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Dear Jackson, Love Always

Dear Jackson copy.jpg

Almost a year ago I saw three photos of you in an email from a kill shelter in Georgia. In one of them someone was holding you up under your front legs, while you stood on your back ones. It was clear you were a big cat, with a big “biscuit head,” but there was something so sad about your expression that touched my heart. Perhaps you had given up and for a two-year old cat to feel that way, just wasn’t right. Even though I don’t often take on adult cats, I had to save your life.

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©2012 Betsy Merchant. My first glimpse of Jackson.

I named you in honor of my hero, the Cat Daddy, Jackson Galaxy, whose hit TV Show, “My Cat From Hell” had me glued to my television every Saturday night. When I named you I had no idea a few months later I'd be having dinner with the man himself. In a way, Mr. Galaxy is your Kitty Godfather.

There were a few bumps in the road. You weren’t neutered. After we did get you neutered, you got a terrible infection from the surgery and we had to do an emergency procedure to save your life again.

I pulled a favor with my friend Katherine and got you a placement with her shelter. You got sick after you arrived. We all thought you had a cold. Looking back on it I wonder if it was something else we’d discover more about later.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. After arriving at Animals in Distress, Jackson took ill.

In a month you found your forever home. We were all so very happy. Your namesake, Jackson Galaxy the Cat Daddy was delighted by the news. Our joy was short lived because in barely a few months, you came back to the shelter. The family said you were getting picked on by their other cats so they gave you to a family member, but shortly thereafter her husband died and that caused another round of problems. They were really sad to let you go, but they felt it was “for the best.”

I felt you needed to come here and be with me until we could find you another home. I counted it up and you’d lived in seven places in the past six months. The last place I wanted you to be was back at the shelter. You needed a break, a home and lots of attention.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This silly side of Jackson emerges.

You didn’t have an easy time being here. With eight other cats you had to find your place in the hierarchy. You attacked some of my cats while they slept. Some of them started urinating all over the house, clearly angered with the new cat in their midst. I yelled at you. I hated you. I hated myself for taking you on but there was also something about you that made me smile. You loved the people you were with and were happy to greet every visitor. I was sad you were having a tough time in an already crowded home. We all suffered.

Then you got sick and we found out about your bad heart and that you were really three to five years old, not two, and that you might not live to be six. After that day I let a lot of my anger go. I accepted you as my own and struggled to figure out how we could all get along.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My beautiful boy.

It’s been a very long road, Jackson, and not an easy one, but during the past six months I have come to love you, just as I love my other cats. I love your chatty nature. Your meow is hilarious. You talk to me all the time and some times you talk too much—especially at 3 AM. You wake me up every single morning, wanting your pill and your breakfast. You head-butt me while you stand on the bathroom counter, while I’m sitting on the throne “doing my business.” You love those tiny pom-pom toys and it makes me laugh when I see you chasing after them. Your feline acne and poor body condition is improved. At 15.10 pounds you’ve gained five pounds since last year. You’re a fine specimen of snow-white male-catlyness with sexy-beast-pale-lime-green eyes. They make me swoon.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. Jackson visits Dr Mary and Super-Deb for his checkup before leaving Connecticut.

You vex me as much as you charm me. Though I’ll never know what sort of lousy life you had before, I’m determined whatever you have left will be the best I can provide. I ache for you that some of the cats won’t accept you and I see how you feel like an outsider. Sometimes I wish I had you all to myself. I cherish you so very much.

But now, my friend, it’s time for us to say goodbye. You’ll never get the attention you deserve here and that’s not fair to you. You need to be the star of the show and get all the love and attention. You need less stress so your heart will keep beating. I think you’ll be very happy and I hope this will be the best, last place you will ever live.

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©2013 Robin A.F. Olson. It's 7:30AM and my alarm goes off. It's white and furry and named Jackson.

Today you’re getting adopted by a very nice lady who I can tell is going to love you just as much, if not more, than I do. You will live a pampered life, 1400 miles away from death row at the kill shelter and a million miles away from your painful past.

