Jacob...rest in eternal loving peace...

It is with broken heart that I announce that Jacob, my dearest friend of 13 years and icon cat of 5, passed away the morning of September 29 2008. He was 15 years old.

He first came into my life from a friend of my sister who could no longer keep him because of a new apartment residence. I had another cat at the time and he was first welcomed by loud hissing and growling. I remember his response of simply ignoring the other cat, walking past and immediately claiming my house his own. His was definitely a quirky nonchalant persona which often resulted in me messing with him to break past this stoic demeanor to provoke reaction.

In 1998 or so, he somehow escaped the house and went missing. I searched everywhere but after one month, I considered him lost forever. I still remember vividly the summer day two months after he disappeared when a mangy black cat scurried past my house on the street...a somewhat familiar one. I called out his name and he stopped, staring for a long moment before running up to me meowing loudly. Since then, he never left my side.

In the recent months, he was diagnosed with hyperactive thyroidism with possible heart disease and was prone to heavy fluid buildup in his lungs. He fought hard to stay with us, dealing with countless tests, lung stints, minor operations and bothersome medications. His final days were difficult to witness as he was no longer was the spirited feline he once was, mostly laying still unmoving with hindered breathing with no appetite. I weighed heavily the guilty thought of taking his fate into my own hands. On his final morning, he raised his head to greet me from his favored sleeping spot and I spent an extra long personal moment with him before I left for work. Within a few hours afterwards, I received a call that he went peacefully in his sleep...as I prayed he would within his home and amongst those who loved him most.

I already miss him dearly. I miss seeing his head in the window waiting for me to come home. I miss him greeting me at the door. I miss his shadowing me everywhere I went in the house. I miss him taking over my lap as soon as I sat in front of the computer. I miss him fetching me his favorite crinkle ball when he decided he wanted to play. I miss him purring contently next to me when I layed in bed to sleep. And I know I'll miss him being nosey while I'm shooting my art.

But I also know he is at peace.

He was cremated later that evening and part of his ashes will be spread amongst the flower bed he always overlooked outside his favorite window.

Be happy, free and forever loved, my dear friend...

(My first photo and thus my first model with my first digital camera in 2004)


Lela said...

My heart is with you, my dearest friend. May the light shine upon you now, with the same warmth that he brought to you, and will always bring to your heart.

I am, and will be, going thru nearly the same, with my oldest dog... my first "child"... and I know I will look to the strength of those like you, to make it thru.

warm hugs,

Neil A said...

Though I only know you by your incredibly creative work, and by association with mutual aquaintences, I was moved by your loving tribute to Jacob.

6 months ago I would never have written this. I was not a "cat person". I'm not really one to this day, but last winter a young, skinny long-haired black cat started showing up on our porch to eat bits we left out for birds.

Eventually we invited him into our house, and eventually he had enough trust in us to come in. Mr. Kitty is now an important part of our household, though he still spends half his waking life outdoors.

I now understand the joy you must have felt at finding Jacob after so many weeks, and the heartbreak you feel at losing him. I'm sure he couldn't have lived any better life than the one he had with you.

By the way, everyone I know that has worked with you (Seema, Iris, et al) have nothing but the highest regard for you. Not just for your creative work but as a person.

Keep up your great work and I look forward to seeing more in MM and on your blog.

Highest regards,
Neil A