Published simultaneously in Associated Content and Gather.com
My beloved Junior has died. Many of you will remember the story, Junior Speaks Out. He was a wonderful cat, so quiet and well-behaved, but he did have his issues with other cats. You see Junior was part Persian. His dad was Persian and Persians love to be the only cats in the house. Junior was born with 8 cats in the house (of course this is including the litter) but once the cats left he decided on the maximum of cats to be entering in the house. He could tolerate one extra cat, but second extra cat seemed to be too much for him.
I have always been a dog person. I had them all my life, we never had cats. Then when I grew up I befriended a woman by the name of Coreen who loved cats. She always had both cats and dogs. My son was only six then and he wanted cats too. So when her cat had kittens they convinced me to take two kittens. We called them Fancy and Mercy and we have had cats ever since.
Yet, I would still love to have dogs as well as cats, but it is very hard to find places in Montreal that will accept dogs these days.
We have had a slew of cats over the 28 years since when my son had his first cats. We moved three times since then as well. Tao was the cat we had in our first house. My son has always brought home stray cats and this little calico cat was terrified of the outside. Someone had abused her and she had some neurological damage to the brain. She didn’t have any balance at all. I wrote about when Tao died in a previous article as well.
Tao survived until the first move. After she was gone we were so lonely without cats and so we went to the animal shelter and found a beautiful gray Persian we called Nimrod, but always called him Rudy and a beautiful Himalayan. My son preferred the Persian and I preferred the Himalayan, named Seti.
We are coming up to Junior’s birth. At this point in time we had two beautiful cats and we wanted to mate them. The first cat we got for mating was a beautiful black cat that we named Sheba, and then a white cat we named Pearl. Rudy the Persian didn’t stay with us long, he ran away only months after we got him. However, he left his prodigy. He mated with the black cat Sheba, and among that litter was a beautiful black cat whom we named Junior.
Junior was a very special cat from that litter. You see it is not uncommon for female Persian cats to have difficulty giving birth because the heads of Persian kittens are very large; too large sometimes for the birthing canal. Sheba had two kittens and we knew there was another one, but after 8 hours she still was not able to give birth. We called the vet. The only one opened at that hour was way too far from where we lived to be able to get there without a car. The vet instructed my son on how to delivery the kittens. My son had to pull the kitten from Sheba. Now, this might be common for a country resident to do ,but is it not for a city dweller.
My son had a special relationship with this cat because he brought it into the world. Of all the cats in the house from that point forward, Junior was his baby.
Junior learned to live with Seti, the Himalayan, Sheba, his mother, and Pearl, a completely white cat who later gave birth to a litter. However, he fought with Seti all the time, and scared Pearl. After that we had all the cats fixed, including Junior. Still he fought with Seti. He didn’t fight with Pearl anymore but she remained afraid of him and got out of his way whenever he came around.
Tragedy struck our happy home. One by one that cats started disappearing, Seti ran away, Pearl was stolen and Sheba died of old age. Junior was left alone and he loved it, but we wanted another cat. In the story, Junior the cat speaks out, you hear about how Finnegan came to live with us, and Junior loved him. They were best pals. Then we brought in two little orange cats who needed a home badly. They were just babies and so Junior ignored them. We found a home for one of the orange kittens and we kept one which we named Rugby. So there was Junior, Finnegan, a gray tabby, and now the orange kitten Rugby.
Junior completely ignored Rugby. However, Finnegan became mother to Rugby, yes I wrote it right, he became mother. He even let Rugby try to nurse on him. We never saw any cat do that before. Junior still continued to ignore Rugby but he started fighting with Finnegan. The poor cat was afraid of him and we tried as hard as we could to get Junior to stop fighting with him but it was a losing battle.
The losing battle however, was that Finnegan took violently ill in July and he died in agony. We don’t know what happened. He may have ingested something but what and from where? By this point having had bad experiences with letting our cats out, they were all inside cats.
However, a transformation came over Junior, he became really nice to Rugby, he started grooming him and teaching him the ropes. They would play fight and he would show him how to protect himself, he never hurt him and Rugby just loved him.
