A password will be e-mailed to you.

Submitted by Thora Smith

color catOur beloved Jacob had to be put down on June 2, 2014. He was the love of our lives.

Twelve years ago, my friend called to tell me she had heard there was a stray cat at a trailer park. We went there, and I was shocked to see a cat who I thought had been abused. His front legs were turned inward as if he had been hurt by someone. I picked him up, and I took him home. The next day I took him to the vet and learned he hadn’t been abused but instead had been born without three bones in each front leg. He was so unique that our other cats would stare at him. He stared back and wondered what was wrong with them.

When I was feeding Jacob, he would stand on his hind legs with his crooked front paws in the air and beg for food. He could stand like that for some time. He could do more than other cats even though he was different (though not at all handicapped). He used to sit on the armchair while I was cleaning house and meow. He wanted me to talk to him: I said hello and told him I loved him. After I spoke to him, he was fine. He was quite a talker; there will never be another like him. He was my love.

gray cat profileFriends would come over and spend a lot of time with him too. Everyone loved him. When I talked to them on the phone, my friends would say they wanted to come over to see Jacob. He lit up everyone’s lives, not just ours.

Last week, we had to have Jacob put down. We arrived at the vet’s office, and there were twenty people already in the waiting room. However, we were told we would be first. He was taken to the exam room for euthanasia, but there were some problems with his front legs and the needle. The vet tried the back legs, but there was still a problem, so we went into the operating room where he was sedated. It took a while for him to go. He was so loved that everyone in that building was crying. Even the vet tech left for a while and came back. She told me that some animals just touch your life more than others.

They wrapped Jacob up and put him in my arms. Holding him tightly, I carried him out to the car and took him to be cremated. Though it is hard, I had to tell my story about a cat who wasn’t traditionally pretty but who was beautiful to us. Jacob meant the world to us. Like the vet told me, “You took him in and likely no one else would have. He had a good life with you while others turned him away.” I believe the vet was right. Jacob was about 13 or 14 years old when he passed.

gray cat in colorFurther Links:

– Read about other active, happy cats and dogs with disabilities and the people helping them

– Grieving the loss of a pet? These articles and websites may provide support during this difficult time

Joe Yonan muses on how the death of a pet can hurt as much as the loss of a relative

No more articles