The Cat Came Back

JumpyIf cats have nine lives, then somehow I acquired a bionic breed because our family feline has about twice that.

Almost seventeen years ago I rescued a black and white kitten from an extreme pet hoarder’s disgusting lair and since then “Jumpy” has managed to cheat death on an annual basis.

Go ahead and laugh about the name. Everyone does, including the veterinary staffs we frequent. I notice the exaggerated pronunciation of our pet’s name accompanied by snickers when they call us from the waiting room.

For the record, I suggested Zorro because the patches around his eyes look like a bandit mask. I also pushed for Oreo since it’s my favorite shake flavor, but when my then three-year-old daughter giddily picked up her new kitty she declared, “I will call him Jumpy!” and that was that.

The vet clinics know Jumpy well since most of his numerous lives have been purchased there for top dollar. We’ve brought him back from kidney failure twice, pumped his stomach after eating something poisonous, discovered he was FIV+ after a violent cat fight with an infected stray, treated him for multiple strokes, administered antibiotics for infections, and the list goes on. Every time I walk out of the animal hospital with a refurbished pet and an empty wallet, I swear I won’t drop another dime on that cat.

Then I see Jumpy wrapped around my all-grown-up daughter’s head as she sleeps and vow to give Jumpy one of my own kidneys if necessary!

Just a few weeks ago Jumpy met Mr. Black Cat again.

It was Saturday morning and Jumpy was being unusually whiny during my sleep-in. In a huff, I put him outside thinking the fresh air would do him some good since he spends 99.9% of his time sleeping on some cushy household surface. He’s 86 in cat years so I understand his lethargy. It’s not like he can spend his golden years knitting or watching QVC so sleep is his hobby.

Jumpy wasn’t keen on going out that morning, but it was my turn to be lazy. A couple days later, I realized I hadn’t seen Jumpy since putting him out. I wasn’t worried because he sometimes takes to sleeping under beds. I looked under a few, but all I found was neglect and guilt. I asked the kids if they’d seen Jumpy recently.

They hadn’t.


How worried should I be?

Jumpy is really old and I’d actually hoped when his time came he’d wander into the wilderness where a chariot of fire and mice would appear and take him “up by a whirlwind into heaven” like Elijah.

Hopefully that’s what happened.

Hopefully I wouldn’t really have to give a kidney (or any more money) to save Jumpy, AGAIN!

He lived a full, spoiled, expensive life with us. Actually, about 20 of them! He either needed to go quick and peacefully or return home whole and well this time. That was my prayer for the cat.

I was in town later that day when I got a text from my husband, “I found Jumpy sitting down in a window well, too old to jump out. He seems fine.”

Next time I won’t make my prayer multiple choice.

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