"I'm way overinvolved emotionally with this cat, and I don't think he's going to make it to his first birthday next week," I told veterinarian Jessica Franklin at the AAAH on a hot day in late July. "He's been lethargic for two days, the antibiotics he got here yesterday didn't make any difference, he won't eat or drink, and he has this little scab on his neck that isn't near big enough to make him sick." I started to cry.
We got JXN shortly after Thanksgiving 2011-when Luke, our oldest cat, suddenly died. We chose a new feline-the smartest, handsomest, and most curious of all the kittens at the Ann Arbor Cat Clinic. We named him Jackson, and decided to spell it JXN for ease of texting (us, or him?). JXN is a beautiful cat, close to a Russian Blue: long legs, big ears, and huge eyes whose pupils are often enlarged by his close attention to every moving thing. We had JXN neutered, got all the right shots and tests, and brought him home.
From day one, he was a delight, learning to climb on our fake holiday tree as he systematically removed each ornament, loving anyone who came to the house, and performing acrobatic, aerobatic leaps at his Cat Dancer toy. In spring he went outdoors and learned that real trees aren't so sturdy as steel ones. He fell about twenty feet but recuperated after an extended pee of relief. He had other scrapes, getting stuck on the roof and in other trees, and finding out about skunks, but by midsummer he was maturing and having fewer scary episodes. I remained concerned, however, about his habit of exploring every new thing, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, by licking and nibbling.
And now this inexplicable, possibly incurable, fevered stupor.