I’ve been crying every time I think of you leaving. I know I will probably never see you again, unless it’s in a photo. I’m usually okay with that, but this time I think about how I know you’re going to die and I won’t be there with you to help you pass. I can’t protect you any more, but I have to have faith that your new mom will take over my reins with the same passion. It’s just that as annoying as you can be, you also have such a huge, magnetic personality that I can’t help but love you and dread you not being in my daily life.

It will be very quiet and boring here without you. You’re one very special cat who I had the honor of fostering and who I will never forget.

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©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My boy. Life saved. Home secured. At last.

Have a great life, Jax. We’ve had quite a run together and I will miss you more than words can express.

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Your foster mom, Robin

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©2013 Ryan Feminella.


Bon Voyage Jackson.  Wishing you only the best in the very long life that should be the legacy of every cat.  You are loved.

You do some amazing things robin don't ever forget that x 

I, too, had a big, white male cat with hypotrophic cardiomyopathy. He lived 17 fantastic years and I grieve his loss very day. May Jackson live as long or longer in tender loving arms, as yours were. I

will miss following his life here!

It can not be a goodbye as long as you keep someone in your heart.  Jackson was with us for a very short time, with Maria as a foster kitty and with me at clinic and a transport or two( I think.)  Thank you for caring for him even with all his problems.  I hope he lives out a very long life and problem free life with his new mom.


Oh Robin, when I read the update that Jackson had found his forever home, I jumped up and ran to my main machine to log in. I am SO thrilled, SO happy for Jackson as he is so very, very deserving! (I hope that when you do receive updates from his new forever guardian, you'll share them with all.) I'm confident that he'll do well because YOU helped him get there. And while there are few things that we humans can be sure of in our relationships with our cats, I am sure that Jackson will never forget you or what you did for him. He wouldn't be getting his forever home if not for your love, compassion and efforts, and I believe he knows this and will always know it.

Thanks Robin, for all the crazy, incredible efforts you put forth for ALL your cats because, living through those in your blog, it is inspiring! You are a genuine person whose actions and choices make such a difference in so many cat's lives and human ones, too.

God speed, Jackson! You'll always be in my heart and thoughts!

absolutely beautiful robin, you are an amazing foster mom and so much more.  jackson will be the star of his own show and will live out his days surrounded by love.  bravo!!!

That made me cry.  I've loved following Jackson's story with it's up and downs, amazed at how he always managed to triumph.  I hope his new home is forever, for however long that might be. 

We cried when we met him knowing he was most likely not getting out.  That is my humane society president Susan holding him while I took his photos.  Look at far he has come Robin, thanks to a few crazy ladies who never give up.  We are so glad you are part of our equation and we appreciate everything you do to save our Henry County cats!  Love always, Betsy~

Oh Betsy, I'm so glad you saw this news. I didn't even know if you'd remember this kitty you work with so MANY! Please let Susan and Gerri and everyone at HC know that Jackson is well and loved and looking so grand. He is so dear to everyone who meets him..all the kids who come to our Kitties for Kids program are greeted by Jackson. He has been a great Ambassador to our rescue work and to the value of adopting adult cats. I'm so glad you let me know about Jackson by sharing his photos and taking the time to try to network to save so many lives, even though you know the odds are against most of them making it out. We keep saving more and keep having reasons to cry, but hopefully, most often, they'll be reasons like today that are based in joy and triumph. Love to all of you..keep fighting the good fight to save lives!


I have a mancat who looks a lot like Jax, and is roughly the same size as well.  He owned me from the moment I put him on my lap at the shelter and he started purring and making biscuits.  I adore the Big Boys.  Big kitty=more to love.  I've wished for months I could give Jax a furever home, but I'm at my lease-defined cat maximum and I'd rather not risk my mancat giving Jax hell on a daily basis to make sure Jax never forgets who's Alpha.  I'm thrilled Jax has a furever home.  Happy trails to the big lug!

We get so attached to our fosters, it's so hard to imagine them in a home other than ours! I'm so proud of you and your work, Robin! You and Kitten Associates, do the best you can to save as many cats on death row as possible. Thank you for giving Jackson a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance, and all the other chances. I hope his adoption works out!

For as much as you will miss him, we know he will be loved at least that much by his new mom. Sometimes the hardest cases are the toughest ones to let go - and yet the most gratifying to see move on. With tears and purrs and warmest thoughts we wish Jackson safe travels and MANY years with his new mom.

