Jamie turned the heart of every person that met him. We brought him home from Helping Paws Pet Haven, Inc., a no-kill cat rescue in Huntington, IN, on December 2008. Jamie needed medical attention that my husband and I hoped we could provide him. He was about 9 months old then and at the time he had a serious upper respiratory infection, a severe head tilt from an ear infection that left him with a burst eardrum, a polyp in his right ear that had to be removed, as well as being anemic and having allergies! All in all, he was in pretty rough shape. Jamie fought for over a year of intensive medical treatment to become a happy, quirky, much beloved member of our family.With monitoring, prescription food, and regular medical care for his allergies and his immune system deficiencies, he remained strong and healthy. He didn't have the same "grace"that other cats have, but he adapted and flourished.
Jamie was friendly, gentle, curious, and brave. He had one of the purest, most innocent souls of any animal I have had the privilege to know.
Jamie traveled thousands of miles with us across the U.S. and Canada,and he had two beloved friends in our other 2 cats, Khaya and Ally.
On Monday, September 17, he was outside playing in our yard. Jamie was not a wandering cat; he was always within a few hundred feet of our home, so when we hadn't seen him in a while we immediately started looking for him. Believe it or not, Jamie was a cat that came when he was called, or if the tracking receiver on his collar beeped he came running! We called and called, and no Jamie.
So began our 96 day search. A search, that resulted in Jamie becoming beloved and supported, by thousands around the world.
On December 22, 2012 we received the call that ended our search, and broke all our hearts. Jamie had been found 96 days after he went missing. He had died only a few days before.
In January 2014 we changed the name of the facebook page from ‘Help Find Jamie’ to ‘Jamie’s Legacy’ to honor his legacy.
Jamie's Final Post
Original post on "Help Find Jamie' Jan. 5/13
“I think it is time that I finish my story now. On Monday, September 17, I went outside to play in the grass and sunshine for a little while. I remember the day because mom and dad had gone away on the Friday and didn’t come home until late Sunday, so I hadn’t been able to go outside while they were gone. Our wonderful Aunt Dawn came every day while they were gone and took great care of us, but we weren’t allowed out. So on Monday, when mom said we could go out, we were all very happy and excited.
Dad was out mowing the lawn, and I always like that, the smell of the fresh cut grass is so nice, and I’m a big boy and not afraid of the noise. While he was mowing, I played and played until about noon when I ran in the house to use the box and have a quick bite to eat. Mom was all wrapped in blankets; lying on the couch because she was very sick with something she called bronchitis. She wanted me to come and cuddle with her, but I think germs are yucky, and I really wanted to go back outside and play a little longer. So off I went. When I went back out, I went over to play in the bushes at the edge of our property.
On the other side of the bushes, there is a business that has all kinds of horse trailers and RV’s. I don’t know why, but for some reason I went over there. I didn’t usually do that cause the cars and movement made me nervous, but that day I saw an open door and I had to go and look inside. Khaya, Ally, me, mom and dad had gone on a trip once in one of those RV things and maybe I thought it was ours. When I got inside, I realized it wasn’t ours, it didn’t smell right, but when I went to leave, the door closed!
The place I was in was kind of like the one we had all been in, but it was different too. There was a big window at the front, and a wheel like dad sat in front of when we were in the car, but nobody was inside with me. There was lots and lots of stuff all over the place. It was really messy in there. The bed wasn’t made, the sheets and blankets were all messed up, there were smelly cloths lying around everywhere, there was old food, and it was dirty. I didn’t like it at all. The thing started moving with no one inside. It stopped quite a few times, but then it would go again. Then all of a sudden it stopped again, and this time it didn’t move anymore. I was very excited, because I thought someone would open the door and I could get out and go home, but the door didn’t open.
