Friday, March 30, 2012

Jack & Jinxy


I’ll never forget that day back in the summer of 1985 when we were helping my Uncle Jack & Aunt Hilda move from Santa Rosa, CA to Roseburg, OR.  Mom came in the room with an odd look on her face and plastic recipe file box in hand.  It looked a little beat up and had tape around the top to seal it.  Evidently, it was the cremated remains of Jack’s cat Jinxy!

Jack & Hilda
Uncle Jack loved cats especially black ones.  I can remember every time he visited us that he would tease me that he might have to take that fine black kitty we had back home with him.  I would tell him that she wouldn’t go with him because she loved me.  When Jack got back home he sent me a picture of his black kitty sleeping in some gold garland and told me that his old Tom looked lonesome.  Seven years later, Jack was probably without a cat for the first time in decades and he and Hilda were moving.  My parents, brother and I went down to help them pack up for the move.  Mom said that Jack came back in the room and asked her if she remembered Jinxy.  Jinxy was a cat that Jack had had some 25 years before when he lived in Colorado.  Jinxy had died and Jack was getting ready to move and he couldn’t bear to leave his beloved cat behind.  So, Jack had Jinxy cremated and kept him a plastic recipe box that he declared was hermetically sealed with tape.  He was very serious when he asked my mother if she thought that he should take Jinxy to their next home.  Mom looked at him and could see that this meant a lot to him and told him that he had had Jinxy this long, so why not take him with them.  She did point out that Jack should get a better box for him though.

When Mom came into the room after that little talk with Uncle Jack…she told us what he had said.  My Dad said that it was probably just some dirt and gravel and that he was probably pulling our leg.  Mom said no…he was quite serious.  Hilda was no help…she told Dad to open it up and look if he wasn’t sure.

We began the convoy up north – my brother and I driving Jack’s extra cars – and headed north to Roseburg, OR.  Along the way, my brother found a lovely little myrtle wood box for his wife.  When he was showing us all the box – Jack began eying the box and told him that it would make a fine coffin for Jinxy…my brother quickly put the box away because we weren’t real sure whether Jack was joking or not.

Jack didn’t live very long in Roseburg, OR.   One day, 2 years later, he was working in his wood shop and died of a heart attack.  Hilda, while broken hearted, still had her sense of humor and wrote Jack – AWOL on the day that he died.  Jack had a simple wish.  He wanted to be cremated and taken up to Grouse Flats on the old home place and have his and Jinxy’s ashes scattered.  His brother, Claude, told me that it really wasn’t quite fair to Jinxy as he was a city cat and he was up there with all of those country cats.

My cat - Jinxy
Several years ago when I got a new kitten the only name that immediately came to mind for her was Jinxy – so in memory of Uncle Jack and his love for black kitties…she is my Jinxy!