Live Large, Jackson!


A real triumph for Kitten Associates and Robin.  Well done!

AWWWWWWWWW (^^) <3 JACKSON!  I am torn emotionally, as you must be, Robin; but how wonderful that he is going to be with someone who will love and protect him always in a serene and comforting environment! 

If I can wax eloquent, I had a somewhat similar situation some years back with a sweet white cat.   Long story short, he was accepted at Best Friends, where his skin problem was healed; he was ultimately adopted by a wonderful family and lived in the perfect low-light environment for his paleness.  I was just informed last week that he passed after a long, pampered and LOVED life.  He was estimated to be 17 years old.  He'll always be in my heart.


Robin, great work! Persistence does pay off! I'm glad this beautiful guy didn't get put down due to his illness.

Yes this story bought tears to my eyes.  But you did a wonderful thing in letting to a home where he will be the only "star."  However, I fully empathize with the statement: "it will be quiet and boring" without Jackson in your home.

Fly, fly, Jackson to your new furever home and live out the rest of your life in glory.  It would be great a get a follow-up story of how Jackson is doing in his new home.

What a wonderful story and it bought tears to my eyes.  I hope you can share follow-up pics and a report about how Jackson is doing in his new home. Yes, it took courage to let him go a new home where he will be the sole star.

I appreciate all the work you do with cats and your blog.

I can hardly see to type, for the tears in my eyes.  SO touching.  But you definitely did the right thing for this boy -- bless you.  He will have a wonderful home as the only cat now.


I, too, have a lump in my throat, but I am saying Fare Thee Well, Jackson, not Farewell...because somehow I know that his new servant will keep in touch with you...especially if she reads your post today! 

And when I see Jackson's eyes in that last photo...he looks so wise, and not weary any longer...

Sometimes we are only a way station, no matter how much we love them.

That is the most tears, I've ever shed reading Mr.Galaxy's posts. So sad Jax the cat couldn't co-mingle with the other cats. Cats usually want to be around other cats. I hope for sure this is the last furever home. I hope his new home has plenty of kitty & owner time to try to make up for lost time. Hopefully he too may live to 17 yrs as well. I'm glad there are 2 no-kill shelters nearby in Cleveland. The streets here are loaded with strays. Namely, The Cleveland animal protective league has been good with helping me, help the strays. I've TNR'd 5 cats/kittens in 2 months so far. (I just moved to this street). I've got 2 more Labor Day born kittens to catch. It would be nice if I could catch the tomcats too! It's really cold here right now. I figured I'd help them survive the winter right now. Soon as weather gets above freezing its trap time. I don't want to ever see a 6-8wk old kitten so bad with worms that his intestines were exiting his body. Cleveland APL took him, treated him, and did surgery for anal prolapse and is now with a foster home recovering. His brother became our Hurricane Sandy kitten. My cat, a rescue, thinks that's his baby. Lol. Thankfully our street has plenty of kitty hideouts and 3 schools to get free dumpster lunch from. None of them are dying or starving here! I should've been a vet instead of a nurse! My 15 yr old son, and a 21 yr old daughter are also in with this project. Surprisingly, there aren't ashamed of what we do! We also have feral cat sanctuary in Wooster,Ohio. They have barns with hay for shelter & warmth, and food and water feeders about the property. Cool huh? I wish these other cities would put forth more effort, especially in Los Angeles to help these lost souls. Okay I'll get off my chatterbox now. I'd be thrilled to meet Jackson Galaxy! For God sakes, I've been following Jackson before the show got big. While he was guest commentor on America's cutest cat 2010!  Thanks for all everybody does on this page to help our furry friends! Good Karma for all of you! This was so touching! And what a beautiful boy Jax is!

The kitties of Cleveland are lucky that you have their backs. Way to go!!!!

I hope Jackson will have a happy life with his new human.  And Robin,

keep in contact and his human.



I have been captivated by Jackson's story. You have done an amazing job with him, all because of your love and devotion. Letting him go to his forever home because it was best for Jackson is the definition of unconditional love. 

Thank you Robin for all you do. Thank you for sharing your writing. Thank you for the opportunity to link your beautiful stories and further spread the word of love and rescue.

