In Memory of Jake (Domestic Polydactyl Tuxedo)

Jake was a domestic polydactyl Tuxedo kitty. Just as with each and every human, so too is it that each and every fur baby is unique and special, but there was just something extra about Jake that endeared him to absolutely everyone. He passed away a year and a half ago at the ripe old age of eighteen and I still miss him dearly. But fond memories live on not only in my heart. but also in the hearts of many others.

One fall day, a cat I had never seen before simply walked through the open door, came inside, started checking things out, and when I finally noticed him (who knows how long he had actually been there because I was busy painting) he just looked at me as if saying, "Hello, here I am and I now plan to live with you." I can't remember exactly why I named him Jake, but the name just seemed to suit him. He was about six months old.

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Jake's looks were as unique as his goofy, carefree personality. He was a polydactyl tuxedo kitty with 24 toes and color markings that were far enough "off the mark" that his nickname was clown kitty. His front paws (7 toes each) looked like boxing gloves and he could even slightly separate the three inside toes from the other four, grab something small between the three and the other four and pinch them closed enough to hold tightly to the item. Each of his back paws had 5 toes and those feet simply seemed huge.

He was an extra long, lanky boy with not a bit of fat, but he did have one of those "lots of extra skin hanging down" type of bellies. Between those huge clunky feet, the lanky body, and then that belly which would swing from side to side made it hysterically funny to watch him run.

He loved playing with Q-tips clenched between the three and four toes and would swing it, with paw in air, back and forth and then release it, chase it and start all over again. He also liked hiding them in between the sofa cushions. His other favorite toy was crumpled up cigarette packages. He would bat those around for what seemed like hours at a time and would even play catch and bring it back to you for more until you thought he was going to pass out from exhaustion and you had to make him stop.

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Jake's favorite way to drink water was from a large wide plastic drinking glass where he would stick his closed cupped gloved foot into, scoop the water out and drink from that paw as if it were a bowl. He also loved drinking from a bathtub and would come running when he heard the water filling and wait on the edge until it was high enough for him to bend down and lap the water. Forget it that you wanted to get in there to bathe because you had to wait your turn. LOL!

One more story about sweet Jake before sharing three photos. I had a papier mache comical looking replica of a tuxedo cat for many years that was about a foot and a half tall placed next to a large plant on the floor under a window. The first time Jake noticed it he suddenly stopped, took those jumping back and sideways for a few steps that cats do, hissed, slowly inched his way back towards it, sniffed and then walked away as if nothing had even happened. I just couldn't quit giggling for the longest time.

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This first photo gives a bit of an indication of how big Jake's back paws were and shows him in all his leisurely glory, the second photo is a good frontal close up of his goofy off kilter color markings and just how huge his front boxing gloves were and the third photo shows his, "I am going to drink before you can bathe!"

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July 15, 20120 found this helpful

What a beautiful story. I was trying to hold back the tears. I could sense your love for jake as I read your story. Ii could sense through your words how much you miss him. Jake and you were meant to be for a reason. That reason may or may not always remain a mystery. You keep sharing stories and pictures of jake and hold onto those precious moments with him. I really enjoyed jakes story.

Have you ever considered writing a small series of childrens books? Jake ofcourse would be the the leading character. it could be a great teaching tool for young children on proper pet ownership,God knows the world needs it. Thank you again and I hope you consider the childrens books. I truly think children will take a liking to Jake. I'm sure jake is watching from up there at the rainbow bridge.

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July 17, 20120 found this helpful

I loved the way he just sauntered in and decided he was home! And he was!

Jake shares some similarities with our border collie Tiki. She too likes to drink bathwater, even the water on the edge of the tub after a shower.

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And her favorite thing to play with is a strong plastic container like fruit or bakery cookies come in. She will make more noise with it than most people can stand, but we seem to tolerate anything she does!

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July 18, 20120 found this helpful

smokeyb1, your comments so very much touched my heart and when you suggested children's books with Jake as the main character my mind started spinning! There are so many incidents with Jake that could easily be woven into fun stories for children! The one that popped into my brain first was the time he decided to have some extra willful fun and somehow snuck out of the house.

Being an indoor cat he didn't know how to get back into the house or over the fence into the yard and I couldn't leave the doors and windows open and unlocked while at work or during the night! I was beside myself because he was a lover not a fighter and I was so worried something awful would happen to him! How he finally got back in was the second night I decided to risk it and slept on the floor of the three season porch right in front of the opened door in hopes that the timing would be right for him to get back in!

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It was a stormy windy summer night and pouring down rain. I didn't care if I got soaking wet and just kept praying the timing would be good! Sure enough, about 3:00 in the morning a hungry soaking wet Jake jumped on me and immediately began purring and doing his kneading 'stomp dance' on my tummy with those big old boxing glove front paws! It was one of the happiest most relieved experiences of my life and I have a feeling it was for him too. :-)

I will seriously consider writing for children in Jake's memory! What better title for a book series could their be in his honor than 'The Adventures of Jake the Cat' and written in his point of view at that? :-)

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July 18, 20120 found this helpful

Aww! God sure sent you Jake for a reason. I love the way he just walked into your home & announced he was there to stay. Thanks for sharing... huge hugs!

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July 19, 20120 found this helpful

Jake was a great cat and full of life to the end. I miss him.

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July 20, 20120 found this helpful

Smoky b1 is right Deeli. Jake came alive for me in your writing. I have numerous published authors in my family and your writing has great promise. At the very least some stories about Jake. Some folks start with a magazine article, or a childrens book and go from there. I hope you will consider it, and be sure to keep telling stories for us. Thanks!

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July 20, 20120 found this helpful

How lucky both of you were. God sure does have miracles for different Seasons in all our lives. I read this story and I believe this was meant to be from day one. Blessings to you. May your heart heal however always remain full of all the joy Jake brought into your life.

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July 22, 20120 found this helpful

You go girl. You do have the talent. Love you, Vi

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