Pets have an amazing ability to conceal their ill health. Jack had lost some weight but this was nothing unusual. This had happened to him every summer season because of the more active outdoor life he always led the warmer half of the year.
We had noticed a slight extra murmur in his purring but didn’t worry much. We thought he was in the process of getting rid of a hairball and gave him some liquid paraffin to speed up the process.
Last weekend we realized his condition had suddenly weakened. On Sunday, I had to take him to the University of Helsinki Veterinary Teaching Hospital. However, the X-rays and blood tests didn’t reveal any reason for his heavy breathing.
Finally, the endoscopy he underwent on Monday showed a tumour in his throat. As the prognosis was hopeless I didn’t have any other option than to give permission to put him to sleep.
I am happy the end was so sudden although we would have done anything to keep it from coming so soon. Last year when Jack had a thorough senior’s physical examination the vet didn’t find any indication of any problems. We were hoping we could enjoy his company, if not for another 12 years, at least for several years to come.
For the first time since we made the decision to sell the house – yes, that is why I have been so busy lately – for the first time since the decision I am convinced this is the time to move on. This place would never feel the same for me now that the sweet king of this hill in the fields will no longer hurry to greet you when you drive to the yard, follow you around whatever you are doing outdoors, walk with you to the mailbox, drowse in his little cat house, sleep on his bed on the porch table, tap on the hall window to be let in, scratch the side of your mattress to be let out...
I never would have thought how incomplete a good hectare of land and a big house would feel without such a small and undemanding creature. Should there be an afterlife it must be the kind where Jack will be joined with his best pal the Shetland sheepdog we lost six years ago.