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My Buddy Jester

John Popp

Site Supporter
#1
It's been more than 6 months since my beloved Jester has passed and I still think of him daily. It was Jester's athleticism, spunk and zeal that lead me to the Savannah breed, as I had thought forever that an SV would make a good companion for him. Never came to be, and my quest for a Savannah shifted into high gear about a month after his passing.

When I first went to the Animal Shelter to pick out a pair of kittens, I was enthralled by this fiery all black kitten with a single white whisker that wasn't complacent enough to be held, climbing, crawling and playing. I kept saying to myself "please, please, please put that kitten down" because as soon as that happened he was certainly going home with me.

In the interim I was looking at the other kittens as I was planning on leaving with a pair, and found a couple that looked to be the brothers of the kitten I coveted. Three of them in all, with all of them being black and I still have regrets about not getting all three of them to keep the brothers together. I opted for the one that was bear like in size and had oddly thick and bristly fur, later to be known as Kebu.

Finally the little girl had set down the kitten that seemingly had his tail on fire and I quickly proclaimed "I'll take that one!". At that point the young woman working there picked him up and said "Jester, we are sure going to miss you". He was then loaded into the holding crate where he and Kebu seemingly never hit the floor running and bouncing off the sides of the crate. I can also remember someone saying "someone's going to have their hands full with those two" an understatement they'll never know of.

Packed up and brought home they were secretly stashed waiting to be unveiled for Trish's birthday surprise. We had gone out with family and friends for the evening and upon arriving back home Trish was greeted by two happy kittens who couldn't wait to have someone home to play with them. Trish broke into tears and spent the rest of the evening playing with the two kittens until they could play no more.

Something that I was unaware of at the time, that despite Trish spending her teenage years on a farm with plenty of pets and animals that she never had a pet of her own. Certainly plenty of cats and dogs around, but never one that actually was hers. While she was holding Jester, I mentioned that at the shelter they called him Jester, and she broke down into tears again as she said when she was little she used to dream of having her own kitten named Jester. If that wasn't divine intervention I don't know what is.

Onto Jester's teenage years and he could break anything. Tears of joy were replaced by Trish's tears of frustration and cries of "I can't have anything" because whatever was precious to Trish, Jester found a way of breaking it. Jester would leap onto the mantle, then push things off to watch them break. Not accidentally breaking things, but with intent and purpose. In one bout he pushed off four picture frames managing to break the glass in all and pushed a fifth off while I was on my way to grab him.

Jester was definitely making both of us insane, and anything in our home was fair game to be destroyed. He was also quite athletic for a domestic cat, able to leap to the top of open doors, china cabinets, the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets. Absolutely nothing was safe and there were no bounds of where he could go. Strategic barricades eventually kept things in check and today they still stand which has served as a deterrent for keeping Chongo from leaping onto the same things.

Throughout all of Jester's life he retained his athleticism. At 15 years old he was still able to leap from the floor to the top of the refrigerator. He never missed a day of jumping on the countertops despite it being forbidden, and then hearing those words most often spoke in our household "Jester get down". He loved his toy mice and would spend every day flipping them into the air and leaping for them. The best was certainly the fresh ones that didn't have the leather tails eaten off yet.

He was simply a great cat, entertaining and loving. He earned the nickname Sweet Pea for how affectionate he could be while in a moments notice be on a tear to create some sort of carnage. We were both devastated in his passing, and unfortunately I was away from home on business when he retired. I'm thankful there wasn't any lengthy battles in his passing as from first signs of illness there were only days until he was gone, just sad I wasn't home for his final moments.

Jester passed away as a result of an aggressive cancer that a week prior to his death x-rays didn't reveal anything out of the norm. A secondary visit 5 days later and more x-rays revealed a baseball sized mass not present just a few days prior. My regret was that we made the decision to wait the 48 hours until I returned home from a business trip to put him down, he never made it through the evening passing away in Trish's arms.

Anyway, sorry about the long ramble, just wanted to relay what brought me here, my hopes of a Savannah and how much I miss my buddy "J". I never expected to find a plug in replacement for him, but Chongo had the prerequisites to be equally entertaining in his own rites. In fact I had to get up and intervene with him getting into the spice cabinet just a moment ago. By some strange activity in the lattice of coincidence, midway through writing this, Chongo unearthed from the bottom of the toy basket something that I hadn't seen in years, Jester's collar from the animal shelter.

Jester (left) and his brother Kebu. Sorry, all the better pictures are archived and printed.


J's kitten collar, still can't believe that happened.
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#2
John, what a beautiful telling of Jester's story. My condolences to you and Trish on his passing. Funny how life works; you were definitely meant to have him and his brother in your lives and are the better for it...it was a good long life together for all of you.

Jester knew you were thinking of him. I believe his old collar suddenly appearing was no coincidence.....sort of a heads up to Chongo that he has some big shoes to fill :)

The pic of the two brothers is gorgeous :)
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#3
John, what an awesome tribute to such a beautiful boy! I agree with Pam...there is a reason Chongo unearthed jester's collar...RIP Jester! it is obvious how much you and Trish loved him and my condolences to you both...
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#5
Thanks much, he certainly was a handful. I neglected to mention, that he just didn't jump on things but used them as a spring board to jump even higher. He relentlessly chased Kebu who could only take so much of his rough and tumble play. Just the same, the two were inseparable and rarely would be more than a few feet from one another.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#9
Sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my baby just yesterday. :(
Yes, I am so sorry and had read your post. They become such big parts of our lives and leave a huge void when they're gone. It was certainly one of the tougher times in my life and hard to find people outside my wife who understood. The better part is each day gets easier and I think way more about how he made me laugh than his passing these days.

More than anything, this forum is a great support mechanism for when people are grieving or in need of support with their ailing pets. They truly care and certainly all have a great deal of compassion for others in their time of mourning.
Just remember it gets better, but that doesn't mean you'll ever forget your friend, how he warmed your heart and made you smile.