Happy 11th Birthday, Jude! Valentine’s Day 2023 is Jude’s 11th birthday. It is also his Gotcha Day. He has been with me for 9 years. Jude was adopted at age 2. He had been taken by the Humane Society from a hoarding situation that had over 30 cats crammed into a tiny trailer.
Jude was very shy in the shelter. He did not want to come out of his cage. The shelter workers said he got along with all of the other cats and played gently with them, keeping his claws in. Jude was the perfect companion for Kitty, who was 15 when Jude entered our home. Kitty was heartbroken over the loss of his lifelong companion, Kip. When Jude arrived, he truly did take a sad song and make it better.
Jude played gently with Kitty and was with him through his final years and battle with cancer. When Kitty passed away, I told Jude he was going to be an only child. That lasted about 7 months before Jude started driving me nuts and obviously needed a feline companion.
Jude is now the eldest brother to younger siblings Simon and Jolene. Jude took to Simon right away. They are best friends and often cuddle and groom each other. Jude is the same. With Jolene. Sometimes, I think Jude plays rough with Simon. However, it could just be the contrast with how gentle he was with Kitty.
The funny thing is, Jude treats Jolene much the same as he treated Kitty. Jude will play with Jolene, but very gently, and not for long. Jolene often chases Jude. He does nothing to retaliate. You can tell Jolene is in charge.
This is in contrast to when Simon and Jolene play together. They both give and take quite equally.
As Jude is celebrating 9 years with me, he has now officially been living in the house longer than we were in the apartment. This house is truly his furever home. You can tell he is much happier in the house than he was in the apartment. I do not think he was unhappy in the apartment. He just seems happier in the house.
In the house, there is more room to run and play. Jude plays more in the house. He is comfortable here. He often rolls around on the floor, which is his indication he wants attention, pets, and play.
All three cats have now officially lived in this house longer than they have lived any place else in their lives. This is home for them. Personally, I will have to be in this house another decade before it surpasses the time I lived in the apartment.
For the cats, this is home. It’s the home they have known. This is where we will be living for the rest of our lives.
I did not intend to adopt Jude on Valentine’s Day. We had a snowstorm that year and the schools all closed. The roads were bad, but not that bad. Since I unexpectedly had the day off, I decided to go meet Jude early. I had been planning on meeting him the following week. I honestly did not know if he would be the right cat to be a companion for Kitty or if we would get along or not. As soon as I met him, I knew he was the right one.
He refused to come out of his cage, but he was fine with me opening the cage, petting him, and interacting with him. Jude has so much love to give.
In the past 9 years, he has come so far. He has gone from sitting next to me on the couch to actually sitting on my lap at times. He does love pets and play, but definitely on his own terms. He hates to be picked up.
Jude is very loving with his siblings and is the perfect older brother. Jude will always be my Valentine. I am so glad I took a chance on this shy cat that everyone else had overlooked. He has the sweetest personality, if you have the patience to work with him and allow him to come out on his own terms.
Jude loves being on the bed during the day when I am no longer in it. Sometimes he does sleep in the bed with me at night, but always near my feet. That’s ok. It’s on his terms. I love it when all three cats are in the bed with me at night.
Jude loves laying on the couch with me when reading or watching the DVD player. Since being in the house, he is much more playful. He enjoys his toys and his cactus scratching posts.
This house is the furever home for all three cats now. We will be here until they have all passed. Jude seems to love the space in the house much more than the apartment. There is also lots of entertainment outside the windows with birds, squirrels and neighbors.
Happy Birthday, Jude. Happy Gotcha Day, Jude. We are in our furever home. Thank you so much for taking a sad song and making it better.