Jaz

A while back, before we moved to Switzerland, my cat, Jaz, was dying. We decided – or it was decided – that it was best to put her to sleep. Then she recovered and we were glad she could come down to Switzerland with us. We bought special food for her kidney problem and made sure she drank enough.

We have been down in Switzerland for about six weeks now. She has been fine for about four or five of them. But she´s getting worse. She refuses most of her food, her odor has worsened and she is getting weaker. It is like she is on a death wish. Sometimes she does eat, but then it´s like she remembers she decided not to. We have been buying her proper food like sardines or chicken. She will eat a bit, but then leave it.

We have been talking about what to do about her. She is quite probably suffering in some way, so putting her to sleep would be an option.

I know this is probably what´s best for her. I do find I have a problem with “euthanasia” though. It does not matter what I think though. They say it´s their way to die with dignity. But the thing is we´d probably have to take her to the vet, so get her in a box, in the car, into a place she doesn´t know. And I can´t help thinking we are taking something away from her. But I think her signals are quite clear at the moment. After twenty years, she is ready to go.

It will be hard. She has been with me all my life. But I feel like she will be gone soon whether we put her to sleep or not.

When I was a little girl, I wDSC_0223as afraid of Jaz. She was this huge black thing that would walk close by me. I also used to be afraid of ravens.

Until I was about fourteen I didn´t dare pick her up. I was afraid she´d attack me. She hates being touched at the stomach. And if she was sitting somewhere, she would not be moved. She would stand her ground. Now she´s not that vicious anymore.

She was a challenge for vets. Despite our warnings that she could be quite aggressive, they were still surprised when she screeched at them, bit and scratched.

She has always been a very opinionated cat.

Despite what I´ve just told DSC_0002you, she still loved us. She chose us. She came to us from a different home in the neighbourhood and stayed here, had her kittens. I don´t really remember because I was very young.

She is the same age as me, her birthday is august 1, same birthday as Switzerland.

She would always bully our other cat, Kitty. And before that Kitty´s mum, Lucy. Sometimes she would just walk by Kitty in a menacing fashion to make a point.

Now she just lies down, sleeps. We´ve all decided she probably won´t live much longer.

Her back legs are wobbly, you feel her bones when you stroke her, she sleeps face-down sometimes.

It´s sad. She´s had a good life with us. And she´s a fighter, she´s come this far. She has a split in her ear from a cat fight. She has had many cat fights, won most of them, a few weeks ago she fought a dog – the dog got hurt – she has brought us many a mouse, birds too and once we found a live mole in our living room. She´s ripped up tons of paper, given us plenty of scratches and sat on our laps, whether we wanted it or not, purring for at least three cats, wulffed tons of ham, chicken, cheese, milk – brought in fleas and ticks, stolen Kitty´s and Lucy´s food almost every time.

We love her and we will always miss her. But I suppose even this cat can´t live forever.

So she is still with us for now – but here´s to the mice-hunting, food-loving, face-licking cat who could take it up with anyone until about a year ago. The mouse population will be on a rise from here on out.

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