Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In Memoriam: Jenna, 1992-2006

It’s not been a good day today around the Rants household. Our 14-year-old cat Jenna crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon, to the place where she could be free of the pain that has been afflicting her.

My lovely yet talented wife (and I was using the phrase long before Tbogg) got Jenna when she was just a kitten. A friend called the missus (who was not yet a missus, of course) and said two stray kittens had followed him home, and he didn’t know what to do. Jason couldn’t keep them because he already had two cats. The future missus suggested that he call another friend, who promptly adopted both kittens. The missus went to visit this friend a couple of days later… and came home with Jenna.

Despite my being a dog person, even I could tell Jenna was a sweet cat, even though I met her late in life when she was already well past her prime.

I don’t think Jenna ever really forgave mommy for bringing home “that stray human” back in 2003 (when we got married), and I know she never forgave me for bringing home Emily (the Labrador). Every once in a while, though, Jenna would deign to sit in my lap (usually when I was trying to work on the computer or read), and would allow me to administer a “bilateral four-knuckle neck rub.”

Those of us who are lucky enough to share a life with a non-human-American should take a little extra time and give our companions a little extra love. Remember that pets love their humans unconditionally (well, at least dogs do; cats are a different matter). We owe it to them to make their lives as comfortable as possible.

If any of my 3-4 readers would like to share memories of their pets, please feel free to do so.


  1. Andrew & Linda--

    You wrote..."Remember that pets love their humans unconditionally (well, at least dogs do; cats are a different matter)"

    It isn't really true. Cats love unconditionally in a uniquely feline way. When we are finally able to learn their language, we know this.

    I have been blessed to have many, many cats in my life... in my bed... in my heart (and at the moment on my monitor demanding a walk which we just took a few minutes ago).

    No words can ever fill the hole left in our hearts when a being we love dies. Even believing, as I do, that every being will be reborn somewhere doesn't mute the pain of losing the beloved.

    We should not need reminders to show those we love all the attention they want and need, but life gets busy and we are tired... and sometimes we forget or say "Later. Just let me finish..." There is no later. There is only now. I suspect that critters are in our lives to remind us of this simple truth.

    Words are not adequate. They never are. To say "I am sorry for your loss" doesn't do it. I hope that you all--because Emily will grieve too--know that my heart reaches out to you with a warm, furry hug from DL and the three cats who have allowed me into their lives.

    Good night, Sweet Jenna. May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest.



  2. Annie and I grew up in a cat-rich home, and our mom used to talk about how wonderful it is to be "owned by a cat". If Jenna enjoyed your bilateral knuckle rubs, then she surely owned you as well as her human mommy.

  3. What Andrew never saw was how as a baby she was caried around wrapped in a sweater like a baby. She liked being snuggled like this and would paw at my shirt so she could crawl under and use mommy as her kitty cave. She even chose her own name, I tried others I had in mind and preferred but Jenna was the only one she would answer to.
    She will forever be my baby and there will alwas be this gapping whole in my heart for her. Thank you for your comments and support. Love to you all.