Today I’d like to tell you about someone that makes me smile everyday.
Jack is a very special cat, and the reason why I now call myself a dog and cat person.
Jack, is a girl. Yes, the male name causes confusion but she is very much a little (furry) lady. She came to us with the adorable name and we wouldn’t dream of changing it. She’s Jack.
Jack’s a grey tabby with touches of white fur. The bit of white on her face that separates her eyes and cheeks make her look like she is wearing a mask. White fur on her chest and her grey belly cover the pink skin that peeks from beneath. Her white feet look like she was dipped into paint. Her eyes are a yellowish green, her lips black, and her nose the cutest shade of pink. Her fur is soft, shinny, and always clean.
We met Jack a little over a year ago when we first arrived in Playa del Carmen. I don’t recall the exact day we first saw her, but I do remember that she was very friendly with us from the beginning. One night when my husband and I were sitting on the front porch of our building, Jack squeezed through the metal gate to come sit with us. (It was the only time we saw her go over the gate.) She sat in between both of our legs then proceeded to allow us to pet her — she even laid on her side and exposed her belly for some belly-scratching. At the time I didn’t know this, but apparently when a cat exposes it’s belly to you it means they trust you.
Before Jack, I had never really been around cats and much of the reason was because I would begin sneezing and my skin would get itchy. Miraculously, I don’t have that problem anymore. As the days went by we saw more and more of Jack. At first we didn’t know if she too was one of the cats that lived in the building but didn’t really belong to anyone. Slowly she would peek into our flat, and within a couple of days she made it all the way in to our dining room. Curiously, in the weeks that followed, she began exploring our apartment. Still not sure if she had a proper home or not, we began buying tuna and other cat food for her.
By now Jack would spend hours inside our flat. When we would leave she would be waiting for us downstairs by the gate or in front of our door. One day I inquired about her to our building’s caretaker, who then informed us that she actually did have a home — right across the hall. She indeed had a loving home and a person who took very good care of her, and one who gave her a home when she didn’t have one. But Jack was looking for companionship during the day, and we didn’t mind giving it to her while her mommy was away at work.
As the days, weeks, and months passed Jack spent more and more time in our home. We quickly fell for her but always with the knowledge that she belong to someone else. She was patient with me as I learned that a cat is not a dog; And that a cat gets attention when it wants it, not when the human wants to give it. In that time, Jack showed us how much we were missing the companionship of a furry friend. Eventually Jack decided that instead of us sending her home to see her mommy, she would decide if and when she would leave. Even when we picked her up to take her outside she would return by sitting in our windowsill and meow for attention. She began spending nights with us crawled up in our bed. And nearly a year later most of her time was spent in our apartment, rather than in her’s across the hall. Thankfully her mommy knew that it wasn’t personal and that a cat is going to do what a cat wants, when it wants to. This is a lesson I have now have learned.
We don’t know exactly how old she is (maybe 13 or 14) or where she lived before suddenly appearing one day. We do know that she’s an elderly cat that is still very curious, calm but playful, brilliant, and sometimes mischievous. In the little time we’ve know her she has given us many good laughs and great stories to tell. Jack is very special to us.
It would be difficult to picture our life, family, and home without Jack. She is one of the our three kitty fur babies. And though we love each and every one of them very much, Jack is special because she’s the original one that began our journey into feline guardianship. My husband and I are so thankful to Jack’s mommy for being so gracious, understanding, and allowing Jack to come live with us in our new home.
Jack is a sweet cat that has given us unconditionally affection and companionship. She has saved me from giant cockroaches and strange looking beetles. She has kept me company for countless hours of computer work, cooking and photographic sessions. She knows when my blanket needs kneading, and when she needs to lay on me because I’m cold and need to warm up. She has been by my side when I’ve been happy, angry, and sad. She may or may not know it, but her companionship and purrs have cheered me up on many occasions. She makes me smile countless times every day. We hope that she has many, many, years ahead of her. She’ll always be our special Jack and our kitty princess.