Jasper quietly went to sleep at the vets office on Monday. He was 20 years old.
We adopted him in 2004 at an animal rescue in Phoenix, AZ. We were there to help a friend pick out a cat. I was adamant that we already had one cat at home and didn’t need another, but within minutes of arriving this big orange cat jumped onto my lap and refused to leave. He was the first pet that was truly mine and he took his role seriously. If it was 2AM and he needed to stand on my back and purr in my ear, no amount of setting him on the floor could dissuade him. There will be other pets in my future, but none will be so endlessly and singularly devoted as Jasper.
By the time we moved to Oregon, he had grown from tolerating Robin to liking her, and eventually he loved anybody who came to the house. Life in the country introduced him to the outdoors, but he was much happier sleeping on our bed when he wasn’t sleeping on someone’s lap. He was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2012 and given two months to live. Robin and I talked about how Sidney would never meet him. Instead, for the last year he’s been a model of feline tolerance. Sidney was obsessed with him and no amount of slobbery and often painful toddler love was too much. He had finally met his match and it was the best year of his life.