The Story of Jackie

Jackie Outside Some stories hinge on tragedy, some on drama, still others on courage. The story of Jackie the cat possesses all of that, and then some. It is also a story about compassion, and how the selfless efforts of many dovetailed into the happiest ending possible.

Precisely where Jackie’s life began – or when – isn’t known. She was spotted in June in Kensington Market, “living in an alley between Oxford and Nassau Streets. This kitten is not healthy at all,” a Good Samaritan alerted Annex Cat Rescue in an email, adding that Jackie appeared to have only one eye but that “it is likely not functioning, either.  The cat seems to have mites – its ears are bleeding and very sore.”

ACR immediately gathered identifying details while putting the Samaritan in contact with cat colony caregivers already working in the area. What followed was the robust back-and-forthing common to ACR when it’s advocating full-tilt for an at-risk animal: trading information, reviewing options, reaching out to potential foster homes all while vigilantly assisting Jackie and attempting to map out her future.

A few things about Jackie were immediately apparent when she was eventually gathered and taken to Dundas Euclid Animal Hospital for treatment: she was female, very tame, about four years old, and had had some teeth surgically extracted.

Jackie had lost one eye due to trauma; most likely in a clash with another animal, the vet said. She had a bad ear infection with lots of inflammation and bleeding. She was very matted and covered in burrs, but reveled in being brushed and petted. She was eating. It was purrs ahoy.

And Jackie was a charmer, a docile, sweet, affectionate cat who had obviously “been living outdoors for a while and was rough around the edges,” an internal ACR email noted. Still, it seemed a potential forever home might be in the cards for scruffy but adorable cat.

Then the biopsy results from the mass on Jackie’s neck came back: glandular cancer – adenocarcinoma – on Jackie’s jaw. “Dr. Cheung at Dundas Euclid said it was bilateral and a sign that the cancer’s already metastasized.  She said it would be a difficult area to do surgery because of all the nerves present,” another internal ACR email grimly stated.

Jackie’s prognosis was three-to-six months. Cue sorrow.

Yet shimmers of light emerged. An ACR volunteer agreed to provide Jackie with a palliative foster home while ACR ensures Jackie’s every need is met.

The generous group of people involved with Jackie since her discovery – those who fed and fostered her, wrote emails on her behalf, drove her to appointments, the animal hospital that treated her (graciously waiving some fees) – can cheer in knowing that Jackie will live out her remaining days indoors with as much comfort and affection as possible.
Sometimes even sad stories provide enormous grace.

If you’d like to help with Jackie’s ongoing care, please click here.

By Kimberly Hughes

Jackie

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