It got dark, and then light again, and then the dark came again, and the light, and the dark, and the light, and I was still all alone. Then all of a sudden, after it had been light for a little while, the door opened, and I thought my mom and dad had found me. I was going to run to them, but something made me stop. I heard voices, but they were not my people’s voices, and I heard load noises that made me even more afraid, so I stayed hidden until it was quiet again. When I knew for sure they were gone I came out of hiding and looked around. There was something different about the place I was in. There was a big hole in the floor between the two seats at the front, and when I looked through the hole I could see the ground below me. I got so excited cause I knew if I went out the hole I could run home, so I jumped down and looked around to make sure nobody was around. I was sure I was right where I had left from because I could see lots of other wheels attached to underneath lots of other things. So I ran under them all until I reached the grass. Oh my heart was pounding because I knew I just had to run across the grass and I would be home!!
But when I got to the grass and looked, I didn’t recognize anything. I didn’t see our house or smell anything I knew. I’d never been away from home before without my family, so the panic was terrible. I didn’t know where to go, or what to do. There was a big building behind all the wheeled things I’d run under, but it was very loud and noisy over there, so I just ran to hide.
I can’t tell you for sure exactly where I was all the time, or what I did everyday, but I know there was a garage about 500 feet and a house about 600 feet from the thing I had been in. I don’t think anybody lived in the house because it was very quiet and I never saw anyone around the house. The garage door was open and it was very quiet too. There were two other houses not too far away from these, and people lived in those.
I think I moved around from under the house, the garage, the woods, bushes and fields, and maybe even around the houses with people and even around the big building when it was quiet.
I think that first day, a while after I got out of the thing, that I might have heard my mom and dad calling me, but I can’t remember for sure. If I heard them I don’t know why I wouldn’t have gone to them, and my collar never beeped, like it usually did when they would call me. I might have heard them calling me other times too, or maybe I didn’t. I might even have smelled them where they walked all around looking for me, and that’s why I needed to stay close, but maybe not.
I’m sorry I can’t remember every detail, but when I came to the Rainbow Bridge, all that time away from my family became very dim, like a dream, and I could only remember clearly the wonderful times before the day I got into the thing.
I do know that I was very lonely, hungry and frightened, and that the days and nights just kept coming and going, coming and going, and that there were a few nights where the moon was so big and bright, that I could see like it was day. After a couple of those moons, one day I heard people in the garage and then they went away.
Sometime, maybe about 10 lights and darks later, I went into the garage to see if maybe there was something in there that I could eat, or maybe someone would come back and I would be brave and let them see me. It was getting colder outside and I was having a harder and harder time finding something to eat. I had never had to hunt to eat before, and besides, I’d never liked hurting anything, so I wasn’t very good at it.
I was looking all around and climbing on stuff, and somehow a rope got around my body, just above my back legs. I tried very, very hard to get it off me, but I think I only made it worse. The rest is like seeing and feeling through a thick fog, or like watching something from a distance. All the animals that greeted me here said I would never feel it or see it like it really happened again. I’m glad of that, cause I think it wasn’t a nice thing to have to remember.
A few lights and darks later, a boy came into the garage and found me. He knew who I was right away, so he went to his boss, and that man called my mom and dad. They came right away; I think knowing it was for sure me, but also praying very hard that it wasn’t. My mom and dad saw me again for the first time, sadly, just as the boy had found me. I wish they had not seen me like that. I’m afraid they will never get that image out of their minds, to see me as I used to be, happy and loving life.
I hope that in the telling of this story, my family and friends will soon be able to remember, like I do, from a distance, without so much pain and sadness. I want everyone to remember that I was given a home and medical attention once, and had a wonderful, happy life. I want you to remember I was so very, very loved. I want you to remember me chasing butterflies!
Now I will always be in your hearts. Now I will always be remembered with love. So now is the time to help the many of my kind that are not at the Rainbow Bridge yet. They need medical help, they need homes, they need protecting, and they need you all! Now is the time for me to say “we’ll meet again someday”. Now I’ve told my final story.”