There is nothing else in the world that quite compares to the special bond we have with our cherished pets. Their unconditional love and devotion often outranks many of our relationships with our fellow man. Perhaps it is because our pets accept us as we are, faithfully by our side no matter what life dishes out. Maybe it's because they listen without judgement when it seems no one else can. Whatever the reason, for those of us fortunate enough to truly bond with a pet, it is a relationship than none can rival.

It goes without saying then, that when this bond is broken, it hurts immensely. Our pets are interwoven into our daily lives so deeply, that when they are gone, it is as though a part of our lives has also left us. Such is the case with my beloved J.R.

J.R. "crossed over" on Wed. Oct. 24, 2012 at the age of 12. He seemed a bit off  for a few days and then in his last few days, he stopped eating, peeing and pooping and most concerning, his breathing was laboured, like he was panting. It was quite obvious he was not well and I contacted my vet.
Although at home J.R. had remained a trooper, once we got to the vet's all that changed. He started convulsing and gagging and "crying" with an eerie meow. The vet said they would give him oxygen and a sedative. She wrapped him in a blanket and took him from the examining room to the back area. I could hear his cries from within the examining room and began to cry myself. When the vet came back with a sad look on her face, I told her it was time. I requested to be there for J.R.'s final minutes and they brought him back to the room. He was now sedated. The vet checked his heart, there was a faint beating. She said she would be back with the necessary injection and left the room. I stroked his fur and rubbed his little head and I could sense he was now leaving. When the vet returned she checked him again. "He's gone now" she sad softly, then leaving me to spend a few minutes alone with him.

I have never met a cat quite like J. R. He was one-of-a-kind and so sociable. When people visited, he was right there in the thick of it all. A part of the group, enjoying every minute of the visit. I often told people J.R. was like a little person with fur and I truly believe it. Yes, he did lots of cat things, but in many ways it was as if no one told him he was a cat. To him he was just one of the gang and everyone who met him seemed to agree.

J.R.'s sudden passing came as a shock to many. The condolences poured in when the word came he was gone. Even friends who might be considered "non-cat" people were saddened by his death, a true testimonial to his amazing way of touching everyone he met.

Because there is so much to share about this unique being I am dedicating an entire page in loving memory of J.R. He is no longer by my side and will no longer be there to greet you when you come to visit, but his memory will live on forever in our hearts and in this page.

Rest in Peace my little buddy. I will never forget you.

Love "Little Daddy"

 In Loving Memory of my J.R....

I remember the day we met like it was yesterday. You were in a pen with your tiny siblings waiting for new homes and while they frolicked with each other, you stood out, sitting in the food bowl playing with kibble. I picked you up and held you close to my heart. I looked into your bright eyes and I was hooked. You were the one. A lady who had been endlessly looking at each little furball trying to decide which one she wanted, looked at me and asked “How did you figure out that was the kitten for you?”I looked at her and said without hesitation “Because I knew”.

You were so small and inquisitive and followed me around my home like a tiny gray shadow. Wherever I went, you wanted to be there too. Even when I took a bath, you insisted upon trying to jump up on the ledge of the tub. You were too small so I helped you up. You didn’t mind being up so high off the floor nor were frightened by the water. You would sit silently while I would soak, often splashing a little water on your head, which you loved so much. You trusted me and were never afraid. Because you knew.

As each day passed we grew closer than I had ever before been with a pet. You were a hit amongst my family and friends, always socializing with them whenever they came to visit. To you they were “our” visitors and you hung on their every antic, playing with them and stealing their affection. It was easy for everyone to see why I had picked you. Because they knew.

The months became years and you grew into a fine young cat. You were still my shadow, only now much larger. You could leap on the ledge of the tub all by yourself and still insisted I splash water on your head and face. You knew my every move, my every emotion. When I laid on the floor in pain, you'd lay there beside me. When I battled with depression, you listened patiently as I ranted and raved. When life threw me curveballs, you assured me it was all going to be ok. When I crumpled into a sobbing ball, you licked away my tears. You did it unconditionally. Because you knew.

A dozen years passed and so much changed. But you were my constant companion, always adapting to where we were. As your final days approached, you remained strong and loyal. You didn’t jump on the ledge of the tub now, but still waited to get sprinkled with my bath water. You still followed me around, just a bit slower than before. I saw that you were not yourself and prayed that this would change. But soon the time would come when you could not stay much longer. I held you close to my heart and cried. Because I knew.

Our final hours were now upon us. The call to the vet had been made. You laid beside me one last time and rested your head on my arm as you had done so many times before. I stroked your fur and nuzzled close and we stayed like this for an hour. You were not well, but you would not show it. We rested in silence and said our goodbyes. Because we knew.

Now at the vet’s you could hold on no longer. Every part of you seemed to suddenly shut down. I was frightened but realized how brave you had been. It was ok for you to leave now, you were where they could assist you. You had waited until we were here. Because you knew.