We moved from that place, which was our second move at the time and thought that all our cat grieving pain was behind us. We were making a new start until, Thursday, Oct 21, 2010. I noticed, Junior was walking funny and I told my son Junior was dying. Junior was only seven years old. I am very sensitive to these things, and although some people will think I am crazy, I couldn’t care less, among my limited psychic ability that I have with humans I am a cat empath. My psychic ability pertaining to this issues is the ability to sense impending death in humans and cats; long before anyone knows about it. My son looked at Junior and said he okay. He was just playing with Rugby a few hours before.
From Thursday to Saturday Junior was getting more and more lethargic and he was dying even my son could see it. He was holding his head over the water dish yet not drinking, which for anyone who does not know is a sign of a dying cat. Then Sunday morning it started happening. My poor Junior began crying out in pain, and this went on for five hours before he passed. My son had to put him down. It was the hardest thing that he had to do. I know when I took my Tao to the vet to have her put down, it broke my heart. Imagine what it was like for my son who brought Junior into the world?
We both sat together and just cried. My son has some psychic ability too. He told me later on that he had heard Junior in the house crying for two hours after he passed. I did not hear this. In fact I was quite surprised that I did not get a feeling that Junior was going to die before Thursday when he was already in the process of dying. It was just not like me. I always had the feeling well ahead of time. Then I remembered, a few weeks prior I noticed that Junior seemed to be sleeping more than usual. He was in his favorite sleeping area, under my headboard. I petted it him, I had a feeling he might be dead. He woke up and I was okay and then I forgot about this feeling altogether.
I can’t say how much we still mourn for our sweet Junior, it is still only a week and the wounds are very raw. However, while we were totally mentally out of it; on Sunday the day of his death, two hours later, a white cat came to our balcony, I opened the door and she came right in as if she owned the place.
I knew instantly she was sent from Junior, to replace a missing cat, but not to replace him. Prior to the new cat’s appearance, my son and I had talked about getting a second cat and I said no I could not get a cat at this time, but when I did I wanted a pure white female cat just like my Pearl who was stolen from us; even though she was wearing her identification collar. You guessed it this new little white Angel which came to my door is a female.
Junior sent this cat, my son also agrees with me on this. Junior also did not want us to forget him as she is the exact opposite to him. She is a white female, he was a black male.
He sent her to us as sign to say he is okay now. He sent the exact cat that I said I wanted, and he sent her for our other cat Rugby so that he would have a playmate again.
I originally called her Angel because of who sent her. The first thing Angel did when she came into the house was to eat, the second thing was to go under my bed and sleep in Junior’s spot. I said to my son, “look, see Junior sent her.” He said at that point, “No she is just smelling him.” Yet, Rugby very rarely goes under the bed, it is not his spot.
Another thing Junior used to do was sit by my computer chair and if I didn’t pay attention to him he would meow and then I would motion for him to get on the bed and I would rub his ears and pay attention to him. He was in cat heaven, then he would fall asleep on my bed. This is another thing that Rugby doesn’t do; guess who does it all the time and she just got here!
Angel is definitely sent from Junior, nobody will ever convince me otherwise. However, even though I named her Angel, up until yesterday I have been calling both cats Junior. Of course I was not trying to and corrected myself, you know how it goes, ‘Junior oops I mean Rugby get down from there.”
My son said that he wanted Angel to be named after Junior. Now finding a name that sounds like Junior is no easy feat. We had called one of Rudy’s kittens, Ruby and that was easy enough, but finding a name that goes with Junior is not easy. I used to call Junior, juniper, and then I figured I could call Angel Jasmine, but my son did not much care for that. Then I thought of Jewel, for Junior and that too, didn’t seem right. Yesterday, my Angel got a new name. She is now called Junia, a totally new and original name and my son and grandson like it. I called her Junia or Angel, she has two official names with me.
After Junia was given her name, guess what, I am not calling either of my two cats Junior anymore. Junior is satisfied, he has a sweet little white female cat named after him. Junior is happy, now it is for my son and I to heal over this tremendous loss in our life and become happy again too.