After They Go Home – Jimbo’s Story

I have done several posts, sent numerous tweets and posted many pictures on my Facebook page of pets looking for their furever homes. Some of those pets have been lucky enough to have found that someone special to take them in and care for them.

However, I don’t hear about their lives afterwards. I wonder about them; are they happy, have they settled in alright, do they now have other furfriends to play with?

So I decided to find out.

I’ve asked people if they would share their stories.

You will hear how these pets came to their new home, struggles they may have encountered, how it changed the lives of both the pet and the humans involved.

Jimbo’s Story

As told by his “mom” Sara

Jimbo was surrendered to the local humane society when he was 13 years old, and 23 pounds.

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The first thing the shelter staff did when Jimbo arrived was start him on a diet, and he started to lose weight. Quickly.

The thing about cats is when they lose weight, their livers have to process the extra fat they are melting away, and if they lose weight too quickly, it can cause hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). This is what happened to Jimbo, and this is when I met him.

Jimbo arrived in the clinic with fat rolls, matted dandruffy fur, and yellow skin (from the liver disease), but the most notable thing about him was everytime someone came near, he would start purring, drop his shoulder down, and stick his butt in the air. He was gross, and he was on death’s door, but he was SO nice that you couldn’t help but love him.

Cat’s with fatty liver need to be fed a lot to stop the body from mobilizing fat stores, which often requires a feeding tube. Jimbo had a feeding tube in place for 6 weeks before he started to get better, and because he needed to be fed so frequently, I “fostered” him while the tube was in place. He never left. Once he finally started eating on his own and we were able to remove the feeding tube, it was pretty clear that Jimbo wasn’t going anywhere…. Except to the food dish.

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Once he rediscovered his love for food, it wasn’t hard to see how he’d reached 23 pounds, he would do anything to get food. Once, he licked all the cream cheese icing off of a freshly made carrot cake, and any time the dogs got a treat, he would run up and try to steal it right out of their mouths. He would even rip open large bags of dog food, and eat until he passed out. With strict portion control, interactive feeding toys, low calorie food, and lots of fibre to make him feel full(ish), I was able to maintain his weight at a slightly pudgy 14 pounds.

Jimbo was nice to every one and every thing.

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To quote a 6 year old who was afraid of cats; “I like Jimbo, he’s kind”.

When I met my (now) husband and brought him home to meet the animals, Jimbo fell in love.  My husband quickly went from appreciating animals from afar, to being on the receiving end of a full-blown pet-owner infatuation.  Jimbo adores him. He sleeps with him, and wakes him up in the morning for snuggle sessions, he drinks his leftover shower water, and rubs up against his towels and dirty clothes. Really, it’s weird.

In 2013 Jimbo started not finishing all of his food. It was an immediate red flag for me, and diagnostic testing revealed that he had developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Since his diagnosis, it has been a constant struggle to find the right food, and the right medication, and a way to get it in him. I’m really good at pilling cats, I’ve never met a cat I couldn’t pill, except Jimbo. The only way to get medication into Jimbo is if he decides he wants it. So he takes his pills in smoked salmon, or cream cheese, or pate, or chicken breast, or anything that he decides he’s willing to swallow. It’s not ideal since he’s on special food, but the alternative is that he doesn’t get the medication at all. When the balance is right, he is his typical happy, loving cat self. When the balance is wrong, he loses his appetite, has vomiting and diarrhea, and becomes quiet and withdrawn. In the summer, Jimbo had a relapse and we thought we were going to have to say goodbye, but after some food and medication tweaks, he bounced back. Currently, Jimbo is eating a hydrolysed protein diet, and getting 5 different types of medications, and he’s doing really really well.

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I know Jimbo doesn’t have years left with us, but as long as he’s happy, we will do whatever it takes to keep him around. He’s a wonderful cat, and I feel so lucky to have been the one that landed him (even if he loves my husband more than he loves me).

Author: Kelly Harding with Edie The Pug

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1 Comment

  1. Thank for you being such a wonderful foster and then forever family to Jimbo. He sounds like a very special cat and I hope his health holds out for a long while!

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