Jason Walker Low Res 103-0338_IMG_2

My cat, Jason Walker, passed away late yesterday afternoon after a final bout of kidney disease. He was thirteen years old, and is survived by his sister, Pandora, my friend and ex, “C,” to whom he was also very close, and myself.

Jason was born feral, but “C” and I scooped him off my back porch (where we had been feeding the mother and other strays) as a kitten, along with his sister, and we domesticated them and have cared for them ever since. Jason was a fun and playful cat, and the markings on his face made it look like he was always smiling. He loved to chase feathers tied to string, play with balls, and roughhouse with his sister, who sometimes played along, and sometimes didn’t. He also enjoyed languid naps in the garden, chasing bugs, and exploring the neighborhood. He was always affectionate, and frequently sat on my lap as I worked.

Jason was diagnosed three years ago with moderate kidney failure. At the initial diagnosis, we were warned that the condition would be terminal, though we could prolong his life with special food. As a result of this diet change, for most of the past three years he enjoyed excellent health. However, in the last month, his health began to decline and he grew quiet, finally moving on to listlessness. Eventually he ate and drank very little, and yesterday “C” and I took him to the vet, who confirmed our fears of terminal kidney failure. We had to put him down as he was beyond treatment, and suffering.

Angell Memorial Animal Medical Center in Boston is a marvelous facility, and has a special room furnished with leather sofas and a coffee table just for this purpose. The doctor brought Jason to us, and we spent twenty minutes cuddling him and saying good bye. Then the doctor came and administered a lethal dose of anesthetic. Within seconds, Jason died peacefully in my arms. We then brought his body home, buried it in the garden, and drank a bottle of wine in his honor.

My heart is heavy today, though I know Jason is now past his suffering. But it’s still very hard to lose a pet and friend, and he will always be missed and remembered with love.

May he rest in peace.