We at Leo’s Cat Rescue experienced a sad passing on Wednesday, April 3, when our feline friend Jonas breathed his last. Jonas had been with us intermittently for three years, having come to us in January 2016 in the midst of the east coast blizzard, Winter Storm Jonas, from which he got his name.
Jonas was small, a mix of grey and white patches, with a bobbed tail, just half its normal length, which spoke of early trauma. He was friendly, and adoptable, but he fell through the cracks, and never found a home. We take responsibility for that, but Jonas’ own habits added to the problem. Unlike most of our colony, who know a good thing when they’ve found it and stick pretty close, Jonas was a wanderer, disappearing for weeks or months at a time, only to return, looking more bedraggled and pathetic than before. Often he wasn’t available to be ”interviewed” when prospective adoptive parents presented themselves, and his increasingly scrappy nature meant that when he was on site, he was typically covered in minor cuts, scratches and bruises, making him a less than desirable adoption candidate.
Over time, Jonas’ sweet disposition changed into one of suspicion and crankiness. He became aggressive with other cats at meal times, and a social pariah no one wanted to associate with. He would occasionally lash out at us as well, seemingly angered by our inability to truly improve his circumstances by finding him a home, or take him in ourselves.
Last week Jonas showed up after an absence of several months, and the change in him was shocking and sorrowful to observe. He had lost weight, was clearly no longer grooming, and his face had that “pinched”, bristly look of a cat with mange or scabies, particularly at his forehead, with his eyes swelled almost shut. I was overwhelmed by my responsibilities to my father, who lives two hours upstate and is now in hospice with end stage leukemia, and simply wasn’t able to address Jonas’ issues at the time.
When I returned from a visit to my father on Tuesday, Jonas was in the garden, a horrific image. The bristled fur at his forehead had fallen off, along with the skin, leaving exposed portions of skull, wreathed in bloody sores. It was late in the day, and I was too exhausted to do more in the moment than try to comfort him, and give him a portion of the wet food he so enjoyed, which he avidly consumed. I told him, “I can’t help you today, Jonas, but if you want me to surrender you and end your suffering, be here tomorrow morning by 9 AM.”
Jonas wasn’t there for the first feeding at 5 AM, nor the second feeding at 7:30, but when I looked out the window at ten to 9, there he was, sunning himself on a terra cotta stepping stone in the garden path. He had come to keep our appointment. I had already prepped the carrier, so after another meal, we went off to ACCT, Philly’s animal care and control unit, to surrender him for euthanizing. As a surrendered stray, I wasn’t allowed to remain with him for the procedure, so I patted his head, kissed him goodbye, and commended him to Hekate for safe passage to her realm.
Jonas was with us for almost one full cycle of his namesake asteroid Jonasz, which has an orbital period of 3.51 years. I have used January 23, 2016, the midpoint of Winter Storm Jonas’ three-day rampage, as his “birth” chart. The Sun at 2 Aquarius is quite appropriately accompanied by asteroid Katz at 29 Capricorn, homonym for “cats”. This Sun squares an unfortunate combination of asteroid Nemesis with Mars at 4 and 10 Scorpio, prefiguring Jonas’ scrappy nature and the frequent fights (Mars) with other cats (Katz) which did so much to erode his health and vitality (Sun), and bring about his ruin (Nemesis).
The Sun is also semisquare asteroid Jonasz at 14 Pisces, which squares Saturn at 13 Sagittarius, itself exactly conjunct asteroids Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, and Lachesis, named for the Fate who determines the span of life. Jonas’ life would indeed be harsh and full of privation (both Saturn), and of limited (Saturn again) duration (Lachesis). Perhaps Requiem’s potential is being fulfilled even now, in this official (Saturn) memorial. A broad conjunction of Jonasz with Neptune at 8 Pisces and its broader opposition to Jupiter at 22 Virgo hints at a positive intervention (Jupiter) and a hope for rescue (Neptune), but these aspects could not overcome the closer, inimical Saturn square.
Another harbinger of a devastating outcome was the exact conjunction of a retrograde Mercury (ruling small animals and pets) with Pluto (modern lord of death) at 15 Capricorn, with asteroid Kitty within orb from 8 Cap. Kitty’s exact sextile to Neptune brought him the opportunity (sextile) for some respite (Neptune), but an exact square to asteroid Rip (for the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription) at 8 Aries set the seal on his ultimate fate.
I signed the paperwork for Jonas’ surrender at 10:23 AM EDT on April 3, 2019, and though I am not certain how much later his actual death occurred, that was the act which made it inevitable. The 23 Gemini rising in that chart conjoins transit Nemesis, representing ruin and downfall, and also natal asteroid Jones, another approximation for Jonas, at 21 Gemini. The 23 Sagittarius Descendant conjoins transit Rip with Jupiter at 22 and 24 Sagittarius, while the MC at 29 Aquarius is exactly squared natal asteroid Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, at 29 Taurus. Still within orb of the MC is transit asteroid Atropos, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 6 Pisces, and an exact Venus/Jonasz pairing at 9 Pisces. I like to think that this depicts Jonas passing with love, and I fervently hope he felt that in his final moments. The 29 Leo IC is conjoined natal asteroid Osiris at 26 Leo, named for the Egyptian god of the dead.
Jonasz was with Neptune when Jonas came to us, and is still within orb of transit Neptune at 17 Pisces when he passed, just shy of its first Return, indicating a timeframe fraught throughout with isolation, confusion, hopelessness and disappointment (all Neptune keywords). Mercury, ruling pets, was exact with Pluto when he arrived; now it is exact with Neptune for his surrender (another Neptune keyword). Jonasz is at the fulcrum of a T-Square, with Mars and Lachesis at 2 and 6 Gemini, and asteroid Kitty at 4 Sagittarius. Mars/Lachesis vividly portrays the lifespan (Lachesis) cut short by fighting (Mars), and Kitty is powerfully present at its station, having turned retrograde just the day before, signaling a literal “turning point” for a kitty (Kitty) named Jonas (Jonasz).
Asteroid Katz, with the Sun for his arrival, is now at 16 Capricorn with Saturn and Pluto, respectively the ancient and modern lords of death, at 19 and 23 Cap, and is exactly squared asteroid Jones at 16 Aries, now traveling with the Sun at 13 Aries, further highlighting Jonas for the time. The Moon at 23 Pisces is exactly squared the Horizontal Axis, and conjoins natal Atropos at 24 Pisces, another marker of decease. Transit asteroid Requiem at 1 Scorpio exactly opposes Uranus at 1 Taurus, a signal of his sudden (Uranus) passing (Requiem). This is reiterated by transit Jones exactly conjunct natal Uranus.
We’ve had many successes at Leo’s Cat Rescue, things to be proud of, but our attempt to intervene for Jonas was an unmitigated failure. Perhaps, given the challenges presented in his arrival chart, this outcome was inevitable. But that is cold comfort to my sorrowing heart.