Hi Robin,

Thank you for sharing Jackson's story and your feelings for him!  He was so blessed to have you as his foster Mom :-)  It is wonderful and bittersweet that he has found his "Furever Home."  Thanks for introducing him to facebook and letting us love and pray for him.

Thanks for all you do for God's creatures!




Oh my Just reading this story made me cry. It's a happy  but bitter sweet ending. Robin you are amazing to let him go at all. I feel in love with him just reading this story.

This was amazing to read. I hope Jackson lives out his life fullfilled and happy!

Your story had me in tears. I hope all the best for the remainder of your life. You're a brave and beautifull cat.

Love and kisses all the way from Montreal Canada.

Nadine xox

Your story left me in tears. I'm so glad that this beautiful cat found a loving foster and I pray he lives the rest of his days happy and loved. His eyes are what got me. So beautiful

I wish Jackson all the luck in the world in his new home. I do hope we get to hear news of how he's doing and see some photos too. You are so strong to let him go - but it's what you do and you do it so well. He's been so lucky to have landed in your care.

All the best Jackson :)


Barbara UK

Awwwww :)  I remember reading about this guy awhile back.  Happy to hear he's going to a forever home! Yay!

Thanks for what you do, Robin.

I don't know how you foster parents do what you do.  If I fostered cats I would have to keep everyone !! But you take in the poor lost souls and give them the skills they need to find a forever home.  You have the strength to do what is best for the kitties.  You and all the fosters are amazing human beings :  Best of luck to you both.

So I'm sitting here at my desk crying because this is such a sad but happy story.  Sad because this handsome kitty had such a rough time but happy because he, hopefully, has found his forever home.  There is nothing worse than giving your heart to an animal just to find out their time with ss a short one.  I "adopted" an outdoor stray and worked and worked with him until he trusted me enough to let me touch his cheek.  He let me pet him more and more and eventually found his way in to my home to hang out under the dining room table.  He started to decline, quickly, and before I could get him to the vet he showed no signs of life as he laid on the floor by my side of the bed.  I picked him up wrapped in one of my t-shirts and took him to the Cat Hospital.  Turns out he was dying of cancer.  Lymphoma.  The Dr. said he was so far gone and even she didn't recommend treatment.  I'm just glad I was able to give this handsome cat a few weeks of good food and LOTS OF LOVE.  My other cats in the house didn't bother him because I think they knew he was ill.  I had to make that decision while at work and cried that day too.  I think he found me for a reason...and I let him.  Thanks for listening!

Oh Karen, Thank goodness you helped that kitty and gave him love before he passed away. Some times we don't get years with our babies, only moments and that he knew love made his journey to the Bridge is such a blessing for him. I'm very sorry he's gone. thank you for caring so much and for sharing your story.

What a brave and beautiful thing you did.  You gave Jackson  a second (and third and fourth and fifth) chance to live, and he will spend the rest of his days in a loving and peaceful home, and that's all that we can ever really ask for.  Thank you for your compassion and your generosity.  Your story is very touching and inspiring, and it's so wonderful to know that there are such kind-hearted people like yourself out there helping these amazing creatures. 

((from the paws of Mentat & Emily aka... Tatty-girl and Emmie-sprite))

Dearest Jackson ~

We read your postings by your temporary cat-mumma and had to wish you luck on your journies. We too were fosters and after a serious of cat-trastrophies that had us nearer to losing one of our nine lives than any kitty should come to (!!!), we were housed by a generously loving couple with many felines and a rather good canine (for a stinky dog!). The lovely couple who took us both (so we did NOT have to be seperated!!!! Which was our greatest fear!) are wonderful; we get lots of treats and snuggles and are well on the way, according to the corgi in residence of being utterly spoiled. : )

May your new cat-mumma treat you as every kitty born deserves to be treated and may this be your true forever home this turn of the wheel.

~purring hugs~ the Bennett-Kochel Household

What a handsome cat - lovely eyes.  Jackson is already a very lucky cat to have you come into his life.  And his adopter is, I am sure, very grateful and probably teary-eyed at reading your wonderful homage to Jackson.  He is definitely a special boy who will light up her life just as he lit up yours.  At this very moment as I sit on my bed and type this, I have my own little special light by my feet.  She is my best friend, my soul mate, my rescuer and my angel.  I would not be here today without her presence.

