tuesday was a very sad day…we said goodbye to our beloved pumpkin.
her health had been declining for the past several months, but this past week i noticed that she seemed to be exceptionally weak and frail. and even more worrisome, she often appeared to be having trouble breathing.
so i took pumpkin to the vet on tuesday morning knowing in my gut that wasn’t going to be good news. dr. wendy confirmed my fears…pumpkin’s lungs had filled with fluid and there wasn’t anything she could do except perhaps a steroid shot to help with her breathing. but even then, it would only prolong the inevitable for a week or so.
it was time. it was time to say goodbye to pumpkin.
this is not the first time i have been in this situation. nevertheless…having this particular experience offers no comfort at all. losing a pet is heartbreaking.
pets take up such a special place in our hearts and in our lives. they are a constant presence always right under your feet or just around the corner. and they ask for so little, yet give back so much more…in pumpkin’s case it was 16 years of unconditional love in return for a sunny spot on the bed to nap.
i’ve had cats all my life, but pumpkin was different. truly…she was the sweetest, most lovable cat i’ve ever owned. her favorite place to be was wherever you were…except at christmastime, where she camped out under the tree. or unless there was a basket of freshly laundered towels that she could make a nest in.
these past several years, pumpkin was also a willing subject for my photography practice. and, as you are probably familiar with, her long hair was a well-documented subject on my blog. but the thing i will remember the most is pumpkin’s purr….she purred all the time. a constant low hum. like a soft, gentle ocean wave…in and out, back and forth. her signature sign of contentment.
for the past several months, pumpkin mostly stayed curled up in our master closet. i think she liked that it felt protected. (and warm – you could always count on pumpkin to find the warmest place in the house.) every day when i get home from work, the first thing i do is go upstairs and change clothes. and there pumpkin would be curled up on my pile of laundry. purring of course. and as i would get undressed, she would roll around and stretch…reaching her front paws way out and then wait for me to rub her belly and chin. she loved that.
i keep thinking that she’s just down the hall. or i’ll hear something and think ‘oh it’s just pumpkin’.
i already miss her.
i miss her purr. i miss the sound of her fluffy paws softly padding across the wood floor. i miss the way she should would rub against my legs as i laced up my running shoes. i miss her jumping on the bed at night and kneading on my belly. i miss how she would come into the office and sit on my lap and rest her chin on my forearm as i typed.
tuesday morning, i cradled pumpkin in my arms as she drifted off to sleep…as always, her soft, gentle purr was such a comfort. but as sad as it was to have to say goodbye, in that moment, what i felt most was gratitude…. gratitude for sixteen years of love and companionship. my hope is that as she passed away, she did so knowing how much she was loved.
rest in peace, sweet girl.