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Memories of Pumpkin

I knew from the first moment I saw you in your cage at the Perkiomen shelter that there was something really special about you. You saw me look at you and started rolling around in your cage, reaching out with your front paws to get me to come over and pet you. I was really surprised when I looked at the tag on the cage which showed that you were 8 years old. Of all the cats there at the time you were the oldest and smallest, yet you looked to be one of the youngest. You just looked out at me with those beautiful green eyes and longed for my attention. So I came over and petted you for a little bit knowing full well that I'd be leaving without you. A couple days went by and I decided to call the shelter to find out if you were still there. When they told me you were, I knew I was coming back for you. The next day, you came home with me and since that day in August of '98, you've been my baby.

Now, ten years later, you are gone. Today, December 10, 2008, was the toughest day I ever had to go through. I didn't want to take you in to the vet and I didn't want to come home without you. But I knew that there was nothing else the doctor could do, for your systems had started to fail. I wanted to be selfish and try to figure out a way to make you a little better, to hold on for a little while longer, but I knew that today was the day we needed to move on. It was time.
You lived for 18 1/2 years, probably closer to 19 and were with me for your last 10 1/2. In that time, we'd moved twice, had to deal with other dogs and cats in and around the house, and had to cope with other people taking some of my time away from you. But all in all, things ended the way they were supposed to; just me and you, living out our lives, being true companions for each other.

I remember all the good that came from you being my pet, my tenacious little protector, my confident, and my baby. You were so energetic. You chased birds and squirrels out in the field outside the apartment in Royersford, ran unbelievably fast from tree to tree, always climbing up the last one in the row. You watched over the house from the bedroom window, protecting me from both the neighborhood cats wandering up and down the walkway, and the deer roaming the perimeter of the field. You sat on the porch and watched as I cleaned up the bowling gear on the patio. And you followed me down to the laundry room to make sure I wasn't straying too far from the house. You loved to play with your mice and magic wand and were determined to make sure I gave you enough play time. Every time you hopped up onto the entertainment center, I knew it was time to play catch with the mice and every time you rubbed your chin up against the magic wand I knew it was time to chase it around the house. You loved playing the peek-a-boo game every morning while I was in the shower and enjoyed the occasional hide and seek game in the living room.
You were a loving and compassionate little girl. You sat with me quietly and patiently when I was sick, you tucked me into bed each night and waited until I was asleep before going to the window to guard the house, you ate dinner with me every night making sure to get yourself a little sampling of the meat I was eating (chicken, steak, ham, and turkey were your favorites), you meowed loudly in the mornings to get me up when I ignored the alarm clock, and you always purred loudly in approval when I gave you the love you desired. You were always a happy cat. Not one day went by when I didn't hear you loudly purr to me. You were always happy to see me and let out a little meow each time you saw me come home while sitting patiently on the windowsill. You were a wonderful companion who meshed your routine with mine. At home we were inseparable; always tending to each other's needs.

You had such a great personality and often at times I wondered how eerily tuned in to me you were. Now that you are gone, I'm learning that a piece of me is also gone. It won't be the same for me. I'll miss hearing you wake me up in the morning, sitting on my lap to get petted or to just fall asleep, brushing you, talking to you, playing your favorite games, making your favorite foods, sitting out on the porch with me to bask in the warmth of spring and summer, tucking me into bed, snuggling with you, listening to you talk to me, and just existing with you. You were a big part of my life. You were the only pet I ever could call mine and I did my best to provide you with love, care, comfort, warmth, and friendship. And for all those things I was able to do for you, you also did for me. You were the best cat a person could ever have, and there's no way in hell I'll ever be able to replace you.

It still seems like a dream. 10 1/2 years seems to have come and gone in a blink of an eye. Tonight will be my first night at home in all this time where I won't have you here to say goodnight to and it breaks my heart tremendously. I know you can no longer hear me or see me but I hold out hope that maybe someday, in some form, we will be together again.
Even though today was the toughest day of my life, I felt good knowing that we went through this process together, and I was the very last person you were able to see immediately before you closed your eyes once and for all. I promised you that I would do that for you, no matter how scary and uncomfortable it was, to provide some measure of comfort. I just hope that it was enough. I still feel the pain and the hurt of those final seconds but I would do it over and over again for you Pumpkin, my little girl who gave me so much joy in the time we had together. I'll always love you and always care for you, and not a day will go by when my heart feels just a little sorrow that you won't be sharing that day with me. You were my baby, my tenacious little protector, my love, my companion, and my precious little girl. Goodbye, sweetie. I'll never forget you.

With all my love,


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