Your Pet Loss Stories

'Our Beloved Jazzy'

by Marian

His name was not really original. It stemmed from my aged mother's confusion about the name of one of our other cats who was living with us in Florida -- his name was Taj Mahal but we called him "Waj". She couldn't get that and so she called him Jazz.

When Jazz was born on June 10, 2001 (my late father's birthday) he was one of 5 kittens born to our little newly adopted/rescued Mama (aka Mama-San). 2 big strapping dark boys, and 3 lovely tortoiseshell girls. We named them (though not at first), Zee, Jazz, Honey, Twiggy, and Lola (aka Au Lait). Originally, their names were Phantom, Jazz, Honey, Maple, Au Lait.

As time went on, the names changed. But Jazz was always Jazz and he was a very beautiful boy -- a black and gray striped tabby with white in the right places. He moved like a panther/supermodel and I loved watching him walk. No one else moved like he did, looked like he did, did the things he did, the way he did them. He was an inside cat.

We had him neutered at about 6 months, gave him his first shots, and then kept him indoors along with his brothers and sisters. They enjoyed the garage, which was too cold for him at the end (he was so thin, there was no insulation against the cold). He began to vomit, quite violently and initially, he received a diagnosis of IBD. I researched online, and began to experiment with special food for him -- though he really did not enjoy it.

At first, he was treated with pepcid but eventually I received meds that were compounded for him -- methanidazole and prednisolone and vitamin B-12 injections. He hated the syringe administered meds and did not seem to notice the injections. He had lost a lot of weight by the time we saw the vet again early this year, was down to 6 pounds, so we began the medical blitz which didn't help, because he continued to vomit and lose weight, though he was still active, still groomed himself, still ate (almost ravenously). Up to and including the night before he was put to sleep.

The next morning I woke to find him collapsed and not interested in anything. When he tried to get up, he couldn't, and would collapse helplessly. I was ill myself, but got him to the vet in the hopes that they could do something (hydrate?) him to get his energy back. The vet just shook his head and said that he was really really bad (ill) and that he thought it was probably cancer and told me what his findings were and it was evident that my beloved Jazzy was suffering. So I elected to let him go and not suffer any longer. I knew it would hurt but I did not know it would hurt this much.

My feelings now are grief, guilt, confusion, anger that I was so stupid, fearful that I made him suffer for the entire 2 years, and especially in these last weeks. I know I won't ever have all the answers about his illness, and now I worry that he is all alone out there somewhere, his best buddy (his big brother, Zee -- they were inseparable) left behind. No one to take care of him now. It is all such a mash of feelings and emotions and grief and fear, and a sick in the pit of the stomach feeling.

I've cremated all my animals. mostly because I've moved so much and haven't had a permanent place to bury them in. And that is still the case. But the thought of his cremation upsets me now and I cannot put my finger on exactly why. I also recognize that I am coming to the end of my own life (I'm 74 and having health problems) and am concerned for my children and what they'd have to deal with when I die.

I apologize for unloading all of this information, and all of my grief here. I have nowhere else to do so...

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