Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Tribute to Jackie & Cloey

This is Jackie and Cloey.

Of all the kittens that I have fostered,
they are truly the 2 most affectionate.

Yesterday, I learnt that they had passed away 2 years ago.
Jackie died from kidney failure.
And Cloey from a broken heart.

They were only 4 years old.

I would like to take some time to remember them
and to share with you some memories
that I will always hold close to my heart.

Back in 2005,
I became an official foster for the Cat Welfare Society.
Within a week of volunteering my services,
a box arrived at my door.
As I peered slowly into it,
5 of the sweetest faces looked right back at me.

The smallest and the weakest of the litter were Jackie and Cloey.

Jackie, whom I had named Jackeroo back then,
was the second smallest in size, the skinniest of the litter
and had one badly scratched eye.
I was given instructions on how to
apply a special ointment twice a day directly into the eye.

I was quite nervous about that.
Because at that time, I wasn't just a 1st-time foster carer,
it was my first time EVER taking care of a cat.
I had never even touched one before this.
And now I had to put ointment in a cat's eye?

But Jackie turned out to be the gentlest of angels.
She made me feel like an old-time pro at eye ointment application.
She made it easy for me.
No struggling. No fussing.

And Jackie was a natural-born hairdresser.
She loved jumping up on to people's shoulders
and grooming their hair.

Sometimes, in my own quirky mind,
I picture her as a 1950's hairdresser,
with scissors in paw,
nagging me about the frizzy mop on my head.

Cloey, whom I called Diva back then, was the tiniest of the lot
and sick with the flu.

I hadn't known this at that time,
but the vets were not expecting her to survive.

What they did not know was how feisty she was.
Her minute size fooled them all.
She was a fireball and a very demanding one at that.
She demanded full-on, hardcore, 100%-concentrated attention.

For example, if she looked at me,
it wouldn't be enough for her that I look back.
I had to stare back with the same intensity right into her eyeball.

And if I didn't stare back for a long enough time,
she would mew and mew and mew until I satisfied her time quota.

Here's another example.
Cloey was fussy with the after-meal seating arrangement on my body.
After every meal,
the 5 kittens loved/wanted/needed to sleep on me.
So I would oblige them by sitting on the floor and
letting them nap on my legs.
It wouldn't be enough for her to have a comfy spot.
No, she had to be the one seated closest to my belly.
She would walk all over the other horizontal bodies to get to her choice spot.

See the photos below?

That's her plonking down on top of my tummy.

I cared for Jackie and Cloey till they reached 4 months of age
and then I managed to get them adopted out together.
They were the first to leave me
and how I cried that night.

Even though I had steeled myself for the separation
which is a part of what fostering is about,
the bond and the attachment had occurred.
I hadn't even realised the impact they had made on me until I had to let them go.

The last time I saw them was about a year later.
I had organised a reunion for the 5 kitties and
their adopters were happy to oblige.

Jackie was still thin.
But had retained her confidence, curiosity and loving nature.
Her adopters told us stories of the great affection she would shower on
their pet dogs, rabbits and birds.

Cloey's body had filled out well,
but her face remained kittenish.

How she made us all laugh that night with her fierce pursuit of Bombay,
trying zealously to rekindle the old bond with her brother.

These are the last photographs I had taken of Cloey.

It made me smile when she mewed in the middle of the hall
and her dad tapped his chest.
She immediately flew into his arms and settled down to sleep.
It gave me great comfort and joy to see how in-sync they were.

I have been told that Jackie waited for her Dad and Mom
to be with her before she passed on.
Cloey missed her sister so much that she wouldn't eat.
She passed way peacefully soon after in her sleep on her Dad's chest.
Their deaths have been a huge blow to the family
and they struggle with the pain to this day.

I have shed many tears since last night
recalling all my treasured memories of these two little ones.
They may have been small, but their hearts and personalities were enormous.

Farewell, my Jackie.
Farewell, my Cloey.
I have missed you and will always miss you.

With love, cuddles and kisses...
Your Foster Mommy,
5-Cat Style


The Island Cats said...

What a wonderful story of how you fostered Jackie and Cloey...I wish the ending would have been happier...I share a tear or two with you....

Island Cats' mom

A few Good Cats said...

Their story ended so sadly, but both little ones left lots of good memories. The ones you wrote about were probably just a tiny portion of the happiness they brought the humans who came in touch with them. And you gave them that chance by fostering them.

Natalie said...

Oh, this story made me cry! They sound like such sweet and special kitties, and they sure made an impact even in their short time on earth. What little darlings.

Anonymous said...

Riley does the shoulder-sitting hair-grooming thing, just like Jackie, and also knows the "tap your chest means jump up", like Cloey. So sad that they passed so young, but how lovely that you, and their forever family, got to spend such precious time with them. *purrrrrs*

Dawn said...

So sorry to hear this. I hope you'll be okay.

Cat said...

I have shed tears too hearing this story, it is so sad that they died so young!!! But just think, they might not have even enjoyed the wonderful life they did if it were not for the love and care you gave them when they needed it the most!!! How wonderful that you have kitten pictures to remember Jackie and Cloey and now that you have shared their story, we will remember them too :-)

Luscious Lucy said...

Oh, gosh, I can hardly breathe now. This made me cry so hard. YOU are such an angel, oh, such an angel! A million blessings are following your every step and a bunch of those are from me. This was the most touching and tender story. I will never forget this or Jackie or Cloey or you.
Do you know how sometimes there is something that just gets right into you? This was one of those moments for me.

Sparkle said...

Even though their story has a sad ending, it's so wonderful that Jackie and Cloey had humans who loved them so much. Plus a great foster human to give them their start in life. Not all kitties are that lucky.

Cloon said...

What a touching story. It is so heartbreaking that they passed away so young. How wonderful for the love and care you gave these special kitties and for the homes they did find. My thoughts are with you. Be Well Sweet Jackie and Sweet Cloey.

Au and Target said...

Little cats are so fragile. What a shame.

Thanks for your purrs for Au. He ate some roast chicken and some salmon treats. Crossing fingers he's turned the corner.

Daisy said...

I am so sorry that little Jackie and Cloey had to go to the Bridge so soon. I am glad that, during their short lives, they were loved.

ABBY said...

What a loving tribute to two beautiful vibrant little furry babies. We have tears running down our faces as we read your touching remembrances of these two. It does show how cats mourn too. We think the world was a brighter place because of these two and we know that in the short time they were on earth they were well loved and gave great love in return.


Ayla, Iza, and Marley said...

That was a wonderful tribute for 2 sweet kitties who had too-short lives...

Ann Dziemianowicz said...

Oh, so sad. But you gave them such a joyful time when they were with you. And that means everything!

KXBC said...

In their short lives, they brought happiness not just to you, but also their parents and their family.

In their short lives, they were also loved unconditionally. It is perhaps more than they could ever hope for. Love, a home and a warm tummy to sleep on.

Think of it this way: It's always the quality and never the quantity.

Their loved ones will always remember them.

Princess Jasmine said...

Aww bless, that is so sad to hear. Only 4 years old, that is no time at all. But you gave them that chance of having those four wonderful years xx