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.
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.