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 Precious Jasper

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Posts : 12
Join date : 2009-06-10

PostSubject: Precious Jasper   Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:43 am

Precious Jasper

Our reasons for seeking to understand the meaning of life are surely as much a conundrum as the living experience itself. But equally perplexing is the savoring or otherwise of each mortal drama, imbued as it is with its unique aroma or energy of the universe. But does it hold a key to new awareness or understandingÖ if we are but ready to receive its message?

Shortly after making a move to Edmonton a few years ago after touring the Okanagan Valley, my husband, James, and I rented a basement apartment as a temporary sanctuary in which to ponder our next move. It certainly provided the fixed address we needed for winter.

Early one evening, whilst settling into a comfortable chair, my attention was drawn to a small, white face intently peering at me through our living-room window. At first I was a little taken aback by the ghostly apparition, but quickly realized that a peeping-tomcat had come to satisfy his curiosity about our new residency. Perhaps his real interest was directed towards Amber, the stray female of his species who had adopted us just months earlier.

Over the next few weeks of the late Spring thaw, the tomcatís visits became more frequent, yet he always bolted as soon as we made eye contact or whenever our cat leapt onto the windowsill in response to his presence. From the scraggly-looking appearance of matted hind quarters, it seemed apparent this was an alley-cat of no fixed abode; his sad demeanor attested to this fact each time he scuttled past the building, tail down, ears held slightly back, his belly almost touching the ground.

Of course, I tried to make friends whenever I saw him approaching and I meowed well-intentioned catcalls as an invitation for him to draw near. Either Iím a rotten feline impersonator, or I inadvertently convey the wrong message. The stray was definitely not impressed and with what seemed to be an unmistakable look of fear, he stole away.

Nevertheless, I did persevere, and one day, to my great surprise and delight, my efforts were rewarded when the feline nervously approached the window. He answered my vocal discord with an almost inaudible meow that had a definite query in its tone.

My husband, James, hit on a brilliant idea when the stray cat appeared to be responding: I should continue my verbal feline impersonations and he would he go outside with a tasty offering of tid-bits designed to tempt the feline palate.

To Jamesís amazement, when he approached the old puss it didnít bolt, although it did slink into a nearby shrub as if waiting for the next move. My husband placed his offering a short distance from the bushy refuge, waited awhile, then came back inside. We both watched from the window as the cat cautiously approached the food and then ate.

This maneuver was repeated over the ensuing weeks until the old stray felt comfortable in Jamesís presence. A kind of trust developed which eventually led the cat into our home. Although easily spooked, he proved to be very affectionate, and we named him Precious Jasper because of the beautiful red and grey markings on his back. Even Amber tolerated his presence. And we were overjoyed when we discovered that the old stray even knew how to behave around litter-boxes.

A week or so later, we discovered that Precious Jasper had a very tender area on his back near his tail. We took him to the vet for a checkup. Sadly, the joy and self-satisfaction of being stray-cat saviours was very short lived. Careful examination of the sore area subsequently revealed an inoperable tumor. The vet said kitty must be experiencing a lot of pain and recommended a lethal injection.

We left the vetís office without Precious Jasper and we were filled with sadness. Puss had reached the end of his nine lives.
Had we betrayed Precious Jasper by enticing him into our home hence speeding up his demise? Or, was the scenario created so that a very sick cat could enter kitty-heaven painlessly?

This was a conundrum indeed. And it definitely was a mortal drama, albeit one that we could not savor. But did it bring us closer to understanding the meaning of life? Iím not really sure, although I do know that Precious Jasper will remain in our hearts for longer than he was with us physically. Nevertheless, for months after his demise I would look up at the living-room window, half expecting to see a small white face peering at me intently.

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Posts : 1201
Join date : 2008-08-03
Age : 62
Location : Adelaide, South Australia

PostSubject: Re: Precious Jasper   Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:28 pm

Diana, what a touching story, and you tell it so well!
I think this series of events was fate for you, James and Precious Jasper. Imagine what pain that poor animal would have been in prior to your taking him in. And your patience most certainly must be rewarded.
It was a far better thing you did than to let him die alone, in pain and out in the cold somewhere, and what would have become of his lifeless body?
No, I feel sure it was meant to be. At least he had someone to love him in his final days.

I too have a cat, her name is Puss and she, like yours, adopted us.
I feel sure that she came from the house at the back of ours because at one time they had a plethura of cats over there. Puss found her way into our back garden one day and stayed! At first we took no notice of her because we thought that she might have gone home. We ignored her cries but we allowed her to stay in our back garden for as long as she wanted to.
We had a holiday planned at the time. We were booked to go to Queensland for 15 days. At that time we had a cat named Tabby, but because of our concern for her in our absence, we gave her to my husband's ex-partner. We knew Tabby would have a good home with her and be well looked after.
And then Puss arrived!
You can imagine how we didn't want to get too close to her knowing that we were going away and also feeling that if we did, she may return home and leave us broken-hearted.

When we returned from our holiday Puss was still here and looking very shabby indeed. Her long coat was matted and her cries were those of real hunger pangs. I couldn't help myself, I had to feed her. From that day on Puss was truly ours. She has been with us ever since, which has been well over three years now. But of course now, instead of her being the taken-in stray, she rules to roost...or she thinks she does
She now comes in and out of the cat door as she pleases, sleeps in any room which takes her fancy and drops fur-balls all over the place! I have to mention though that she is house trained and always has been, she goes outside whenever it is time, and she never jumps on any furniture with the exception of one of our side tables in the lounge room, which we quickly stopped happening. She only has to be told 'no' once and she never does it again!
One day I caught her jumping up on to the kitchen bench to steal a sausage. I told her off for that and she has never done it again.
The other day mu husband caught her sleeping on the roof of his car. Normally we wouldn't mind but it is a convertable with a black cloth roof. The last thing hubby needs is to have her sharpening her claws on that, plus she has a mass of white fur. All over the top!! He quickly shooed her off and told her not to get up there again and she obeys!
I feel sure that Puss sought us out for a reason, however, that reason has yet to be discovered.

To the believer, no proof is necessary - to the skeptic, no proof is enough!
You can't die for the life of you - Gordon Smith
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