Aby-a-Day – 11 April: Why does the sun go on shining?

Why does the sea rush to shore?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
‘Cause you don’t love me anymore

Why do the birds go on singing?
Why do the stars glow above?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything’s the same as it was
I can’t understand, no, I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
It ended when you said goodbye

Jacoby died at 18:35 CEST today. May StarClan light his path. May he find good hunting, swift running, and shelter when he sleeps.

A vet at Anicura called me around 18:25 to tell me he was having trouble breathing and they wanted to know what to do, if they should resuscitate him or use heroic measures…and while I was on the phone with the doctor, he just…died. He was alive at the beginning of the call (which thank StarClan I didn’t miss), and gone at the end of it. Apparently, 20 minutes prior to her calling me, he was doing all right, but then he just crashed. There was no possible way I had time to get there before he was gone.

A different vet had called me earlier in the afternoon to tell me how he was doing. He was still having a lot of trouble breathing outside of the oxygen cage. He was still on the feeding tube. He was too weak for another round of chemo. She told me that the total was up to around 43,000kr in charges (which puts us over his cap; more about that later) and wanted to discuss my DNR wishes, so I knew it wasn’t going to be good. I was already bracing myself for him not celebrating his 10th birthday on Sunday.

The worst part is, when that last call came…I was sitting in a nail salon, getting my toes painted green for Jake. I heard that my soulmate cat had just died whilst having a woman put my feet under the dryer. It’s so hard to watch them die, to say “okay” and watch the vet inject the overdose of painkillers into them…but it’s a million times worse to not be there…not even be able to be there. Long distance is not the next best thing to being there.

I was planning on going to Jönköping to see him tomorrow. I still will, just not in quite the same way.

Jake was such a special boy. He was born to be my kitten. He bonded with me instantly, and slept by my side within a day of joining our family. He was smart, friendly, and bulletproof. His name was decided twelve days after he was born, when Jacoby Ellsbury stole home against the Yankees at Fenway Park; I didn’t name Jake after the player, but rather the awesome thing he did that time on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball at Fenway against our most hated rivals. I was right about that, considering that Ellsbury eventually ended up going to play for those pinstriped goons.

Jake was a therapy cat, and he loved riding in his stroller when we walked to our visits at the psych wards at facilities along Harrison and Albany Streets in the South End. He loved people, especially children. He loved going on shopping errands with me and I would take him along if I was shopping anywhere that didn’t involve food. He even went to restaurants with me, as long as there was outside seating.

He was also a minor celebrity in Boston, known as Strollercat. He appeared on the cover of the Boston Herald during a newsweek consisting of Hurricane Sandy, the Patriots playing at Wembly Stadium in London, Halloween, and a Presidential election involving a former Massachusetts governor. He got a two-page spread in Your Cat, the UK’s biggest cat magazine, and there was an article about him and his travels in CFA’s Cat Talk. He was a celebrity cat guest at the first ever Somerville Cat Film Festival. And, perhaps most amazing of all, he was named Cat of the Year by the Westchester Cat Club and honoured with the Scarlett Award for his therapy work with first responders after the Boston Marathon bombings.

He was a show cat, but he didn’t start his show career until he was two years old, partly because of this therapy training, and partly because he got his foot caught in the top of the escalator at Broadway T Station when he was a year and a half old. He did well, the judges exclaiming over his rich ruddy coat, and his decidedly non-Abylike behaviour on the judging table. One judge called him a “poseable action figure,” and another said he was “a Persian in an Aby suit.” He became a Grand Premier in a nailbiter of a show, needing only one final to have enough points and not getting it until his last ring on Sunday. One year, he was in the top ten Abys in Premiership in all of CFA, only to get bumped to #11 on the last weekend of the season. Ironically, in the 2015 season, he was 8th best Aby in Premiership without even trying…and then in 2016, he was 10th best after having gone to only two CFA shows! He also managed to crack the top 25 Best Cats in Premiership in the Northeast Region in 2015, earning a regional win and placing 21st…again, without really trying. The year we went to the World Show in Philadelphia, he was the Best Abyssinian Premier in the Red Group. The only thing he failed at in cat shows was agility. He preferred to pose on the obstacles rather than run through them. He was also a Double Grand Champion Alter in TICA.

