Pumpkin Pie

Is this a tutorial on baking a pumpkin pie?

No, I’m sorry to say but it is not. This is a post about my family cat, who we delighted in naming Pumpkin Pie. I don't mean to be sad and sappy on my 3rd blog post, but I feel compelled to write about my memories of him, to honor his life as part of my family and as "King of the Jungle" (or King of the Neighborhood, but jungle sounds better).

He is 19 years old and recently ran away. We believe he was leaving to be on his own to die. I looked it up and people say that’s what cats do to protect their lair and family. They draw predators to themselves rather than to their home. I’m sure this is what Pumpkin was doing, even though most every day was all about him, I think he was thinking about us this time. If I try to be positive about it all, it’s in fact quite sweet. He can be young and free forever now.

The first time I ever met Pumpkin was when I was 5 years old. I was playing a really intense and competitive game of coed soccer when my mom and brother brought this cute little orange and white kitten to the field. Like every other 5 year old on the field, I ran to the sidelines to see my new pet. Did we care that it was the middle of the game? Of course not! Nothing better than a baby fur ball. Since my brother picked him out, he named him Pumpkin, all because he was white and orange and it was close to Halloween. It was only fair that I got to pick out the middle name. "Pie" was the only name that really seemed fitting. From that first day, my relationship with Pumpkin was a battle between love and hate.

He was the cutest thing! I always remember him playing on the railing on our back porch. He would sit on the top and chase his tail from underneath. We were always afraid he would fall off but it was his favorite game...till one day when he actually did! Luckily, being such a strong and agile kitty, he landed on his feet! 

I'm not exactly sure when it began, but I became deathly afraid of him. It might have started when he scratched me from my finger tips to my elbow! Cat scratches are NOT little, they sting and hurt! My fear of him was so bad that I wouldn't touch him. I went years without touching him! Don't worry, the rest of the family was able to handle him, he received plenty of love. But he always loved me. He would always make his way into my room before bed and would lay right in the middle of my bed. I had to get my parents to come in and pick him up and carry him out of the room! No way was I sleeping with the animal I feared most!

Even our wonderful dog, Katie, got along with him! They were like brother and sister, constantly teasing and playing with each other.  They would both sleep in my parent's room, Pumpkin at/on Mom's feet and Katie on her dog bed at the end. But of course Pumpkin always found his way to the middle of her bed as well.....

Pumpkin was hogging Katie's bed, sound asleep. Katie carefully climbed up on the bed, trying not to disturb Pumpkin, out of fear of retaliation, I'm sure.  Pumpkin just obliviously kept sleeping.  Of course he thought he was entitled to the bed... he got there first!

It wasn't until 2007 that Pumpkin and I started to get along again. Our precious Katie died at the age of 12, and it was obvious Pumpkin was sad and missed her. He started taking on roles that Katie had around the house, like greeting us at the front door when we would come home, snuggling up next to us. He was always around the family, we think at times he was actually looking for her. He became very very sweet. I was able to pet him again and cuddle with him. He let me pick him up and he would crawl into my lap to snuggle. He was always such a fun cat. We all loved him so much. For 19 years he was part of the family. It's sad and weird not to have him around anymore. 

He was a lover of broccoli, cat nip, birds, string,  and boxes. He acted like a human and thought he ruled the neighborhood. When guests would come over, he would show his approval by laying on their feet. There is so much more I could tell you about our sweet Pumpkin Pie, but I could go on forever. I know everyone in my family has stories of Pumpkin. These are just some of my memories.

I know that he is in Kitty Heaven and he has tons of woods to run around in and rocks to sit on like a throne! No more fleas or asthma or hair balls! Just happiness.

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