Jazzpurr was a wonderful kitty. He was around 16 or 17 years old. I spent the night with him most every holiday weekend and for other special occasions while his parents went to see their family for over 2 years. He loved to sit in my lap and purr while I petted him. He would happily fall asleep. I would hate to move, because I knew this would wake him up. Jazzpurr had a way of communicating with you by hissing at you. All of his hissing meant different things. One hiss was for feed me. One was for make room in your lap. One was for let me out. One was for don't put me out. One was for pick me up.
I knew the last few times I saw him that he was not feeling well, and I suspected his time with us would be coming to an end soon. I got the news a couple of nights ago in an email from his mother. She was too upset to talk on the phone. I know how she felt, because I began to cry the minute I read what she wrote. I have been crying off and on since I got the news, because he was a beautiful cat, and I felt privileged to be his sitter. I truly love animals, and when one dies it hurts so much, because I know I have lost a true friend. I cry for the owners too, because I know how much they loved their kitty. I cry for all of the animals of my own that I have lost. Our pets give us such joy while they are with us, and such terrible grief when they leave us.
Sometimes I wonder how I will get through the grief of losing a pet, but time and the good memories help. And when the grieving period is over, I know that my dog or cat cannot be replaced, but there are so many others out there that need someone to love them and care for them, and I have so much love to give, that I find a new friend to start a journey together, wherever that may take us, knowing that I need them as much as they need me.