After we moved to Sweden, he registered in FIFe, where he earned Nominations, a Best in Variety, and a Best in Show in Altered Males, Category 4, along with several Best in Shows in the Senior class. He ended up with the title of International Grand Premier before deciding he didn’t like FIFe’s style of showing.

He did like dressing up for NEMO’s costume contests, though. Except for wearing pants.

Born in Canada, he lived in Boston and visited New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania in the States and then Göteborg, Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn (and Reykjavik’s airport) in Europe. He’s ridden on almost every form of transport imaginable: Car, bus, subway, train, ferry, airplane…and of course, stroller.

As I said above, the insurance cap has been reached so I won’t close the GoFundMe campaign for his chemo just yet as we don’t know what his final total bill will be. Also, the insurance won’t cover his cremation. An anonymous donor made an extremely generous donation, so I am confident there’ll be something left over for New England Abyssinian Rescue. I will close it down on Jake’s birthday, 14 April.

My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend has stopped running today. Sleep well in Tuonela, my beloved Jakey Bakey.

45 thoughts on “Aby-a-Day – 11 April: Why does the sun go on shining?

  1. There is no way to express how sorry I am for you and Jake. I have followed him almost from the start, and shared your blog daily with my mother and her Tabby/Aby therapy cat, who has been a lifesaver to her. There is a huge void in the cat world – I feel like I have lost one of my own – which I have. Jacoby (and your whole family) truly touched the hearts of anyone who knew him – in person or by blog. Your blog is the highlight of my each and every day. I hope you will be able to continue – You will never know how it has touched me and many others. Hugs and compassionate thoughts to you, Bjorn and the rest of your fur babies. I am so sorry – it was so sudden – I too am still in shock. I will never forget Jake, even though I never met him in person. R.I.P dear kitty

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  2. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, and a Somali attempting to take up a third of my keyboard. I am so very sorry for your loss. Although I never met Jake in person, I felt as if I had known him for years. We will miss him deeply. Hugs to you from across the pond.

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  3. Oh I am so sorry. I loved Jake from the first day you posted about him. I would tell my friends, both cat lovers and not, about your posts describing his activities as the strollercat and therapy cat and they all thought he was special too. I will give my Rico an extra hug tonight in Jake’s memory.

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  4. So sorry to hear your sad news about Jacoby passing away. Let your tears flow and keep your memories close to your heart. He has crossed the rainbow. Through your writing he touched so many hearts and made so many people smile, his antics brightened up the day for so many. R. I. P.

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  5. I am so sad for you and Bjorn. I have so enjoyed your adventures together over the years, and just shy of ten wasn’t long enough. Heartbroken for you, he knew how loved he was and will never disappear from your heart.

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  6. Tears flowing. I too lost a precious Aby while she was at the vet and I wasn’t there. It’s a soul crushing feeling. Be gentle on yourself. Jake knew he was loved all the days he was on earth and he carries that love with him on his journey.

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  7. My human and I are utterly heartbroken.😿Even though we never got to meet Jake in person, we knew him well through you, and he and I had so many traits in common, as well as our professions as therapy cats ( not to mention our common lack of talent at agility!). Many, many purrs to you across the ocean. I’m unspeakably sad for you.

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  8. My heart is breaking for you. How can it be that a cat I never me,t owned by someone half a world away brings me to tears. I feel as though one of my own cats has passed. Play freely in the stars Jake & know that you have touched so many lives all round the world.

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  9. Crying and so, so very sorry for your loss. My life is a better one from knowing Jacoby. Praying for his precious sweet soul.

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  10. I’m so sorry for your loss. I broke down in tears for you and your family. You’ve all experienced so much loss in such a short time period. I’m sorry you couldn’t be there with him, the vets over there sound like they are very good people and tried their best.
    I still ache for my Liliana who we had to let go last January to bladder cancer. We didn’t even know she was sick until a day or so previous to having to make that decision. They couldn’t do anything for her, her urethra was completely closed.
    May you find peace, my heart breaks for all of you. Sending love and hugs from NY.

