This morning my mother called to let me know that Jess, (my sister's cat) is no longer with this world. She had been missing for a day and a half, and my father found her near the back yard of my sister's house while searching for her. It appears that she was hit by a car and didn't suffer long.
My sister is devastated, as we all are. She was such a good kitty to all of us. She was well mannered, loved hunting mice, chasing birds, eating treats and just doing all the things that kitties do. She had nice, soft fur and groomed herself very well. She lost her tail in an unseen incident long ago, but was certainly not any less lovable to people. Some of the neighbourhood kids knew her and she'd even let a child as young as four pick her up. She was good to my nephews when they were young and would let them give her "hugs". Jess was pretty selective about who she would spend time with when she wanted attention, but we let her love us back as she desired. She liked to be scratched on the head and would close her eyes with delight. If it was cold outside, she'd want to cuddle to warm up when she came in. Then she'd go downstairs as soon as she was done. She hated extra windy days and tree sap on her feet in the spring.
She loved being outside as much as possible, especially when Onyx the kitten came into her house last summer. They didn't get along at first, but she never hurt him. Jess hardly ever meowed unless she either really wanted to go outside, or if she wanted a treat from my dad or my sister, but she would meow to greet me outside when I visited.
Her favorite toy was a string. She would bat at it, snatch at it with her teeth and hunt it like a pro if you pulled it around. And if you could get her in that moment where she was just about ready to kill from a crouching stance, she would wiggle her butt a little before she'd pounce for the string. It was so cute. There is a park outside my sister's house, and if you went out to the park, she'd follow you there and keep you company. She seemed to be more motherly with Onyx this spring. On one of my sister's first outings this spring, she crossed the street to the park with Jess. When Jess saw that Onyx wasn't coming, she turned around to wait, but then went back to where he was. During play time inside, Jess seemed to be content to watch Onyx doing the playing until he grew up a bit. Recently, I was able to alternate play between the two in the same room. Sometimes I got to see them be nice to each other too. It was so good to see that.
Naturally, Jess was special to my sister. She always said that whenever she was really sad, Jess could tell and would give her extra cuddles. She loved her very much and would talk to her often when she was close. She always treated her with love and kindness. Even though Jess never lived with me, she was extra special. She marks the reforming times in the life of a man who had always held off love in fear and contempt, and had long since built himself a heart of solid stone to prove it. Jess played a major role in slowly opening it up and helped him turn into a more real human being than he'd ever been.
Jess, I will never forget what you have done for me. You are no longer able to be in my life, but I will remember you forever...