Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pumpkin Jones
October 30, 1997-July 10, 2007

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This has not been a good week for the Jones family pets. Dorothy II passed away over the weekend. She lasted a mere 6 days with us. Some one suggested it may have had something to do with the third of a can of fish food J dumped in her bowl the first day she was here. I couldn't really say. I thought about taking her back body to the store to get a refund. They have a 14 day survival guarantee on all the fish. I ended up deciding it wasn't worth $0.12 to fish her out and take her tiny little corpse back to the customer service desk. She went down the garbage disposal instead.

J noticed she wasn't looking so good the other morning. "Why is Dorothy laying down, Grandma?"
Grandma: "She's sleeping."
J: "Nuh-uh, her eyes are open."

I didn't shed any tears for the goldfish. I didn't even bother to dispose of her for 2 days. It was a busy weekend, I couldn't be bothered. Besides, J kept wanting to feed her.

Today we had a bigger loss. Pumpkin, our cat, got let out by her big brother last night. I didn't realize it, so I didn't look to bring her back in before we went to bed. This morning we found very large clumps of her hair in the front flower bed, but no sign of the cat herself. I suspect she had a run-in with some creature of the night. Poor girl.

Pumpkin showed up in our driveway one Wednesday night 10 years ago. I was coming home late the night before halloween, and there she was in my headlights when I pulled in. I took her into the house and said, "She followed me home. Can I keep her?" To which B of course said, "No." I played with her for a little bit, then took her back outside. She decided she'd like to stay, and pawed and cried at the door until I softened and took her back in. We decided we'd just keep her until we found a good home for her. After all, my mom was deathly allergic to cats, so surely we couldn't keep her for good. Not having ever owned a cat, we called one of our cat-lover friends for instructions. We showed Pumpkin the roaster pan lid with litter in it and voila - she was litter box trained. After about a month, we hadn't found anyone to take her off our hands. By that time we'd found that she required very little effort to car for, we really liked her, and surprisingly we discovered that my mom didn't react to her. So we decided to keep her. About 2 days after that, she turned off the affectionate pet act and curled up in the corner by herself. Since she showed up at our house around Halloween, we decided to keep her around Thanksgiving, and she was orange, we named her Pumpkin.

I made the mistake of trying to bathe her once. Someone suggested I ought to, since she'd been a stray and was probably dirty. Sounded reasonable, but then I was pretty ignorant about cats. It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I put a little water in the bottom of the tub and then set her in. It looked just like one of those road runner cartoons. She immediately shot three feet straight up in the air; her paws were moving so fast they were a blur; and then in one movement, without touching the floor, she was out of the bathroom. I'm sure I got wetter than she did. I still laugh every time I picture it.

Pumpkin was a good cat. She was very little trouble most of the time. She was stubborn and proud. She rarely ever got excited. She was extremely tolerant of our children, never nipping at them, even though there were times they probably deserved it. Like the time J laid on her, or the many times he moved her, or all the times H patted her or buried her face in her fur. She loved sitting in my lap every evening as I worked at my computer. I could feel her little body vibrate as she purred contentedly there. She had long hair that shed all over the place. When she ran her tail across my face it tickled for a long time from the stray hairs that would stay there. She loved lying in a warm sunbeam or by the fireplace. She had a favorite chair in our basement. She loved curling up on our bed. She left a nice warm spot there when she got up. She liked to climb the Christmas tree and curl up in boxes.

She was a part of our family through the end of medical school, through residency, through three moves in two states, through the birth of our two children. She tried to kill our other cat when we brought her home, but was always very gentle with our children.

Rest in Peace, Pumpkin

2 comments:

Lacy H. said...

:( I would be so sad if my little mischa passed on to animal heaven, and Michael might need a tranquilizer when silas goes to the other side.

sorry about your little pumpkin.

SJ said...

I think Brian's exact words were "One down and one to go!" He was more likely to need a tranquilizer when she showed up again.