RIP Jeter Harris

jeter-rainbow-bridgeDa Grate Jeter Harris made his way to the Rainbow Bridge this week, and I am devastated.

I last saw Jeter three weeks ago. I’ve stayed at his house many times, but he’d always been wary karen-nichols-jeter-harrisof me. If I was lucky, if I got up in the middle of the night to pee he’d be hanging out at the top of the stairs and would allow me to get a couple of pets in before darting away.

This time was different. We had an extraordinary skritch session and he was purrin an purrin. Maybe even laffin an laffin. The next morning, he gave me a few head bonks when I reached for the Keurig. He’d been sleeping atop the range.

Two years ago he was hit with kidney disease. It was touch-and-go. I went with him on a visit to the beautiful Dr Landefeld, his veterinarian who specializes in felines even though she’s allergic. She gave him many kisses, a treatment my crusty ol’ vet has declined to administer.

Jete eventually rallied. He never gained back the weight, but was his old self and enjoyed his time in the back yard, even though he had to share it with his nemesis, that kitten Joba. His friend Matsui was a constant companion. His BFF Mickey made the trip to The Bridge a couple of years ago, and their reunion was joyous.


Jeter was the sports columnist for Mousebreath, and was world famous for his blog. He never quite got the hang of Spell Check, although some would argue that Spell Check never quite got the hang of Jete. As an acclaimed spellin coach, he saw his star pupil, Skeezix the Cat, compete in the National Spellin Bee. He was a rabid Yankees fan and often could be spotted with his Yankees cap on, cheering the team with his ‘rents. In fact, the Yankees named one of their players after him.


Jeter changed my life and gave me one of my most treasured gifts: his mom’s friendship. Though separated by a continent, Jeter and Skeezix had become BFFs, and in turn his mom and I did, too. His good cheer was infectious and the sun always shone a little brighter after reading his blog.

My face is leaking and although my world is bleak in the wake of his passing, someone is purring in my ear:

“Life is Grate.”





Category: Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Mousebreath Magazine is an award-winning online magazine that celebrates cats and the cat-centric lifestyle. Editor Karen Nichols is a popular conference speaker and writer, whose current project is The Cat Scout Handbook. She is also the denmaster at

Comments (9)

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  1. My ol buddy Jeter,
    I wuz tinkin bout you jus a few days ago and went to yor ol website to bisit. mum iz not on facebook so it wuz da best i cood do to reconnect to yoo, mom mus be psychic, or psychotic, take yor pick. noze kisses my deer furend and hugs to yor mom.

  2. Annabelle says:

    I so remember looking forward to each early morning reading the latest crazy funny thing Jeter posted. I missed him as he semi-retired or fully retired from blogging. I am very sorry to hear of his passing, another what I fondly call old timer — joining so many of those of us who have a decade or more of blogging under our belts. So many have come and gone and my eyes tear up each time one’s spirit passes to the next world. I know you’re making a whole lotta kitties laff and laff up at the Bridge Jeter, you did well.

  3. How well we remember Jeter prepping Skeezix for spelling bees. One of the funniest posts we have read was when Jeter emailed a company for help with a problem and was told they only deal with those who speak English.

    When we think of Jeter, we think of Skeezix. And vice versa. They were fun – together and separately. And now they’re together again.

  4. Ellen Pilch says:

    I am sorry for the loss of this beautiful boy.

  5. My only real comfort in Jeter running off to the Bridge is knowing that he’s back with his brothers, and riding around in a little yellow school bus with Skeezix.

    Jete gave the Woman some of the best experiences she’ll ever have by asking her to join his mom in walking for boobies. She’s made friends that she loves a farkton because of that. She stepped out of her comfort zone–which was a very small zone–and found joy in meeting new people. I mean, it was one thing to read each others’ blogs and stuff, but it really did change her life to suck it up, join that first walk, and meet you and Roberta and DKM and then all her other pink friends.

    So I’m kinda broken here. I never got to meet him, but I loved him. I hope he and Skeez are having an amazing, wonderful time up there now.

  6. We will always remember the Grate Jeter Harris and the fun times we had watching him prep Skeezix for the spelling bee and rooting on his favorite NY Yankees team. We love you Jeter Harris. When yo catch up to Angel Skeezix, please go visit our Angels too.

    The Florida Furkids

  7. Toffee Ripple Fuzzypants says:

    So sad to hear that the Grate JH has gone to the Bridge, but at least he is wif dose kittehs who came before.

  8. Patricia Sullivan says:

    What a sweet and handsome fellow with the heart of a champion!

  9. Miss juliea says:

    We surely miss having you in our lives and our hearts. It is just not fair that kittehs don’t live as long as we do and as long as we need them to. You are our hearts and souls and it hurts so much to loose you just as we really get to know you. Our only gladness is that you will be with your grate friends like Skeezix and others and you can keep them laffin as usual. You will be remembered, Jeter, with love and fondness. God bless yur mom and fambly in this hard time!


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