Today’s guest feature comes with much sadness! Jemima from Hell onWheels/Life One Handed has sadly passed over the rainbow bridge… Tissues will be required for this tribute!
9th March 2017
So, my apologies if I share some stuff about Jamima patch the pirate cat puddle duck. Seems important for me to share it now. Firstly, Jamima came by this name over time. She came home with her first and last names. Jamima is a well-known doll from the ABC children’s show or children called Playschool.
Puddleduck happened because she wasn’t very kitty litter tray literate. Clearly, I took care of that, mostly.
Over her left eye, Jamima has an interesting patch motley colour. So, that and the fact she loved to sit on my shoulder when she was younger and she so wanted to be close while I did the dishes after work. I would put her on my shoulder while I did it. When housemate ‘B’ came home he would come over and offer her his shoulder, B being taller she happily moved on.
I’ll save some good stories for when I’m ready to reminisce. For about 5-6 years now, every Friday I would finish my shopping adventures with my carers at my local shopping complex by visiting the pet shop. Kitten season of course was heaven but the rest of the year they usually had a cat or two from a shelter to be rehomed. They even have interesting names and a little profile. The pet shop often had bunny rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, I think you get the idea.
I was a familiar face on a Friday and the staff knew I could be trusted to give a cat a friendly tickle and they also were aware I had a fur-baby at home. Early visits to the pet shop I humoured my carers who couldn’t understand my wanting to visit by telling them, it’s fine! I’ll just go home and act like I haven’t cheated on my cat.
The staff at the pet shop also were made aware that there would come a day when I came in very red-faced and sad and would be prepared to take home any furry ‘thing’ that they had at the time. That pet shop relocated about 6 months ago, not far but I no longer get to visit. Possible a good thing.
The decision to let Jamima go to heaven in peace was easy when it came down to, if she was happy, if she was coping and if she could go on or was she distressed or in pain. It was not to make life easier for me to deal with her passing.
The vet was lovely, compassionate and empathetic in all the right amounts. She let me know I was the right person to make the decision for when was time and she told me many people wait too long. She kept offering me time at every stage of the process and that I could have longer if I needed. I admit and confess I was a complete mess from the moment I walked in. But tissue boxes appeared both at reception and in the procedure room. I was asked if I had done this before and I said no but I intended to be there.
The procedure went as expected, and I was no sadder than I expected. I also didn’t change my mind which I gather the vet thought I might do considering how miserable I was. Anyway, the procedure was efficient and painless, all things considered.
I left the room ahead of the vet and my last look back, I watched the vet flip part of the towel she lay on over her body. Her head was turned to the side and her ears were visible……. as I’ve seen her so many times before.
The tenderness from the vet was beautiful. I might write her a card at some point to thank her. Jamima has been left there for short term storage until mum is down next. As I think I mentioned.
Arriving home, I got busy collecting her food bowls and water containers so I wouldn’t be constantly reminded of her absence. I’m yet to move her scratching post, toys and sleeping cube. I have collected all her polar fleece sleeping blankets and the covers that were to discourage her from scratching the couch. The first night was really strange, habits of moving my glass from my couch armrest a foreign action of neglect. But it seems today, Jamima was here. Or winking down at me. She kept me busy today washing bed linen and organising the carpet to be dry cleaned. As she had obviously left some smelly patches conveniently in each room.
That’s my girl.
So many places I expect her to be. I leave doors wedged open and others closed purposely to cater to her having been here. Yet she is not. It might be a good thing I’m to be moving to a new space I’m not reminded of her absence. There is my old couch I’ve moved more times than you could imagine, in the last two years that lives in front of my heater in the lounge. It’s on wheels but I couldn’t part with it while Jamima was still with me as she loved to go under it and hammock herself inside the lining underneath. I found her there only Monday morning, me lying flat on the floor, hand underneath patting her head and ears. Her only time out of her hiding place, enough to get constant pats, her purring music to my ears.
I don’t know when I’ll welcome my next fur-child into. My home and my heart to nestle in beside the hole Jamima has carved out and will remain always but it will be when the time is right.
Until then I probably should avoid pet shops. I’ll keep you updated and you will be the first to know. Thanking you all for your understanding and support.
And many thanks to my friend Boo who chauffeured us to and from the vets and for the hugs and back-rubs. He himself having received horrible news that morning as a friend had chosen to end his own life.
I realise this might be hard to hear and it’s not a point I intended to make in this post but it is relevant because my Boo’s horrible news didn’t stop him from being there for me. It had been a serious challenge to find someone to help me. So now it is late and time to wind down, make a cuppa T and single task and likely shed a few more tears.