Every so often, someone comes into your life and makes a mark so irrevocably deep that it burns into your heart and no matter how long they stay, that mark will remain forever.
It is just that way with JackJack and I. I fell absolutely in love with him the moment I saw his very first baby pictures. His good(ish) eye gazing solidly at the camera, cattitude rolling off him in waves. His youth was full of theft; theft of loaves of bread, thefts of earphones and the theft of almost every heart with whom he came in contact. He came to be known as Captain Jack, a pirate, but a lovable one.
When he was a year old, his breeder (Nicola at Misfit Sphynx) who had hand reared him after his mother rejected him, decided it was time for him to find a new home and she asked if we would like to have him. We were thrilled to say yes. When he arrived, he strolled out of his carrier as though he owned the place. He was big in every way, stature and personality alike. He had a purr so loud you could hear it across the room, and would leap upon anything that moved with the agility of a polar bear! He loved to make new friends, and many a confirmed sphynx disliker was converted in the face of JackJack’s unrelenting friendliness. He enchanted vets, builders and postmen alike and even though many thought him to be not conventionally beautiful, to me and to those who knew him he was living proof that inner beauty makes you beautiful. Through sheer force of nature and lovable roguishness, he befriended friend and foe alike.
He was never one to allow his disability to stand in his way and with his unconventional eye and 40% vision, he was an inspiration and testament to the abilities of those whom we write off as disabled. He was an optimist, even when he was very sick, he put on the bravest face. Even at the very end, when his big heart was giving out on him, he still managed to try and purr. His courage in the face of his illness made me so proud of him at the same time as breaking my heart.
He was my friend and I am grateful everyday that he touched my life and also the lives of so many people around us. I count it a privilege to have known him, shared some of the journey with him and I will try to be brave as he was brave in the face of ever increasing ill health. How ironic that the cat with the biggest heart I have ever known should have died from a faulty heart.
Grief is the price we pay for love and although our time together was short, it was joyful and adventure-filled. JackJack deserved many more years, I deserved many more years with him and I will miss him forever. My heart is broken, the tears fall and I fear that life will not be the same here.
So now, JackJack, farewell my heart’s beloved, farewell my Peter Pan cat, death will be an awfully big adventure and although our paths diverge here, you will live in my heart, for always. Thank you for being inspirational. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me.