Jasper’s life started out rocky and very lucky at the same time. He and his two littermates were discovered abandoned in a hayloft when they were just two weeks old with their eyes barely open. Lucky for them, the hayloft belonged to a veterinary technician who immediately brought them in to her clinic where they were bottle-raised. An acquaintance of mine also worked at this clinic, knew I was looking for a cat, and asked if I’d be interested in one or two of the kittens. I first met Jasper when he was three weeks old, fostered all three for a weekend when they were four weeks old, and brought Jasper and Harley home fur-ever when they were about 6 weeks old.
Cute, huh? They were so tiny! Bottle kittens don’t grow as well as their counterparts who get mother’s milk. There was another litter at the clinic the same age as my boys who had their mama. They were twice as big!
I picked Jasper and Harley because they were practically connected at the shoulder. They remained the best of friends until Harley became ill and died just shy of their 12th birthday. Harley’s story is one for another time, though.
Jasper was named for his eyes, a beautiful bluish green.
He is an absolute love! My grandma always loved black cats, saying that they were the sweetest ones. After Jasper, I believe her! Anyone who says cats are aloof has never met him. He is the very definition of a Velcro cat, wanting nothing more than to be near me or, preferably, on me. He became even more clingy after Harley died.
He is also the very definition of a scaredy cat, although he has gotten much better since I started giving him Spirit Essences to help boost his confidence and calm his fears. He still hides from visitors, but will come out after five minutes or so when it used to take him twenty. Jasper is 14½ years old now. My little old man.
I had been considering adopting another cat for a few months, and had even checked out a local shelter, when I walked into my vet’s office one day to buy Jasper’s food (prescription diet) and came face to face with this picture. The caption described a beautiful, timid female named Ziva who needed a home. Ziva?!! My favorite network show is NCIS, and here was a cat named after one of the characters! This had to be some sort of sign, right? So I said the fateful words, “Can I meet her?” Within five minutes, this “timid” cat was in my lap, purring and headbutting me like she had known me her whole life. I applied to adopt her on the spot!
Ziva came home to live with Jasper and I exactly two years to the date after Harley died. I didn’t plan that. In fact, I didn’t realize it until I was on my way to pick her up. It was rocky at first. She was scared of me, the apartment, and Jasper. (Jasper was terrified of her, too!) She slowly started coming out of her shell, and then the aggression started! She claimed the bedroom as territory and would chase Jasper out of there, hissing and screaming! Spirit Essences to the rescue again! I put Ziva on Bully Remedy. It’s taken a while, but she doesn’t chase him out of the bedroom anymore. Jasper is less scared of and intimidated by her, too. Sometimes, they even share the couch.
And I have woken up nearly every day the past two weeks with both of them on the bed with me! That’s taken six months!
(Bad picture, and my bed was made moments later, but I had to capture the magic moment!)
She really is a love, too! If I had been able to name her, I might have chosen Farrah. As in Farrah “Faucet”. She’s a drooler! She has a great, musical purr, and it doesn’t take much to get it going. She’s still a bit skittish, and rarely stays in good light. So, when she is in a good spot, I take full advantage!