My little gray shadow no longer follows me as I move sadly from room to room. My bath water no longer wets your sweet head. There is an emptiness inside me, now that you have gone. But as I heal, I will fill that void with treasured memories of all the time we shared. You will no longer lay by my side, but you will remain within me for eternity.

I saw you playing in your kibble on that fateful day and held you to my heart. And you loved me unconditionally through days of sunshine and clouds. Because to me you were the one. Because to you I was the same. Because we knew.

Ken Leavoy
Oct. 25, 2012

I've said it before and I'll say it again, J.R. was a social butterfly and had lots of friends.
Here's some of them...

J.R. with his Nana and "brother" Timmi.

J.R. and Aunt Becky

Jeff was one of my first friends to meet Baby J.R.

J.R. had a thing for long hair as we see here with his pal Megan.

Cool cat J.R. with his bud cool dude Tyson

Bonjour J.R., I'm Mario.

Aunt Kim and cousin Erin thought little J.R. was the cat's meow

J.R. with his Aunt Jane. She was his babysitter when I was away and they really grew close because of it.

J.R. liked Kerri cuz her long hair was fun to play with

J.R.'s older "sister" Alysha didn't like many people and she hated Timmi, but even she couldn't resist J.R.'s charm.

J.R. was always happy to see Cathy and Graham (seen in the mirror)

J.R. liked Becky's dog Poupay, just as long as he could keep a safe distance away from her.

J.R. liked his friend Bob.

J.R. really loved his "Big Daddy" Rob

 Celebrating my 10th birthday

 I'm Canadian eh, I have to love Timmies

 I love helping you decorate daddy

Gimme Five...I've got pride!

 Peekaboo, I see you

This is a comfy seat, no wonder daddy uses it

 Chillin' on the window ledge

Daddy's favorite picture of me and Timmi

 I'm helping daddy set up the prizes for another Scribbles contest

 Did you get this for me??

Daddy says this one makes him smile....look how little Graham was?

I love this Talking Cat App

 OK, I've finished proof-reading, it looks good dad

 Cute drawing by cousin Erin

 On my 12th birthday on Sept 10th, I sat by the fire and was pampered all day

Enough picture taking, now put me down

These shoes make a great place to catch a cat nap

 Daddy was Puss in Boots for a show at the New Vouz

Do I look like I'm enjoying this?  Bah humbug!

So sorry, I know how much JR meant to you and to everybody who met him, he was the best, I loved that little guy!!! I know how you are feeling. It is such an awful feeling, they are our babies….and it hurts so much when they leave us and when they are hurting!!
-Becky Lee 

Oh Kenny~~there aren't enough words to tell you how much I wish I could see you and give you a hug and tell you in person how much I feel how sad you must feel. Love you and thinking of you always.
-Jackie Hughes

Over 12 yrs old .. he had a good long life :)
-Donald John Angus Maclean

My Dear Son: So sorry for you losing your beloved pet JR. The pain I am feeling is just like when I had to make decision for Sensei.
-Joan Storie [mom]

Oh Honey I am so sorry , I am literally crying as I am writing this e-mail to you. I loved JR he was like my home away from home cat if you know what I mean. Always so friendly and happy to see me I hope he didn't suffer too much in the end. My thoughts and Prayers are with you. Lean on Robs two big shoulders over the next few days okay?
-Kim Papple [sister]

I'm so sorry for your loss Kenny! (((♥)))
-Mikol Zahorchak

Sorry for your loss Ken ♥ I am sure your furry friend was well loved right till the end.
-Stepher Noodle Doodle

OMG Ken I am sorry for your loss. JR was so lovey...I know exactly how you feel..xoxoxo
-Kerri Thomson Fortier

I am so sorry Kenny!!!! hugs!! XXO
-Shada Black

That's awful! So sorry to hear this. At least it sounds like he didn't suffer for too long though...and you were by his side too
-Francesca Mackie

Awww... J.R you will be missed..I will miss you greeting me at the door :( R I P)  Ken hang in there take care he was loved.n true he is not suffering ..he will be with my Cuddles n Flipper n I still miss them
-Merry Christine

I'm so sorry to hear Ken. It's so hard losing the furry ones. Thinking of you.
-Pam Hopkins

Oh Kenny, I'm SO sorry to hear this.... horrible horrible news. I do know that J.R. had a long and wonderful life with you though. My thoughts are with you!! Hang in there. XOXOXOXOX Love you
-Megan Fox

I will always remember when he stayed by my side when I was at your place he wouldn't leave just stayed with me as he was trying to tell me something he was soooo sweet loving boy xox will miss him.
-Merry Christine

I am so sorry about JR - fur babies are the best! Sending love your way
-Tricia Zonneveld Dickie

So sorry for your loss know we are here for you you are not alone my friend.
-Heather Elizabeth Weir

Sorry to hear about JR are in my thoughts.
-Laura DeGraaf

My condolences ken . I'm so sorry to Hear ..........hugs and Kisses.
-Sandra Burger Vedder

Big daddy will always love you :(
-Robert Dennis

I know how much you adored JR, Ken. You gave him a good life. Hang on to the memories.
-Joan Wiley

