We knew it was a possibility, perhaps even probable. But that didn’t make losing Jasmine at the end of May any easier.
Irene and I both noticed something wrong as soon as we came back from our week-long cruise. Jasmine looked “puffy” around her chest, and seemed somewhat disinterested and dull. After a few days, she seemed to be having problems breathing. An X-Ray showed fluid and a possible mass in her chest cavity. Fluid was drawn, and ultrasound performed. The mass was quite large, 4 cm by 2 cm, and looked like a tumor. The fluid drawn from the chest, which eased Jasmine’s breathing for only a day or so, was also tested: it confirmed the worse.
Lymphosarcoma. A highly aggressive cancer. Without FeLV, the prognosis is pretty bad: chemotherapy is only effective in about 30% of the cases, and most of the time only buys a year or two. With FeLV, the prognosis is worse than abysmal. Within 24 hours of diagnosis, Jasmine was struggling to breathe. We took her to emergency late that night, and helped her quietly leave us.
I was angry again for a few days just after losing Jasmine, just as I was with Harley. These kittens were both incredibly loving and loveable, and an uncaring world full of thoughtless, self-centered humans took them both away from us. Jasmine, who we knew longer than Harley, possessed a personality so clear and strongly defined that she took control of the house. The gap left in her absence became palpable as my anger subsided.
Jasmine’s favorite game was the string game. She had a ratty old piece of string, originally the waistband string from a pair of Irene’s pants, which was very dear to her. She’d find it somewhere in the house, and bring it to Irene and I: mrrowling and purring the whole way. Then you’d play with her for a few minutes, and toss the string somewhere, preferably into the next room or the other side of the couch. Jasmine would chase after it, and a few minutes later bring it back to you to start again.
On the last day she was with us, she struggled to find the energy, and managed to drag that ratty old string to me as I sat in the kitchen- she meowed, a painful squeak as she tried to catch her breath. She was too weak to play with it, and couldn’t chase it even a few inches.
I cried quite a bit for the first two days after Jasmine was gone. Since then I’ve found some comfort in the thought that we were lucky to have had her and Harley in our lives, even if just for a short time. I still feel this huge empty spot in my life and our home, where Jasmine used to play.