My Forever Valentine

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Today is Jude’s 10 birthday and also his gotcha day. I adopted him on Valentine’s Day when he was two years old. Jude was seized by the humane society from a hoarding situation. He was found crammed into a tiny trailer with over 30 other cats.

When I adopted Jude, I had been searching for a month for a suitable companion for Kitty. Kitty was distraught about being alone after Kip passed away. Kitty would get so upset about being home alone while I was at work that I would come home to multiple puddles of vomit because he was so upset. Kitty needed a companion.

Kitty was declawed (please don’t judge – it was the 90s when he was declawed and I have not declawed a cat since). Being that Kitty was declawed, he needed a companion who would be gentle with him, as I did not plan on declawing a cat ever again. This meant that Kitty did not have claws to defed himself, but his companion would have claws to potentially harm him. We needed someone with a gentle disposition who would not take that advantage.

A friend of mine had heard about Jude at the shelter. He was friendly with all other cats and was very gentle. He was good about playing with his claws in. He was also quite shy and they were looking for a rather quiet home for him. 

Jude’s name in the shelter was Raymond. Given his story and his shelter name, I knew he was meant to be. Raymond was my grandfather’s name. I had Jude picked out as my baby name for a boy. I always use their shelter names as a middle name. Jude Raymond could not have been more perfect.

I brought Jude home and did the slow introduction process with Kitty. They bonded immediately. It was love at first sight. Jude was indeed very gentle with Kitty. In addition to being declawed, Kitty was a lot older than Jude and was a senior. Jude played with Kitty, but seemed to sense when Kitty was tired and would stop playing. Then they would cuddle.

Even though Kitty was declawed, he taught Jude how to use the cardboard scratcher for his claws. I had bought scratching posts and cardboard scratchers for Jude to use. Kitty would “use” them first and then Jude would mimic him. Jude was a fast learner. Kitty taught him many things.

After Kitty died from cancer, Jude was alone for 6 months. It was just the two of us. I could tell Jude was sad from losing Kitty. We played all the time. Jude was ready for a companion, but it took me longer to be ready to adopt again. 

Then came Simon. Jolene came later. There was supposed to be 2 cats and a dog, not 3 cats, but that is a story for another day. This is Jude’s story.

Jude is an amazing older brother to Simon and Jolene. Jude is the oldest. Now he teaches them everything, just like how Kitty taught him. 

Jude has really come out of his shell since we moved from the apartment to the house. He plays a lot more in the house than he did in the apartment. He still rolls around on the floor. I never knew a cat to just roll around as much as Jude does!

He truly is happy. I’m so lucky to be able to see the wonderful relationship he has with Simon and Jolene. Jude still has some shy tendencies from his days as a stray. He is gentle when he needs to be. Sometimes he does play rough with Simon. 

Jude will always be my Valentine. He was meant to come into my life at the perfect time. He indeed took asad song and made it better.

Happy 10th Birthday, Jude. Happy 8th Gotcha Day. Thank you for being my Forever Valentine.

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