Chennai Journal
Monday, August 08, 2005
In Memoriam

J.D.--August 1986 - August 8, 2005

J.D., our beloved 19 year old cat, died this afternoon about 5:00 p.m. India time from natural causes. She had gradually been eating less and was experiencing increasing difficulty negotiating some of her favorite jumps, and her fur had become oily and matted from old age. But otherwise she had seemed in pretty good health, despite kidney disease and a mild heart condition that, until recently, had progressed rather slowly--a few posts ago I wrote about it taking four people to comb her out due to the battle she put up. But on Sunday morning she would not get up from a corner by the window, and was listless and wobbly—walking only a few steps before collapsing on the floor again. By this morning her condition had worsened considerably and her breathing had become labored. Even with the vet’s intervention and doses of electrolytes every two hours, her heart could not take the strain. She died in my arms about an hour after Marty and Sara left for the airport to fly back to the States.

It all happened so quickly that I am still in a state of shock, but I am grateful that the end came swiftly for her and she was able to keep up her quality of life almost to the last. As J.D. has gotten older I have known this day would come, but she remained in good health so long that somehow I had convinced myself that she would be with us for several more years, especially after she did so well on the long trip from Detroit to Chennai. Dad is heartbroken. Since Dad came to live with us more than two years ago, J.D. has been his constant and faithful companion—spending hours on his lap as he watched his favorite television shows, and always making a beeline for his chair first even when one of the rest of us was eager to share a lap with her. Here as in Michigan, it was usual to find her either asleep on his lap or on the chair next to him.

The staff was wonderful and compassionate and found a place where we could bury her quickly but with dignity. For that I will always be grateful, and a part of me must always remain in Madras with the memory of her final resting place. J.D. brought so much pleasure and companionship to our entire family that I know that in her next life she will be the queen of a much larger dynasty than ours.

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