Meet Jasper, the one-eyed, extra toed, therapeutic ambassador of love
Who is Jasper?
Jasper is a cat.
How old is Jasper?
He is approximately 7 1/2, they are uncertain of his exact age
How did Jasper come into your life?
I went to the Quincy Animal Shelter to look at a cat who I thought sounded and looked perfect. As fate would have it, that cat escaped her cage right before I got there and when I had the chance to interact with her she hissed at me. I realized with a vacation coming up, it wasn’t a good time to look anyway and decided to leave. Just then I heard a loud “Meow” from below. There was this face in a cone, with black stitches where his left eye should be. I knelt down by his cage and reached my hands towards it and asked “What happened to you?”…he took this opportunity to stretch on his side and reach his huge paws out to cradle my fingers and meowed again. That was it! I have loved him from that moment on.
Since his paper work says he was dumped at VCA, does anyone have an idea on what happened to his eye?
No one has really been able to shed much light on that. They said the eye was not working at all when he was left there. I don’t know if it was due to an injury–or if he needed surgery and his owners couldn’t afford it so they abandoned him. All I know is I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
How did he become a therapy cat?
I have a friend whose dogs are pet assisted therapy dogs; then, I met someone at work who had a roommate whose cat did it. I knew Jasper was great on a harness and loved people from his PR work at Petco for the Quincy Animal Shelter; so, I knew he’d probably be good. I took a full day class in New Hampshire with Pet Partners. Then, a few weeks later we had a test as a team. I was SO NERVOUS; but, he passed with flying colors. He immediately wanted to meet all the judges on the panel. They, like so many others, adored him.
Since Jasper is an ambassador to the Quincy Animal Shelter, what is on their wish list? Do they need volunteers, blankets, toys?
Do they have an amazon list or an address that donations/items can be sent to?
Quincy Animal Shelter (http://www.quincyanimalshelter.org/) is a volunteer-run organization. They could always use help with something–even if someone cannot do a regular cat care of dog care shift–there are other ways to help. During Kitten season they need homes where people can foster kittens. This year they had such a large amount of kittens that they put out a plea for Fancy Feast kitten food cans. They also need other items on a regular basis, paper towels, etc. Right now, the website says they need: Yesterday’s News Litter, Sheets and towels (no bigger than twin size), and Fancy Feast and Friskies wet food. Of course, they are always hoping for more monetary donations.
Does Jasper require any additional care?
Nothing beyond the usual: nail trimming, teeth brushing, hair maintenance. Sometimes he is relentless in his pursuit of petting and snuggles (and his morning wet food)–that’s probably what makes him such a good cat for Pet Assisted Therapy.
Does Jasper have a home or does he stay at the Quincy Petco?
He lives with me and has been my cat for five years now. He visits Petco as an Ambassador to tell people about the great animals at QAS. He also is a great proponent for giving adult cats a chance if a personality-match is tops on your list for your pet-match.
Jasper’s guardian wanted to share some of his favorite pictures of Jasper.
Jasper at work–is a picture of him at Petco, the day they had a halloween costume contest.
The above picture is of him in a fruit bowl, is it the calling card I sometimes leave with people he has visited.
Paulette’s foot. I love it because when we first went to visit Paulette, Jasper was standoffish (she is a Quincy Animal Shelter Adoption Rep and was in rehab after having knee surgery). Then after being there awhile he suddenly wanted to be with her and snuggle her. He was loving her long fingernails. Then suddenly he went to her leg and snuggled with it and went to sleep.
What are extra toed cat’s called?
They are called many names; polydactyl (latin for many digits), Hemingway cat’s (after Ernest Hemingway and his love for cats), mitten cats, six-fingered cats.. the list goes on and on.
More on extra-toed cats:
Facts and how the name for extra-toed cats came to be- http://cats.about.com/od/felinegenetics/a/polydactyl.htm
More on polydactyl cats- http://www.messybeast.com/poly-cats.html
The Hemingway House of Cat’s Website – http://www.hemingwayhome.com/cats/
Polydactyl Cat Facts – http://suite101.com/article/polydactyl-cats101-a52636
Yet another site about polydactyl cats – http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/catbreed/americanpolydactyl.htmAuthor’s Note: I would like to thank Jasper and his guardian for their patience in answering my questions and supply with photos of Jasper and giving me a new appreciation of extra-toed cats. =^.^=