Here he is, having a drink of water on the bathroom counter – forget the bowl of water next to his food, nope, he preferred drinking out of his cup.
A few years passed and Mommy & Daddy decided to buy a motor home. It only took a couple trips for Jinx to morph into “Jinx the RV Cat”. He adapted beautifully to RV life and wearing a harness/leash to go exploring outside:
We took a three month long RV trip in the winter of 2014, going from Washington state to California, across the southern USA to Florida and all the way back. The next photo shows Jinx and Daddy looking intently into the distance…
We were in Florida, and they had spied an armadillo!! Jinx desperately wanted to go investigate, but needless to say, that was not allowed.
Jinx was such an easily adaptable kitty! When Mom and Dad bought a vacation place in Palm Springs, of course Jinx came along for several months a year. This place was not “home” though, so Jinx didn’t get the run of the neighborhood. He enjoyed checking out his environment from high places and loved to walk the walls:
The water of the pool didn’t scare Jinx. No, he never went swimming, but he constantly wanted to drink out of the pool which we couldn’t allow because it’s saltwater. Here’s a pic of Jinx and Mommy (his 2nd favorite human):
When Jinx was about 10, he began to lose weight. It was very gradual, and for a long time we thought he was stressed over a stray male cat in the neighborhood. But the weight loss continued even after the stray male was long gone. His appetite really dropped off and he became an incredibly picky eater. He also did a fair amount of regurgitating, which, contrary to popular belief is not normal for cats. You can see by this next photo that he had definitely lost some weight: (still cute and engaging as ever, though!! 🙂
When he lay down, all his bones poked through. It was so sad and so hard to see him literally wasting away.
Jinx was diagnosed with presumed Inflammatory Bowel Disease in March of this year (2016). I say presumed because there is no definitive test to rule it in or out. He may also have had his IBD transform into bowel Lymphoma, which is common. There are many, many cats – and dogs also – who suffer with and eventually die from this debilitating disease. Unfortunately, veterinarians are not certain what causes this to happen, but it’s much like an auto-immune disease. There are plenty of theories out there…. too many carbohydrates in pet food from corn and wheat….. wheat gluten in the gravy of pet foods….. some of the “gums” like carrageenan gum in pet foods….. an allergy to a certain protein such as beef, chicken, or fish. The vet prescribed a special pet food that Jinx flatly refused to eat after a few bites. He was also on steroids, probiotics, and antibiotics at times. On his last vet visit, he was down to 5.5 pounds – such a huge difference from his once robust 12 pounds.
I know that Jinx had a very happy life – here in Washington where he could explore the great outdoors at will, in California where he enjoyed basking in the sun, and on the RV trips where he’d go out on his leash every day. He loved cuddling with his Dad and sitting next to Mom on the top of the couch. He loved visiting all the neighbors (and their indoor kitties) on a regular basis, and was known and loved by all. It will be quite a while before we can think of our special boy and not be sad…. and someday, I hope we’ll be able to open our hearts to another kitty who will love us back with everything they’ve got – just like Jinx did. We miss you, precious boy.
Jinx the Cat 2003-2016 RIP