On March 18th 2007, just as Dan and I were starting to date more seriously, we each received the same forwarded email through separate friends of friends (kismet!) from a man, Alan, who was looking to re-home his almost 11 year-old cat:
Another bitter pill I must swallow is that my fiancé is highly allergic to my cat Jules and I have decided that it would be best for me to find him a home here before I set forth to New York. This has been a hard decision for me to make since Julius has been with me for almost 11 years and I would feel most comfortable if I knew he was going to a good home where he would be loved.
I know some of you have met Jules and how soft and loving he is. As he’s gotten older, he has become even more affectionate, but a lap cat he is not. He loves to play and have your attention, but he can also be totally independent and left alone. If you or anyone you know who loves cats would be interested in adopting him, please let me know as soon as you can. I’ve attached a picture of him so you can see how cute he is.
Your help in finding Jules a new home would be greatly appreciated.
Dan had his own charming cat, Buster, but I was recently catless through a breakup and missing fuzz therapy (Dan and I didn’t live together yet.) I responded to Alan with some trepidation (I had wanted to adopt a girl cat) but asked him to let me know if no-one else seemed interested. A week went by and no-one else stepped up, so on March 27th, I went to Alan’s apartment and met Jules for the first time. As advertised, Jules was not very affectionate, but was super soft and I wanted to give him a new home.
By May, I had officially adopted Jules and we started to get to know each other. Jules was an extremely healthy and low-maintenance cat– he always sharpened his claws on his scratching post or scratch lounge (not furniture) and rarely threw up (for cats, that’s saying something!) He hardly had any voice at all, instead of meowing he would open his mouth and creak a little bit and to hear his purr you usually had to get your head right down close to his chest. He had gorgeous bunny-soft gray fur with a white chest and socks and some people said he might be a breed called Russian Blue.
I learned about his predilection for jumping into the bathtub after I took a shower, which I first thought was super odd and then found charming. He would jump in there and lick up the leftover water or sometimes chase or attack the rivulets as they flowed towards the drain.
He would let us pet him up to a point, but if you did it for too long, he was not shy about biting you to let you know he was done. That said, one of the things I love most about him was his sense of my health. His tendency was not to cuddle or lie on me unless I was sick. When I was sick and he was laying on me, it was a nice reminder that he loved me and I should lie down and get well.
He was happy as a inside cat, but liked going outside too. We didn’t let him out without supervision– in Albany, we took him on a leash (not his favorite thing) but once we got all the holes in our fence fixed at our current house we were able to let him go outside with minimal supervision. It was such a pleasure to watch him go out and sniff the air and lie down in the grass.
Jules patiently moved with me from place to place as Dan and I moved in together, got engaged, married, and finally bought a house (Dan’s cat, Buster, passed away before Dan and I moved in together, so he and Jules never met.) Jules never complained as Dan and I went on many long and short trips– though he was always a thin cat and we noticed that he didn’t eat as well while we were gone. In fact, he ate best when I sat and petted him while he ate. (Awww.)
Dan would get out the laser pointer sometimes and Jules would love it, chasing it all around the house and jumping and trying to catch it. He also liked trying to catch moths or insects that came in the house.
Despite his penchant for biting you when he’d had enough petting, he was always very well-behaved around our twin boys. Mostly he avoided them, but when they would roughly pet him or sometimes even hit him he only once scratched them (lightly) back. Unfortunately, the arrival of the twins caused us to be able to pay less attention to Jules, but we tried to get some good pets and love in when possible.
Most people would not have guessed his age until about the last year. Finally his long life caught up with him. He had kidney disease, high blood pressure and senior cat dandruff. :) He was partly deaf, couldn’t see as well and sometimes would seem to get lost or confused and yowl for us. Since March of this year, his arthritis has really been bothering him and his purr times were fewer. Finally we had to keep him away from the 2nd level of our house and our bed because he would go up the stairs, but be too scared to come down. :(
Still, just last Thursday he jumped up on the couch where I was laying down and sat on my chest and demanded pets from me. His purr came out loud and strong and I rubbed him fiercely on his jowls where he liked it best. I was about to start a new, stronger drug to treat his arthritis from a new vet we had recently seen. But yesterday, in the late afternoon, Jules suddenly couldn’t use his hind legs. I took him to the emergency vet and they said something had gone wrong neurologically or with a blood clot and there was nothing that could be done. Jules let me know he didn’t feel right at all, he seemed disoriented and made little mewing sounds that were very unusual for him. With a very heavy heart and wads of tissues I made the decision to say goodbye to my Jules-y cat.
I miss him terribly, he has left a huge Jules-shaped hole in our life. I’m so very grateful that I saw that email from Alan and that I got to provide a loving home for an almost 11 (or 12?) year-old cat, who turned out to have eight more years of life to live and love to give. I selfishly wish I still had him here to love, but I’m happy he’s no longer in pain and confusion. Goodbye Jules.