A Vale And A Birthday

Please click to read all of Janis’ post. Her huMum Sabine has made a very generous offer – all you need to do is leave a comment on their blog and you will be helping to remember Aunty Jane and Animals Australia to save animals from cruelty. Thank you.


Jessie and Jane … update

We are relieved to report that Aunty Freya has received a call from Suzanne, one of Hugh’s two daughters. Using some of Freya’s words:


Much to our relief and delight, Jessie is loved by the family and will be kept within its protective circle. At the moment she is living in the country with Hugh’s other daughter, Catherine. There are also two kitties living there and Jessie is a bit wary of them but Catherine is doing all she can to help her adjust. However, if she doesn’t settle properly in time then Uncle Hugh will take her home (he has been described as “big, warm, and cats love him”).


Suzanne has kindly given us a bit more information about what actually happened. On Christmas Eve, Jane had been feeling unwell and a doctor was called to her house. He returned on Christmas day and she was taken to hospital that day. The family was called and by that evening she was unconscious. Unfortunately she was suffering from a rare infection that was very aggressive and untreatable, and on Boxing Day she passed away.

Jane had not been in pain and received excellent care at the hospital, but sadly there was just nothing that anyone could do.

Suzanne said the family is overwhelmed and in shock. They are a small family; Jane’s parents died of old age and they have been untouched by tragedy before this.

They have been going through Jane’s address book but have only now been able to access her computer; unfortunately they don’t have the password to her twitter account. However, some of us may hear from Hugh and they are working on an email to send out.

The family is very moved at the extent of our caring and asked Freya to pass on their thanks for our efforts to find Jane and contact the family. Freya explained that Jane was very loved and had close friends all around the world. Suzanne said there were many Christmas cards in Jane’s house and it touched them immensely.

We guess they didn’t really know much about her online life, so Freya has given them the address for a Google search to look at some of the images that Jane created. She has also advised them of Jane’s twitter name and suggested they look at the #RIPJane hashtag.

Freya told Suzanne that Jane was a wonderful and caring friend to many of us and she got a lot of enjoyment out of our anipal twitter, which is imaginative and a lot of fun for people. She tried to explain that on twitter we got to see the fun side of Jessie & Jane, and that there was always someone to talk to and lots of people to follow the footy or tennis with without having to leave home. She also explained that twitter was a place of escape and fantasy, where Jessie was the adored Nanny of Winnie & Chloe.

She stressed that there is a lot of love from a number of people going out to the family (and Jessie) and that we are trying to find positive ways to honour Jane’s memory and continue the kindness that she showed.

Below is a copy of the memorial notice to the family. They were very grateful to read it in the paper and to see the link to Animals Australia in her name.

Melbourne Herald tribute

We hope that everyone can take some comfort from the knowledge that both Jane and Jessie are safe, loved and cared for. And while the tears will fall for a long time yet, the grief is mingled with determination to honour our friend by being the best we can be to make the world a better place for all.

Aunty Jane

jessiejaney jane aged 6 yrs with Puddin the Poddy Lamb

Jane, approx 6 yrs old

My dear friend Jane

I learned of your passing today and my heart is so sore I feel it could burst at any minute. We never met in all of the 3 years or so that we knew each other but we spoke via Twitter nearly every day. Those who don’t “get” Twitter will fail to understand how I could howl with grief on hearing the news but our friends will empathise completely.

I don’t know any details of your passing other than the date 26th December 2013 which was 2 days after we last communicated, when you told me you were sick. I was expecting you to surface at any moment with a cheery welcome and a joke about Nanny’s nip habit but in my heart I knew that something had to be deeply wrong for you to be away from your beloved anipals for so long. In any event the how, the what and the why are irrelevant, all I know is that I will no longer see Jessie’s sweet face pop up in my timeline, and my life and that of many others will be the poorer for it.

You were so very popular on Twitter and many friends will have special memories of you. Those memories will be a wonderful thing in years to come but right now we are all devastated; heartbroken that you have been taken from us and also that we did not know how sick you were.  Typically, you kept that to yourself and dealt with it in your own way, which I respect. I’m so glad that I told you I loved you in my last DM to you. I hope you saw it.

We shared so much in the time that we knew each other – a deep connection forged firstly through a shared view of the world and love of animals, then deepened into true loving friendship as we wove our stories and got involved with the fun to be had on Twitter.  Your Jessie was a beautiful flowergirl when Thomas married his darling Keely, and she then moved in to “keep house” for them along with @PinballBob and @TigerBoytheCat (after stowing away and accompanying them on their honeymoon).  You shared our joy when @ourWinniePup came along and Jessie was promoted to Nanny. Who knew that she had trained at Norland Nanny School?!

Your sadness matched mine when Keely went OTRB and we grieved with you on the passing of your bestie @toughteddybear and many others. It is hard to believe that this  time last year we were welcoming @ourChloePup into our little Twitter world and Jessie had dusted off her Nanny uniform once again.

Jane, I am sad that I can’t thank you for your love, support, humour, understanding, compassion and kindness. Whilst writing this I have been holding on to the scarf that you sent me for Christmas and it is wet with many tears. I wish you were here so that I could tell you how much you meant to me. I will try to smile when I think of you because I know that is what you would want.

My friend, I will miss you and I will always cherish your memory. It was a privilege to know you and to have you call me friend.

With squeezy hugs from Lorraine, Petal Chloe and Poppet Winnie, love for ever xxxxx


A note from Thomas:

Pals, many have asked what happened to Aunty Jane @JessieJaney, and while we don’t know much at the moment, we will tell you what we do know.

Aunty told some of us on Christmas eve that she was not feeling very good and would be offline for a few days. She told us not to worry and that she would be OK. But we didn’t hear anything, despite many of us leaving DMs, emails and telephone messages.

Then last night a very good furiend, Janis, expressed her distress and anxiety to Nan, realising that no-one had heard from Jane for about a week, and asked Nan to phone Jane’s local police station. The policeman who answered (Constable Blair) was helpful and after listening to Pop, he contacted the local hospital. Then he rang us back and said that Aunty had been seen by the hospital on 26 December but had not been admitted, and that was all he could find out.

Pop was not to be deterred, so he phoned the hospital himself. He spoke to a nice lady at the switchboard, who was very concerned once Pop relayed the story to her. When she learned that Aunty Jane was battling MS, she contacted the MS Ward and found out that yes, Aunty was definitely there on 26 December but had not been admitted. We all presumed she must have left the hospital and perhaps had become poorly again and gone to another hospital. The nice switchboard lady told us to sit back while she herself phoned all the other hospitals, then she rang us back and confirmed that Aunty was not at any other hospital.

So Pop rang Constable Blair back. Pop said he could tell things were hectic at the station (this was midnight New Year’s Eve, after all) but he explained that we still couldn’t find Aunty Jane and the constable said he would send a car to check. However, just a couple of minutes later Pop’s phone rang and it was Constable Blair again. He said he had checked further and was very sorry to have to tell us that Aunty Jane had passed away at the hospital on 26 December. He didn’t know any further details.

We are trying to contact Uncle Hugh – we have sent emails and Aunty Freya @charshy_pup has left a card at Aunty Jane’s house with some of our names and numbers, hoping Uncle Hugh will call us. We don’t know what has become of Jessie, it is one of the things we need to find out.

Click to enlarge card

Click to enlarge card