Going back to Manitoba and visiting a Jinxless family will be extremely sad for David and myself. My obsession with the Real Boy isn’t my only expression of animal-love. I consider Jinx my third and most hairy sister-in-law. And since I’m kind of a sentimental, pouty, baby, a loss like this is always hard for me and can reduce me too weeping in a matter of moments. Whenever we would head to Brandon I would double and triple check my supply of extra-strength anti-histamines because despite my all encompassing love of animals, the feline variety make me particularly swollen and itchy. And Jinx was a lover who needed to be loved, so I always bit the bullet (or swallowed the pill) and gave her what she was after. This year I won’t need my drugs, and this fact will probably reduce me to tears several times while packing.
Luckily for me, however, the Bonks are a family who don’t bother with sappy, pointless, grieving. They celebrate life with laughter, Spumante and progressively louder storytelling. As an adopted member of their clan, it’s lucky for all of us that I’m good humored, love the bubbly and speak loudly. I can get behind this kind of mourning. For the rest of this blog, picture me tearful but joyful, slightly drunk and using my outdoor voice.
Jinx grew up with and raised the Bonk children, acting as a principle character in many of their formative memories. She spent two decades ruling that house with an iron fist and the softest fur this side of the Atlantic. She loved eating table scraps, drinking tuna juice and getting a ‘lick of booze’ from Grandma Brown. She paid special and closest attention to Julie, being the youngest Bonk who spent the longest time living on the Crescent with Jinx. They spent many (and I mean many, many more than you can even imagine) long hours in Julie’s twin bed discussing their favorite books, works of art, and sleeping positions. Whenever someone we love is gone, it’s the end of an era of our lives. While the last of Jinx’s years might not have been the easiest for her or for those who had to administer her insulin needles twice a day, those won’t be the years that we think of when we happily miss her. Childhood is over, and perhaps it has been for some time. Losing Jinx punctuates that fact with certainty, but leaves us thankful for the extra years she gave us to pretend a little bit.
Goodbye Jinx! We’ll meet you in the ever-cycling ball of energy on the flip side!
*Please know, I’ve experienced human loss and I know that some people find those who personify animals incredibly annoying. I have no patience for those people, I know the difference and I’m sure I don’t need a lecture from those who can’t see the place of an animal in a family. As Grandma Brown would say ‘People who don’t love animals…well, there’s just something wrong with them and I don’t like it.’