Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pumpkin 2002-2009

As the story goes, each of my children get a kitten during their childhood.

This is the story of Pumpkin.

Pumpkin was Jake's cat. The 1st of the kids to get his cat he was a strapping 4 year old man cub when we when to the Animal Rescue Fund. It was early spring, and there were not many litters born yet, but back in one cage was a little 6 week old ball of orange tabby fluff. She had been found abandoned in the woods with no mother or siblings in site. The woman who found her, was so sad that she could not keep her herself, and worried that she would get a good home, that they took our picture that day so they could send it to her. I would pay to see that picture now.

She grew into a gorgeous girl and had long orange striped hair. She had an uncanny love for the baby Matty and we found her many, many, many, times in the crib with him while he slept. He became so taken with his personal playmate that his 1st birthday cake was of an orange cat.

With Tatum being the only girl, with 2 brothers at the time, and even the animals all being boys, except for pumpkin, we joked that they were the "girls". Tatum had a tell tale freckle on her nose that we lovingly poke often, believe it or not pumpkin had a black freckle on the tip of her nose too! We said it was because they were sisters...

When she got to be about 6 she wanted outside more and more, and then started using the litter box less and less, and within the last year we let her out all the time. Last winter was her first full year out and I would only bring her in if there was alot of snow or really cold. After some love, even then though she would beg at the door and want back out. She had discovered her freedom and there was no turning back.

About 10 days before Thanksgiving I woke up to her dishes in disarray and the front porch a mess. Those darn raccoons had been at it again! But this time Pumpkin didn't come back. Not for 1 day or 2. Not for a week.

We called for her.

We put up signs.

We reported it to the shelter.

We looked at the shelter at the turned in cats.

We got permission to search the local farms and barns.


Yesterday my friend called to say that she thought she saw Pumpkin out on 122. Not alive.

I went and looked. As crazy as it is the first thing I thought was "Oh how good it is to see you! I have missed you!" There was not a mark on her. It had just happened I guess. Cars fly pass. She was still the beautiful long haired orange tabby. I was parked up the road with the baby left in her seat. I was in heels in the snow on the burm as cars drove by at 65 mph. I called Mike to see if he could come get her.

When he came home he swore he thought it wasn't her. He said there are so many cats that look like that! I said I knew my cat, but he had myself doubting a little.

So this morning as I was gone to Dayton for Tatums dance competition he was to bury her.

He said he checked and she had a freckle on her nose.

May you be safe with Jesus Pumpkin! I love you sweet cat!