(((((( hugs ))))))) to u ken ... Jr will b missed very very much !! my condolences ♥
-Patricia Lynn

Oh no! Im sorry Ken, my condolences with you in this time
-Melissa Sider

Oh my ken so sorry for your loss,I know how you feel bud
-Dana Quinn Slaunwhite

Oh no! We're very sorry for your loss Ken. It's amazing how close we get to our pets, they really are like family.
-Neil Blythin

Always so hard to lose a pet. It just about killed my when I had to have my 15 year old cat put down. Sorry for your loss Ken.
-Lisa Stevenson

Oh Ken, I am sorry to hear about J.R. How is Timmie handling it and you as well. Yes pets can end up being more than just pets and like people they know when their time is up and will say goodbye in their own fashion
-Cathy Neil

I'm so sorry for the loss of your furbaby! I understand completely how you feel. *hugs*
-Sharon Prior

Just wanted you to know I was so sorry to hear about JR. To be honest I thought he was older. He just seemed to be with you forever. Anyway, you take care and know I am thinking of you. Love and miss you lots Buddy
-Jeanne Prince

I'm so sorry for our loss Ken. I know how hard this is. My thoughts are with you.
-Robin Whyte

I am so sorry to hear about J.R. I just showed [my husband]  the picture and he's sorry too. He loves tabby cats. You must be devastated... I just want to send a cyber hug to you and let you know I am thinking of you.
-Diane Murray

I'm so sorry for your loss. I too know what it is like to lose a furry friend.....your baby. But know that you gave him the ultimate happy life! Hugz ole friend.
-Renee Giguere

Aw, so sorry Ken.
-Sally Vince

Awww!!! Ken, I'm so, so sorry to hear this! Hugs to you, my friend!
-Nancy Erskine

So sorry to hear of your loss my Friend, cherish the good memories :-)
-Dale Betts

I'm sorry you lost your J.R., Ken ♥
-Angela O'Neill-Whiteley

Sorry to hear about your friend
-David Hallett  

Sorry Ken....
-Connie Bering

Kenny, we were so sorry to hear about JR, I know he was in yout lifew for so long and it is hard to lose such a special friend. They are a part of the family and the lost is a real one. Keep reminding youself about all the good times you had with him.
-Terry William Richards Lyon-Schram

Sorry Ken
-Julie Turner

So sorry to hear about J.R. You are in my prayers, my friend.
-Bob Miller

I am so sorry for your loss, I have lost kitties and understand how much it hurts, I am thinking of you Ken . Lotsa Love .
-Tammie Holditch

 I’m really sorry to hear about J.R. He was one of my favourite kitties...I will miss him too; he was such a good boy :(
-Jane Storie [sister]

So sorry to hear this Ken!!! Hugs to you.
-Julia Dickson-Eckert

Thinking of you Ken, so sorry for your loss.
-Ginger Blythin

Sorry to hear
-Jeremy Sanderson

Aawwe man, sorry for your loss. Been there a couple times.
-Stacey Fox

Sorry to hear my friend
-Rob Kalmar

Snuffie I am so sorry to here about JR passing away. xoxoxoxox Bird
-Ginny Eckert

Poor Kitty...Hope you feel better soon. ♥
-Chris Snow

I had no idea JR passed!! My heart goes out to you and I know how totally devastated you must be. :(
please know that I'm thinking of you and so so sorry for your loss!!!
-Joanne Kildow

So sorry for your loss ♥
-Claudia Silva  

Oh Ken, your status brings tears to my eyes. Cats are such lovely companions.
-Gail Sharratt-Mallory

Sorry to hear about JR,  Princess.
-Christine Mantej (aka Angel)

I am so sorry Ken :’(  ♥ ♥ ♥
-Karen Bridel

No matter what I still say he is still with you watching you and laying by your side ..loved him so much J.R.
-Merry Christine

I juist heard. Sorry. Makes me sad as well.  All you can do is ball your eyes out and remember what a great friend he was.
-Doug MacNeil

I'm so sorry Kenny. You were SUCH a wonderful parent to J.R. and you gave him the bery best life he could have had.  He was special for sure. I remember the video you sent us after you just got him. He was hiding out in the closet in his little bed. You know every time i think of Gary [dragon lizard that passed away] I think about you instantly and how you were so kind and got me through such a shitty time! So if you're feeling down you know who you can write to. Love you.
-Megan Fox

My sympathies Ken - I would be the same if anything happened to any of my animals :(
-Karin Campbell-Gadd

It's rough loosing a pet, there will always be a void where JR was but i'm sure your other little bundles of joy will help you though it all
-Dave Webber

So sorry for your loss Ken
-Pat Fenerty

Sorry for your loss, Ken. Cats are great companions & we are still missing ours in Winnipeg.
-Tony and Bev St. Louis

 I am so sorry for your loss I know what loving an animal is like.
-Deanna Hollender

i just read about JR. I am so sorry, you must be heartbroken! it is just never fair when we lose one of our beloved pets. they give so much to us unconditionally. Love you my friend.
-Shelley Stewart