Goodbye, Pumpkin

My wife and I visited my mother-in-law about a week and a half ago. We sat down in her Florida room and she picked up her cat, Pumpkin, and put him on my lap.

Pumpkin has always been a friendly cat and would often sit next to me while I petted him but he was never much of a lap cat. I put him on my lap a few times but he would usually get down after less than five minutes, usually sooner. This time he stayed on my lap for a long time.

During that time we talked about how he wasn’t doing very well. My mother-in-law knew his time was coming to an end. She faced a difficult decision. One we have all faced before and can understand well. How long do we wait? How bad does it need to be before we are ready to let go? It is a decision everyone hopes they will never have to make.

She mentioned that Pumpkin was acting erratically, like he was disoriented, and thought he might be getting dementia. I thought of my father. During his last two days his mind became increasingly confused, but that was not dementia.

After a while Pumpkin got off my lap and went into the house. On the way in he bumped his head on the door frame. Later we noticed he was lying between the wall and the living room sofa, like he was hiding. Animals do that when they are sick. My dog Tasha did that before she died.

Yesterday I got word that Pumpkin’s time here on Earth was over. It was very sad, only comforted by the thought that ten of his twelve years were spent in a loving home.

The vet said that Pumpkin had become blind, which explains why he bumped into the door. Loss of vision might also explain some of his erratic behavior as well.

To tell the story of Pumpkin it helps to go back to Tigger and Flash. in 2006, my mother-in-law adopted Tigger but the shelter called the next day wanting him back because his brother, Flash, was in great distress without him. She didn’t want two cats at the time and we didn’t want to send him back to the shelter so we adopted both of them.

Shortly after that, Rose’s mom adopted a Maine Coon cat and named him Monkey.

A few years later, about ten years ago, she was ready for another cat so she adopted Pumpkin, who was about two years old at the time. Monkey and Pumpkin did not always get along but they did have their moments.

A few years later Monkey died and it was just Pumpkin along with several strays that came around.

Pumpkin the cat
cat pumpkin on my lap
cat pumpkin on my lap

The last two pictures make me wonder if I was wrong about him not being a lap cat.

Pumpkin was a very lovable cat and will be missed.


38 thoughts on “Goodbye, Pumpkin

  1. onespoiledcat

    What a sad story. Pumpkin was a cutie and probably really appreciated having a warm lap at the time – cats are so good at hiding things – I guess your mother-in-law hadn’t seen him bumping into anything or she would have figured out his sight was gone. I hope his passing was peaceful.


  2. caren gittleman

    I am so sorry to read about Pumpkin. It is so special that you shared such a special kitty with all of us. We send our love and sympathy to everyone (((hugs))) xoxo We are so deeply sorry

  3. kittiesblue

    Please pass our condolences on to your mother-in-law. Sounds as if Pumpkin was fairly young (12?). We really are sorry for her loss, but we know Pumpkin has joined his friends at the Bridge. We sure hope she adopts another cat. So many need homes. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

  4. Photofinland

    So sad story. It is very difficult to make that decision when you have to let your pet go, so difficult to think if to wait, if he/she suffering.
    You have lovely memories of Pumpkin.
    Hugs to everybody.

  5. The Swiss Cats

    We’re sorry for the loss of Pumpkin. We send you and your mother-in-law comforting purrs and gentle headbonks. Purrs

  6. Timmy Tomcat

    We send purrs and prayers to your Mother in law and family on the loss of Pumpkin. We are so glad to hear that he had years in a loving home. Fly free dear Pumpkin and watch over us from over the bridge


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