Good luck, Jackson, and keep living that big life of yours!

Love to Jackson and to you Robin,

   To dedicate so much love and energy to save a cat and then to pass them on to their forever home is a blessing.  My Fiona was a young stray who was found wandering and pregnant with no identification in a part of the state with no no-kill shelters around.  She had her kittens and then came down with a cold and respitory illness. Not good news for a cat in a kill shelter area.  Somehow, she was taken in by a no-kill shelter across the state in my area, kept in a foster home with her kittens and cared for until all were ready to be altered, microchipped, vacinated, etc.  They worked hard to save her so that I could find her and bring her home.  I am forever grateful for those who do this.  She is now curled up napping at my feet as I write this and I can't imagine my life without her.  I hope your natural sadness at letting Jackson go is tempered by the knowledge of what good work you have done to make his life better as well as his new mom. 

Thank you,


Oh, how you must have the inner strength of a warrior!  You are certainly a saint to have taken care of this beauty boy for as long as you could. I am touched to tears reading this story.  Thank you for sharing such a deeply felt life.

Good luck Jackson! Well done Robyn. As much as it hurts to let him go you know he can be the star cat and be loved and cherished even as he was with you. A part of him will always be with you. I hope you get lots of updates and that he is a happy and contented boy.


I can honestly say that I know how much you loved Jackson. You see, I had a coal black cat Ms Em (Emmy) for 8-1/2 yrs when my Mom said "I don't think Emmy is feeling well. She's been on your bed all day & won't come out. I called the vet & he said if she doesn't eat or drink for a day or so bring her in; so I did. She needed a blood test, which came back with positive results of kidney disease. I did some research on the web & discovered that 85% of all cats that develop kidney disease die. 

I visited her every day & one day I saw the vet with a syringe about 1/2 inch in diameter giving her some white stuff as she gagged.  I left the room in tears & asked the vet to come see me. "Stop that" I replied. "But that's all that's all that's keeping her alive. Thats not living I replied. Put her to sleep & let her be at peace. I went into the room he had prepared for the process & said goodbye Emmy. You've been a wonderful friend & I'll miss you. I walked out of the room sobbing & couldn't stop the entire night. My buddy & friend was gone & like you said, the home was so empty. I never thought I'd find a friend like Emmy & it took me 2 yrs to finally look for another one. I went to the shelter in Seattle, Washington & looked at a feral kitty with a tipped ear. The minute we laid eyes on each other it was love at first sight! She had been in the shelter for 11 days & would be happy to find a home. In fact she reminded me so much of Ms Em, that I kept calling her Emmy for a long time. Then I'd say you're not  Ms Em, you're Mitties; named so for her for white paws that reminded me of mittens. 

Unlike Jackson, Mitties is a wonderful lap cat & snuggles in my yarn when I have a project in process. Don't ask me why but she can sleep under covers of my bed when it's 80 degrees or more. 

I'll never forget Ms Em but I'm thankful for the time I spent with her & look forward to a long life for Mitties.

Thanks for sharing Jackson's life with everyone.

To continue doing what you do, with so much on your plate is nothing short of amazing. 

Jackson was such a lucky boy to have found you, Robin. It all turned out so well.  It must fill your heart with joy overflowing to know you made a difference in Jackson's life. Whatever Jackson does, he has you to thank.  Every person to whom he shows love, it's because of you.  I ended up adopting my foster (Abbi).  It takes the kindest, most selfless of souls to do what you've done for that dear boy.

Once again your writing has me in tears, both happy and sad. I will miss reading about Jackson and I feel your pain. Your effort on his behalf was beyond heroic, Robin, and I hope you can feel that way about yourself. And's never goodbye. Friends (people or kitties) are friends forever. In the grand scheme of things I believe we will be reunited one day...they will be waiting for us. <3

This was touching! Brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you for sharing this handsome young man with all of us. Your entry made me cry. I hope he gets the love and affection he so deserves. 

Thank you for sharing. I am typing through tears. May you find peace that you helped Jax find true love and that Jax runs happy and free from earthly disease and pain and continues to shine down upon you every day, staying with you like a soft whisper of wind/head-butt against your cheek. Love to you both xoxo

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