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I remember a friend of mine coming over to my apartment and telling me "You need to have a pet to warm this place up." So on October 16 2002 we went to one of the most high kill shelters in the country, with a mission of getting an older cat.

We looked around the shelter in tears as I saw the rows and rows of cats crying to get out. I stumbled upon a cage way at the bottom and looked in. I saw a very small grey kitten looking back at me. Jack looked like a gremlin but when I put the kitty near my face he licked my cheek. I remember putting him back in the cage and Jack looked up at me like "Let's get out of here." and boy did we.

I quickly named him Jack. He had a larger than life personality. Jack let me know when he wasn't happy or if he was hungry by crying loudly throughout the apartment. Jack loved the change of seasons since we lived in Florida and he was a long hair-the cool air was something he loved and would spend hours on the porch. I cannot remember a time where Jack didn't great me with an enthusiastic meow when I woke up and didn't let up until I opened his can of food...

Until one Saturday in September of 2015 I spotted a lump on his side. I looked down at Jack, and I couldn't comprehend life without Jack. I couldn't wrap my mind around it as thirteen years of greeting in the morning, loss of jobs, new friends, new apartments and new beginnings-it's a long time --Jack my co-pilot in life was now going off without me. Jack died two weeks later surrounded by family and an amazing Vet telling him what a wonderful boy he was. I still look around in awe that this cat named Jack bought so much love to my life and with it so much sadness as I walk without him here-but in my heart. 10.30.15. I miss you Jack.

Jennifer Ashley
Daytona Beach, FL

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