Jasper left us just after midnight last night. He started having seizures Monday afternoon and it was all downhill from there. He passed away laying on a towel on our bed with my wife whispering his name and saying goodbye. I won’t go into further details. As Legolas said, “for me the grief is still too near.”
He was a monster among cats, weighing twenty-two pounds a good portion of his life and little of that was fat. We started referring to him as “the baby” when he was a kitten and for the rest of his life he would answer to either his given name or to just “Baby.” He was ridiculously fussy, insisting on fresh cold water several times a day and only eating only Purina’s Pro Plan cat food his entire life. When Purina changed the packaging from foil bags to plastic jugs he declared it poison. We ended up driving fifty miles to a store that still had the bags and buying their entire stock. Until about a year ago, if I opened a new container of food he’d avoid it for a couple days because POISON!
Jasper was never a cuddler but he liked to always be near his people. He was friendly to guests and developed a great relationship with one of our closest friends. He’d demand to be picked up for short periods of time, would love to lick my hand and then maneuver so that hand would rub the side of his enormous head. He wasn’t one that would spend the night sleeping with us but he’d always check in for a little while, purring like a diesel engine on idle.
Jasper led a very particular life. He was not fond of change. We moved three times in two years and it was traumatic each time. This was a cat that would take weeks to adapt to a new water bowl. But he enjoyed life as much as any pet I’ve ever had, including dogs. He would get this beatific expression that my wife called “Happy Jaspy”, front paws stretched out in front of him, eyes closed to slits, and an expression on his muzzle that was a close to complete and utter bliss as an animal could get.
The last couple months were hard on Jasper and I’m glad he’s no longer suffering. He’s in a better place now, with the beloved cats he grew up and grew old with: Jasper, Hodge, Poca. His paws are stretched out. He’s smiling.