Her left eye doesn’t close all the way anymore, stuck in the instant before a wink, and her tongue slips out past the tiny front teeth that never fully developed and hangs from her petite mouth. There is a patch of white fur missing from her back and as of most recently one ear remains parallel with the ground at all times. Her sweet face is a mish-mash of teasing expressions that when put together are no laughing matter.
I am describing my angel, JB Cat. She has been with us since the beginning, rescued from a cat jail in Small Town, Indiana. She came as a complete package with ear mites, worms and an extreme stranger danger anxiety that kept her curled up and hissing in a ball for the first three months.
When she finally uncurled and moved out from underneath of the bed, we were still naïve enough to try and keep houseplants and a cat at the same time. JB quickly assessed the situation, found the plants to be enemies, and set out to destroy them with various plots such as knocking them over and pulling them from the dirt. Once free from the houseplant threat, JB settled in for a very long stay.
Over the past decade, she moved with us from apartment to apartment, always packed up in a carrier with the last load of most important belongings, and then finally to a house where she caught her first spricket (a beastly combination of a spider and a cricket).
She terrorized every family member who ever stayed with us for the first few years, sneaking into their room and watching them sleep either from their pillow or chest. On the day before our wedding, she went missing and almost caused a complete mental breakdown and then casually emerged from the recesses of the sofa when we came back to pick up our bags for the honeymoon. Of the three times she escaped, she was always found mewing from under a pile of leaves, frozen by the overstimulation of nature and unfamiliarity of the world.
Most days, she spends her time sleeping on top of furniture and waiting for food. She rarely complains and purrs when pet. JB Cat has personality, history, opinions and plans. After being together for so long, she has a human family, and although, she isn’t liked by all, she is loved (perhaps only by me?). Its hard to imagine life without her hiding from friends, stalking family in the night, or purring on my chest in the evening. Yet, it seems that it’s an approaching reality, one that grows closer with each new ailment from which she never quite recovers. While she is still living and wheezing on the couch behind me, her lifeforce grows dimmer and my sadness grows greater.
This world was never made for one as beautiful as you, JB Cat.