September ?, 2004 – October 9, 2005
A True Friend to the Residents and Staff of
Jack, a black and white shorthair, was brought to the Assisted Living facility in Sept. of 2004 with his sister Jill, a long hair calico, to raise the spirits of the residents when one of the "house" cats had to be put down due to age and health.
With his sister, this kitten, with his green eyes and seemingly endless energy was a delight, and great comfort to the residents, and the staff. At bedtime he would sleep on whoever’s bed was nearest, preferring the ones with the softest quilts.
At Christmas time, the tree in the lobby was fair game. Many was the ornament that met its demise at his paws by being batted off the tree, then around the lobby and hallways until it would break. His antics were never frowned upon by the administration as the residents took great joy in watching his escapades. He would often get on the desks, and promptly scatter paperwork and decorations all over the room. Many was the time that after this exhausting activity he could be found curled up, sleeping with his sister on the pool table.
In the spring and summer, he loved to go out and play and explore. Often chasing bugs, chasing the hose when a resident would be watering plants, or just curled up soaking in the sun.
We may never know what prompted him to wander so far from home, having been altered it was thought that he wouldn't drift too far away. He would occasionally play in the parking area outside the doors, and many residents said he loved to explore. Many was the night that I'd let him out the back door to the courtyard and he'd stop, look back, meow once, then trot off as fast as he could on whatever mission he had for the night.
Now, when I look at Jill, I still see a bit of Jack through her eyes. She had taught him so much, including where, and how high to jump to trigger the automatic doors so they could go out and play at will. On that last fateful night, when he opened the door to go play, he also triggered the automatic doors to the Rainbow Bridge. He was found the following morning, having been struck down by a car two blocks from home.
For such a short life, his world was a never ending cycle of boundless energy, touching countless hearts and transferring some little bit of that energy on to everyone he met. A brief but beautiful life, not wasted, yet cut far shorter than we will ever think it should have been. Perhaps he was intended for a greater mission, maybe his endless reserves of energy, joy, and love were needed at the bridge to greet or help with the sudden and unexpected arrival of so many fur-friends at the bridge in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We will never know for sure why he was sent on to the bridge so young, not until the day that it is the time of each of us whose lives he touched to cross over, and he again triggers the doors for each of us one last time.
Jack, you will always be in our hearts as a true friend. We all love you and we look forward to the day when we each meet you again at the bridge.
On behalf of the residents and staff of Meadows Courtyard, we bid you farewell our dear Jack,
but not goodbye.
Ron Riekens II
Oregon City, OR