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  11. Oh how my heart breaks for you. I will miss hearing of Jake’s exploits and watching him travel. Never go to meet him but feel like I know him well.

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  12. If Dalila could talk she just asked what’s wrong momma? She rushed over and head bumped me with concern as the tears flowed and I said everything. I’m so very sorry, Jake was too young. May all the good memories bring comfort and peace. You will see him again.

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  13. I really want to send you the gorgeous painting you made of Jake that I have. Please send me your information via email to cartwrig5@aol.com. Paula Cartwright, Wisconsin. (You didn’t do justice to his wearing of clothes. He had an outfit for every occasion). I’m so very sorry for your loss.

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  14. I am so very, very sorry for your loss. His grandsire TJ (Jake) was one of the sweetest abys I have ever known. May Jake live in a small piece of your heart forever …

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  15. We are so sorry to read about Jacoboy’s passing – we had not known about his career as Strollercat – so obviously he met and interacted with many people and made them very happy. He will be playing with Logan again, and still keeping an eye on you all.

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  16. I am so very, very sorry. And I feel lucky to have met Jake, a truly extraordinary cat.

    I wish that you could have stood next to Jake at the end, but you really were with him. Jake held you in his heart, just as you hold him in yours. You can never truly be apart. My condolences, and hugs to you, Björn, and the kids.

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  17. I’m so sorry, Koshka and Bjorn. This is just heartbreaking news. I so enjoyed following the adventures of Jake. He was sure a special one. Just a couple of weeks younger than my Rusty too. RIP little man.

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  18. I was so, so, sorry to read this. Jake was such a special boy and he had the most marvelllous adventures. I am so very sorry that you lost him so young. I feel for you even more as I struggle to keep my own 9-year old Bibi alive with serious liver and kidney issues. Saying goodbye is just the hardest thing ever.

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  19. I am so sorry. I know there’s no real comfort right now, but I just want you to know that you are easily one of the best cat moms I have ever known or heard of, and you gave Jake a wonderful, happy, incredible life. ❤️

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  20. I’m so very sorry. Jake was one of the inspirations for my hoping Cupcake could be a therapy cat. No cat could have been more loved than Jake was, and I’m sure he knew it. ❤

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  21. I’m so sorry. I’ve been following your blog for several years, and I’ve loved all your stories and pictures of Jake and the other kitties. Thank you for taking such good care of them, and for sharing them with the world.

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  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your very special boy. I am honored to have met him at the cat show in Sturbridge in 2014 and 2015.

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  23. He was the funniest, yet the most majestic kitty, with all his little outfits ! RIP dear Jake ! You had a wonderful life & wonderful parents !

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  24. we believe that they are already angels while they are here on earth and when they die they just shed their fursuit for a while till they get another one, in the mean time, their spirits just fly around above your heads, so watch for him, he is still there sparkling.

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  25. I wanted to write as soon as I saw your post but was crying so hard I couldn’t see (and, now, here I go again.) Some cats belong just to us but Jake belonged to us all through your thoughtful, funny, and entertaining tales of his antics and adventures. He was our Best Cat.
    “Why does the sun go on shining?” I think it’s to keep our hearts open to new loves and to forever remind us of our old.
    Hugs and kisses to you, Bjorn, kids, and kitties.

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  26. My heart breaks as I read this. Thank you for sharing this beautiful cat with us, thank you for giving Jake the most loving home imaginable. Farewell, Jacoby, your star will always shine bright in my memory.

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  27. Oh noooooo! After reading just the first few lines, I thought This cannot be good. And it wasn’t. I took a few minutes to bawl like a baby. I can’t imagine how you must feel. My stomach just sank and I literally felt as if I could throw up. This isn’t fair. Jake didn’t have near enough birthdays for such an important, awesome cat. I hope that your good memories of Jake sustain you in this awful time. And know that you’ll see your little love again some day.

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