Goodbye Jean Louise….

Jean Louise( named for Jean Louise Finch in the book To Kill a Mockingbird) was a “hill cat”. We live in a neiighborhood, kind of perched on the side of a hill. And for years there have been wild cats that roam the area. My daughter, when she was only 7 or 8, was playing up the hill with a friend, when she found this tiny black with orange splotches, calico kitten and brought her home. Sigh from her Mother…..another hill cat to raise. She turned out to be a sweet, though somewhat tempermental and nervous little cat. Always petite, Jeannie as we called her, was a part of our lives, along with other cats.
I knew it was coming….Jean Louise had a growth on her hip for several months. The vet didn’t know what it was(turned out to be vaccine induced sarcoma) and wasn’t sure what could be done even if they did know….and as it didn’t bother her, I took my feisty Jeannie home. And she did well for quite a while, but the growth got steadily bigger. One morning last week, I knew something had to be done. The growth had opened up and was weeping…and Jeannie was bothered by it. I loaded her into the cat cage, which she hates, and took her to the vet’s office. We waited for quite a while with an assortment of dogs and cats and their respective owners. But their pets seemed pretty healthy, and I knew, mine probably wasn’t going home again. The vet confirmed that…saying she thought it was a vaccine induced sarcoma…aggressive and really, there was no surgery for it. Especially in a cat 13 years old. She asked,”Do you want to be with her, or would you rather leave?” There was no way I was going to let Jeannie face that on her own…so they prepped her with a little iv into her arm, and then brought her back. She was very quiet, purring a little bit, I scratched her head and told her what a great friend she had been for years, and she had…I think she knew what I felt and somehow it seemed that she knew what was happening…that we were saying goodbye. The vet asked, “Are you ready?”… I nodded. She injected the iv with the little syringe, Jeannie went limp about five seconds later.
Honestly I didn’t expect to cry, I couldn’t tell you why. But I did… for the little limp furry body that didn’t go home with me that day. Little Jeannie. Miss you girl.

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