Jessie Templar searched the bedroom for JJ and found no sign of the silly little creature. She went into her work room and rummaged through the plants and flower shop supplies, moving boxes and crates and looking under shelves and into crawlspaces, nothing. She went into the kitchen and living room and combed the entire area. JJ was nowhere to be found.
Eli had left for an early flight to visit his sister; he would be aboard the plane now with his cell phone off. She felt a tinge of fear creep up her back and headed for the door to the balcony. Sometimes, if the door was open, JJ would find his way to her neighbor’s balcony. She called out to JJ, bending over to see the other balcony. She went back into the aparmtment and went to Rory’s door. As usual, Rory was bushy tailed and bright eyed.
“Hey, Jess, how ya doing?”
“I’m fine, thanks, you?”
“Good, what’s wrong?” He noticed the troubled look on her face.
“It’s JJ. I can’t find him. Would you please look to see if he’s on your balcony?”
“Ya, sure, come on in.”
He ushered her into his apartment and over to the balcony doors. They both had a look-see, but JJ was nowhere to be found. Jess was disappointed and worried. She didn’t want to accept that JJ may have fallen over the balcony and was now lost.
“Ok, thanks, Rory.”
Rory walked her to the door.
“Do you want me to help you search outside?”
“No, it’s okay, I’ll go talk to the neighbors on the first floor; he might have crept into one of the yards.”
Jessie thanked him again and went back to her apartment. She called Denise and Rose to see if they had made it into the flower shop alright and to tell them she’d be late. After a brief conversation, Jessie got changed, printed a picture of JJ, and went to see if any of the neighbors had seen him.
After talking with most of the tenants on the ground floor, she went outside and searched the grounds. There was no sign of him near the pool, the playground, or in any tree or shrubbery. Her heart sank as she feared the worse. She went back to the apartment and just as she was turning the key, the telephone rang. She hurried to pick it up. It was Brampton Animal Services, they had JJ and he was seriously injured. He had been run over by a car.
Jessie fell to her knees, fearing the worse. After a few minutes, she got up and went to Rory's door. She was too shaken to go alone so she got Rory to go with her to the hospital where JJ was going to be sent. They went into the hospital went up to the reception desk, and when Jessie started to speak, she was unable. Rory stepped up, put an arm around her, and led her outside. They walked around for a few minutes, but Jessie could not contain herself. Rory went back inside and got the details. He came back out to find Jessie sitting in the car drying her eyes.
“JJ’s not here yet. Apparently, someone called to report it, but they didn’t say when. I figured it didn’t make much difference to ask, but the driver is on the way with your cat, Jess. Sorry, but I don’t think it’s good.”
She looked up at him with red eyes and thanked him.
“I can’t go back in Rory, let me know when they get here okay.”
“Okay, sit tight.”
He went back inside to wait and all Jessie could do was prepare for the worse. If JJ was hit by a car then surely he was dead, or he would have to be put down. Her thoughts took her back to when she first found JJ and his siblings in a cardboard box floating down the creek on that cold December day. And when she took him to the apartment after he’d gotten better, the apartment felt like a home. Oh, the times she’d spent fixing up the flower pots after he’d dig it up, and those annoying cries for food. It was so strange not to have him wake her up this morning; he was her 7am alarm clock and he would always sit on her pillow then pounce on her head, digging his claws into her scalp and doing that alien thing. Tears fell down her cheeks again. Her heart filled with grief.
After twenty minutes Rory came back out and clued her in on the circumstances.
“They’re here, Jess, but it’s not good. The doctor hooked him up to some pain meds, but there is nothing they can do for him. I mean, for her, she’s a female.” He looked puzzled.
Jess stifled a chuckle. “Yah, she is female, but because of the name and the nature of the cat we all got used to calling her a him.”
Jessie took a deep breath, and choked back the lump in her throat. She got out of the car, intent on seeing JJ. Rory led her into the office and downstairs to the waiting room. She took a seat. Posters of kitties and puppies lined the walls. The doctor came downstairs and she motioned them into her office. She told them that JJ was comfortable and in no pain, but he would not make it long. Jessie tried to speak, but words would not come, tears filled her eyes, her heart felt like it was going to shatter, and the pressure mounted in her chest. Unable to contain herself once again, she exploded, covering her whole face with her hands.
“I can’t, Rory, please take care of it,” was all she could manage.
She went upstairs, face red with grief and eyes puffy from tears. She went to the car and bawled.
Rory had made the arrangements, based on what he knew about Jessie and what she would have wanted for JJ. He had requested that his body be cremated and the ashes placed in an urn. He also requested a mold of his paw print for a keepsake.
By the time he got back to the car, Jessie had calmed a bit.
“It was the least I could do.”
He drove her home and when they got to her door, he gave her the papers. She thanked him once again and he hugged her.
Entering her apartment was like entering an Egyptian tomb. All was dark and somewhat eerie, but the most horrible thing was the silence. All she could do was go back to bed and grieve the loss of her beloved JJ.
This story is based on true events that transpired on May 4, 2015.
SEPT. 12, 2013 - MAY 4, 2015