About JaspersKatz


  
Our journey began in 2005. At that time we were just average “pet owners.”  We had three cats that lived long and healthy lives. At the time of their passing, Dusty was 19, Rambo was 20 and Tigger was 21. They received their necessary veterinarian care over the years and we felt fortunate that they lived such long and healthy lives. ​​
 
Their kidneys were an issue toward the end of their lives, like most senior cats, and subcutaneous fluids had to be regularly administered. Tami learned quickly how to administer the fluids but not without angst. Initially, she stuck herself more than she stuck the cat. She feared she would be unable to take on such responsibility but persevered nonetheless. Over time she became adept and confident.
 
Following the crossing of our last kitty, we felt the need for a break. We remained "cat-less" for a time but our love for animals would not allow us to remain that way for long. Our lives just didn't feel complete without the love of a furry companion.
 
Over time we paid a visit to the King County Animal Shelter. It was there we met Jasper. Jasper was extremely unhealthy. He was thin and had bad breath with brown drool dripping from his mouth. When we alerted a shelter worker of his condition, we were told that he would need to have all of his teeth removed. We were told that, due to his health, he shouldn't have been placed on the adoption floor at that time. We knew instantly that we were brought to the shelter that day for a reason.
 
It was obvious that Jasper's future was bleak. Our hearts told us that we must act quickly. We contacted our veterinarian for advice. We received answers to important questions such as; Is it possible for a cat to survive without teeth? What was the cost to provide Jasper with his urgent dental care? What would Jasper's future look like? Our veterinarian urged us to confirm that Jasper was negative for FIV/FELV before bringing him home as well as testing for other underlying conditions. It was estimated that he was about 4 years old.
 
The shelter would need some time to perform this testing so it was necessary for Jasper to remain there over the weekend. To ensure his safety, we "put a hold" on him. We were delighted when we discovered that his tests were negative. The critical issue was his dental care. A kind King County veterinarian took pity on us and, though it wasn't part of shelter protocol,  removed the most compromised teeth. It was also discovered that Jasper was developing a upper respiratory infection and was not eating well. They asked us, did we REALLY want to adopt him? Of course we did!

The next day we took him to our vet to get his "free" checkup only to discover that the poor guy was extremely dehydrated and it was necessary for him to spend the night to receive intravenous fluids. The next morning we returned, anxious to take the little guy home with us. It was obvious he wasn't well. His upper respiratory infection was causing his nose to be plugged and, since cats won't eat what they can't smell, he was refusing food.
 
Our veterinarian informed us that the only way to save Jasper's life was to surgically implant a feeding tube. When the procedure was complete, we took our guy home. We soon discovered that feeding tubes are frightening. Aspiration of food into the lungs is a danger and Jasper would require around the clock feedings. We had no hesitations and vowed we would nurse him back to health. At times we worried that we had taken on more than we could handle but we were determined to change the trajectory of Jasper's precious life. He was already part of our family.
 
Eventually, Jasper regained the ability to eat on his own. We felt as if we had conquered the world! We were ecstatic as he continued to eat and became stronger and stronger. Finally, the feeding tube was removed and Jasper was showing signs of recovery.
 
Sadly, over the next 3 1/2 years, Jasper's health declined. In spite of our veterinarian's efforts, he slipped into a coma and peacefully passed over the Rainbow Bridge. During our brief years with Jasper, it was apparent that he was eternally grateful to us. He knew that we had saved his life and he lived it with joy. He often reached his front legs around Tami's neck and gave her hugs. Although Jasper had changed our lives, we had no idea how much or where his legacy would lead us.
 
It became apparent to us that Jasper had quietly led us directly to our passion; caring for cats like him who needed special care. Because of Jasper, we followed the trail that few will travel. Jasper had shown us the way. He taught us that our mission was to be caretakers of kitties like him who were medically challenged and had little hope of survival. He showed us that our intervention in these fragile lives would fill our hearts and that the love and appreciation would be returned to us tenfold.
 

  
"Rescuing one cat won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that one cat…"