There’s a sense in which you’re about to read a jeremiad.
Not the sense in which the word is usually defined. (Why would we do that?) No: we’re talking about slapping together Jeremy the cat with The Iliad.
Like all those folks in the Iliad, Jeremy has seen war. (Not in the sense of throwing spears and pillaging villages; more like battling through the trenches of “not-supposed-to-survive-it” heart disease.)
Like those Iliad lads and ladies, Jeremy’s had a history all long and twisty. (Not in the sense of seasons of siegeworks; more like five years and counting of spectacular health after being given an optimistic estimate of six months.)
And like the Iliad, Jeremy’s story has a sequel that’s all about the Odyssey. And that’s where I hand things over to Jeremy’s hero, his secret weapon, his angel of life and love and “irrational” hope…his foster mom, Susan.
Oops. In those five years of Susan’s selflessly fostering Jeremy, I got too used to the phrase “foster mom Susan.” But now she’s become adoptive mom Susan. And thereby hangs their westward tale:
“Hello and greetings from The Valley of the Sun!
“Sorry for the long overdue email. Jeremy and I have been busy settling in to our new home.
“After the closing of our house, Jeremy and I started our journey by spending a week with my mom, who lives locally, before hitting the road to make our way cross-country. I was so pleased with how well Jeremy adjusted to being pulled from his familiar environment. Though obviously insecure about the change, he was still playing and eating, and that was a great start.
“The first day, we traveled about 9 hours to northeastern Tennessee. Jeremy did well. The car ride was not his most favorite thing to do, but he held his own. By the time day two arrived, he had a better idea of what to expect, and I think he was slightly more relaxed.
“At the end of day two, we landed in western Arkansas, where my family lives. Jeremy and I stayed to visit with them for a week. He had the run of the room and continued to eat and play. Somehow, he always managed to find a way to get under the bed, despite my best efforts to barricade his entry with pillows, luggage, or anything suitable I could find that might impede his progress. The only reason I do this is because getting him out from under the bed 3x a day, for medication, can be stressful on him. So, I prefer to provide him with hiding spots that are easily accessible to me.
“When we left Arkansas, we drove 9-10 hours to New Mexico and stayed in a hotel on the famous Route 66. That was cool. The next morning was another 9 hour drive to our final destination: Phoenix.
“Overall, Jeremy was amazing. He was obviously uncomfortable being taken from his environment and dragged across the country; that is only natural. But one thing about Jeremy, through it all, is that he always allowed me to take care of him. Though he would never admit it, I think he trusted me.
“After arriving in Phoenix, we stayed at a hotel for a week before moving into our new apartment. We had been through a lot at this point, and it took Jeremy a day or two to really decompress, but once he made up his mind to start exploring, he never looked back. He is quite content in our new place.
“The fun part has been watching him explore. If you remember, he used to live on the second floor of our home and never once encountered a kitchen. Now, living in an apartment, he has been introduced to the world of appliances.
“The refrigerator made Jeremy jump the first time it kicked on, but after holding vigil over the GE, to learn its ways, he quickly made friends. He is most skeptical of the dishwasher, and he is most curious about the garbage disposal; each time I turn it on, he comes running around the corner and peers in the direction of the noise. His reaction is the same to the percolating coffee maker.
“As if Jeremy couldn’t get more adorable!
“The beauty of our apartment is that it is just around the corner from the 24-hour emergency vet and Jeremy’s new cardiologist. Not only do we enjoy our apartment and community, but it is perfectly situated for his needs.
“In addition, I was lucky enough to be asked by my company to continue working with them remotely. So, I came out to Arizona with secured employment, and I get to work from home and spend my days with Jeremy. It’s an arrangement that has helped both of us with the transition.
“All in all, our adventures have been exciting, and the experience has given Jeremy a lot more confidence.
“For now, we are hunkered down and enjoying some stability.
“Next up…. Jeremy is due for an echocardiogram in December. We will check in then and provide you with an update.
“I’ve attached a couple recent pics of Jeremy living it up in his new home.
“Hope all is well with you and yours. Thank you for continuing to follow me and Jeremy on our journey. It is nice knowing we have good, caring people in our corner.
“Lots of love,
Jeremy & Susan”
We’re in your corner and in grateful awe, J & S. Arizona’s big, famous ditch may be cool, but as far as we’re concerned, you put the real “grand” in the Grand Canyon State.
All photos and awesomeness courtesy of Jeremy and Susan.