Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Friend, Mr. Littlejeans

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After battling lung cancer for over two years I am sad to report that Mr. Littlejeans died last night. He had been getting around just fine and being his usual weird and lovable self but over the past several days his condition quickly worsened, and he was having a hard time moving much without triggering uncontrollable coughing spells, leaving him completely exhausted. Saturday night he slept, as he always has, on Emily's pillow, hugging her head. When I got up in the morning, he woke up as he always does and meowed at me – he always seemed so excited to get up in the morning and follow me around the apartment. He couldn't do that yesterday – we knew things were getting worse and discussed the possibility of having him put down so as not to prolong his suffering. Jeans was a very dignified cat and he would not have wanted to lose control of himself or become someone different because of his sickness. In the end we didn't have to do that – he died on his own. We are thankful that he went quickly without much suffering.

I know a lot of people might not understand this about a cat, but our friends, and friends of the blog, know what a difficult loss this is for us. Jeans has been with us through everything.

We got him in 1999 not long after we moved to New York. Emily had started law school and was spending long hours studying in our dark Hell's Kitchen apartment, and we thought a cat would be a nice companion. We could not have been more right about that.

He was born in the Bronx and when he was a kitten, his first owner died. The body was not discovered for a week or so, at which time it was removed – but Jeans was left there alone, to fend for himself. A week later, someone heard him meowing behind the door and got the super to let her in.

He ended up at an animal shelter down the street from us on 9th Avenue. He was sick when we got him but he recovered quickly. He never did get over the stomach problems we think were formed from his early life in the Bx (no vet ever figured out why he continued to gain weight, even on the diet food prescribed to him).

Without going into every last detail of his life I will just say that Jeans always seemed to consider himself an equal – he actively wanted to be around us as much as possible and we were always glad he was. He moved with us from Hell's Kitchen to Carroll Gardens (shaking all over as we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge in a cab); four years later he moved with us to Fort Greene, where he experienced the wilds of our small backyard. Four years after that, he sat between my brother and me in his favorite "Smile Face" box as we drove a moving truck across the country to Seattle.

We have just been through so much with him, it is hard to imagine life without him now. I know that sounds dramatic and I know everything will get back to normal, but for now we are just sad that our friend is gone.

More pictures of the Jeans here.

22 comments:

Michelle said...

I am so sorry Strath and Emily. He will be missed. Keep your head up, it is totally natural to feel sad when you loose a pet. Their love and affection is totally unconditional. Miss you oodles!

olivia park-sargent said...

I am so sorry to hear of Littlejeans passing, Strath. I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to meet the guy. I'll be thinking of you + Emily. Lots of love.

Lezlie said...

Strath and Emily, my heart goes out to you with the passing of Jeans. He had a great life with you guys and will be missed not only by you but all of us out here who enjoyed his antics vicariously through your blog. Hugs and snugs,
Lezlie Jean

Kristina Alayan said...

No words. I am so so sorry . He was so lucky to have you both, but perhaps most importantly, you were both so lucky that he found you. Whatever you believe, I know that he is in a wonderful place where there are always extra kibbles in his dish (not unlike his home with you) and he is looking forward to being reunited with you both. I am so glad I got to meet this regal creature while he was around. Love you.

Willing said...

Hey guys,

so sorry to hear about Jeans. He seemed like a great little fella the one time I met him.

yours, Willing

Valéry Lorenzo said...

It's very sad, I will miss him.

Eyeliquor said...

..Shoot :(
Now Forever.. The Coolest Cat On The Planet..
Baye Jinxy! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for such a big loss. Thank you for letting us know right away. Jeans was one special gentleman. Rest in peace, Littlejeans. You did a good job.
Peace also to Strath and Emily. You served him well.

Matthew McD said...

We love you guys, and Jeans did too. Everyone knows that he was one special kitty cat. Right now he is resting on the softest of the soft pillows and looking down on you two.

Toni said...

So sorry, Em and Strath. He'll always be with you in spirit.

Luke said...

Mr. Littlejeans will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Strath & Emily. I am so very sorry to hear about Littlejeans. Pets hold a unique and special place in our hearts. We are thinking about you guys and sending our condolences. xo Suzie

Kyle Johnson said...

He will be missed by us all. Sorry again to you both =(

Andrew said...

So sorry to hear about Mr. Littlejeans. Always looked forward to seeing his weekly blog appearances. I don't think there is anyone who met him that didn't instantly love him.

salmongang said...

stay strong folks...
hang on in there...
sipreano

Matt Sullivan said...

So sad. Sorry to hear the news. I don't think I ever met Littlejeans in person, but feel like he's family after constantly reading your blog for the past year. He seemed like an awesome cat and we'll miss him.

lsk said...

Josh, Daisy (the bulldog) and I are so sorry to hear about Mr. Littlejeans. He reminds me of Daisy, who was my study companion in law school. Littlejeans and Daisy also seemed to have shared an interest in low-slung modernist furniture. -Lena

ashley said...

Awwww :( So soo sad. I hope you guys are recovering okay.

Jennifer Maas said...

I am so sorry to hear it you two. That was a lovely eulogy.

SKL said...

So sorry to hear of Jeans' passing. I know how special he was to both of you. And truly one of a kind!

Janet said...

Oh dear, I am so sorry. I know how you must be feeling - and I too am sharing in your grieving.

Beezer said...

Strath and Em, I am so sorry. I know how much you loved Jeans and that the three of you and Inez are a family.

Cats let you love them in a way no person can. It just is.

Love to you both. -Beeze