Mister Jake turns 17, this week.
Well, that’s an estimate. He was born in June or July 2000, and I adopted him in September 2000. That makes both of us old.
Jake was rescued from a parking lot on the northwest side of Chicago by some random chick named Lynn. Her mom worked with my friend April’s mom. I was a bridesmaid at April’s wedding, and Lynn came to my table and told me about a feral kitten with sharp claws who didn’t like people but had a good heart.
Ken and I were dating at the time. Barely. He didn’t want to get married, so I moved out of our home and into an apartment by myself to teach him a lesson. But I was pretty desperate for male affection at April’s wedding, so I said, “Please name your kitten Jake. I’ll pick him up in a week.”
Jake’s entrance in my life was perfectly timed with every other man being a total weirdo or a dick. Do you know how hard it is to date before blogging was a thing? Without social media? I was not meant to date without Twitter.
For example, Lynn heard that I was sorta single and tried to set me up on a date with a police officer from Chicago. This dude took me to a restaurant called Sabatino’s where I accidentally called him Ken. Whoops! A few weeks later, the cop called and told me that he wasn’t interested in dating me — just in case I wondered why my phone hadn’t been ringing — but he was available for casual hook-ups.
Casual hook-ups with an emotionally stunted Chicago cop? Sign me up!
Thankfully, I won the handsome cat lottery. Jake was an awesome kitten who loved me with his whole heart. While he retained much of his feral qualities, he loved me fiercely. I referred to him as my “first husband,” and I couldn’t ask for a more loving companion.
Now, years later, I’m married to Ken. Whoo hoo! No cops for me! And Jake and I are about as far away from my apartment on the northwest side of Chicago as you can get. Thank God. And Jake still offers unconditional love — like a cat stalker — on a daily basis.
But he’s pretty old and skinny.
Jake can’t see for shit, he’s nearly deaf, and he takes four different medicines each day. I also forgot to mention that he can’t breathe and his kidneys are falling apart. The good news is that Jake’s not in any pain because he’s an opioid addict and can’t operate heavy machinery due to his prescription Buprinex. But as long as he eats and drinks and pees in the litter box, he can sleep on a heating pad near the fireplace.
I’m not sure if Jake will make it to 18, but I’ve said that for the past few years. And it’s stupid to mourn someone or something before it’s gone. So, happy birthday, Mister Jake. Your the best “first husband” I’ve ever had!