Jory was adopted as a Rescue Cat April 2005 and joined us our Lambertville, New Jersey home. She immediately made herself comfortable joining her adopted brother Floyd as part of our family and set about exploring her new home.
Our 1860’s colonial row house in Lambertville was full of places to hide and Jory quickly found them all. She was always shy and elusive and often hid when we had visitors.
Floyd and Jory had the freedom to be indoor and outdoor cats but Jory seldom joined Floyd outside the comforts of her indoor world. On her rare forays to explore the world outside, she proved a lady who liked her comforts and was no fan of our gravel driveway.
Jory’s loud cry of “Maror” was very distinctive and a particularly entertaining part of day to day life and offered added amusement during our family Passover celebrations! Also unique was the way her tail would frequently stick straight up in the air at a 90 degree angle from her torso. We referred to that as “Periscope Up!”
As a unique lady, Jory had a song created in her honor: “Jory, Jory Cat, her tail goes this way and that…..”
Jory’s original name, Shirley, was also fodder for family jokes and a lot of teasing. My Mother’s name was Shirley and the two-legged Shirley was no Cat Lover. Jory was a particular challenge because she was always a jumper who loved her GrandMa Shirley!
In late 2010 another cat, Mickey, joined out Family. Mick was a feral cat that used to lounge in our driveway and soon adapted to being Jory’s adopted younger sister.
We moved from Lambertville to Portland, Oregon in June 2011; quite an adventure for any cat.
One of the tensest nights of our lives was flying west with Jory and adopted siblings Floyd and Mickey. The 3 flew in our plane from Newark to Portland under United’s Pet Care Program. Jory was quite vocal on our way to the airport. Sue and I had taken the Newark-Portland flight many times with few issues, but this night it was delayed. We were never happier than the moment we picked the trio up in the pouring rain from the Special Handling area at Portland International, safe and sound, and took them to their new home, a midrise condominium in Portland.
Then 7-year-old Jory quickly adapted to City life and made herself at home. She was a new and very different cat in an urban setting. The formerly reticent girl was suddenly the outgoing “party animal” coming out to meet and greet friends and strangers alike. She was the “Belle of the Ball” and forged a profound bond with Marissa, our Cat Sitter and Wei-Hua our neighbor across the hall. She became quite the cuddler too.
One of her favorite Portland rituals was talking walks in the hallway of our condominium building. As she walked the hall neighbors would be greeted with a hearty “Maror!”, particularly if Jory was interested in the smells or sounds she came upon.
With age came some health problems and beginning in 2015 Diabetes. It went into remission but later returned. For a while we were able to keep it under control but later there were issues and many visits including 8 different Vets as we strived to get Jory the right treatment
In mid 2016 we moved from our Portland Condo to a good-sized house in rural Salem, Oregon. Jory had space to roam around and became an avid birdwatcher and also enjoyed views of nearby Cows, Horses and (from a distance!) the occasional Coyote.
Late 2016 was a tough time for Ms. Cat. Jory lost a lot of weight and spent early December in the Hospital with Diabetes related complications but bounced back from a potentially fatal bout of Ketoacidosis.
Sue again went into Florence Nightingale mode, as she had with Floyd, providing fluids, insulin shots, appetite enhancement and the other Meds that were prescribed. Jory got a tremendous amount of love and attention and seemed to rebound; she even began exploring the downstairs of our home.
She was holding her own until January 23, 2017 when she stopped eating and by the 25th Jory had withered down to skin and bones. Nothing we could do would get her to eat. Faced with another round of hospitalizations and, if she recovered, a poor quality of life thereafter, it was time to say goodbye.
Could we have done something different, something more? Intellectually we know we did the right thing but its hard not to second-guess ourselves.
The pain is raw and the remnants of Jory’s care, the Glucose Monitor and Test Strips, Needles, Vials of Insulin, the other Meds and her fluid bag, are each sad reminders that she is no longer with us. It’s painfully quiet; she’s gone and with her, a piece of each of us as well. Jory will live in our hearts, minds but forever be a missing piece of our souls. Sue and I share the profound loss; our lives will be sadly different.
There is some comfort in thinking Jory is with her brother Floyd and other Family members. We hope Jory’s Spirit is now free she is strutting about, her tail held high (periscope up!) and is shouting out big, hearty “Marors” to Family and friends old and new!