To Pumpkin

About losing a pet.

It’s never easy to be responsible for another life. To make all the little decisions to make sure they are comfortable and happy.

It’s never easy to lose them. After everything.

You were a constant presence in my life these past eight months. The day you came to my apartment in hopes of having someone to spend some quality time with in your old age. You were like an old friend coming to live with me until you got back on your feet. But we both knew you were here to stay.

You needed some accommodations. Curious and bored you would rifle through the cabinets or even the trash, wondering what the hell we could possibly be throwing away that smelled so good. Not knowing personal boundaries, we had to make arrangements.

But that didn’t matter when all I could think about was coming home and having you waiting by the window or door, happy to see me after such a long day. Having a quick conversation over dinner as you tried to eat off my plate. And then watching TV together until you were ready for bed.

I couldn’t be in the other room without you wondering where I went. Couldn’t even walk outside without you trying to join me for a little walk.

And it’s these little things that are hurting me the most right now.

The way you helped me with the dishes by licking them as I put them in. The sound of that little bell dinging behind me as I went from room to room. The sound of claws on furniture as you hoisted yourself up to wherever I was so you could get a little scratch and kiss.

Even the way you smacked bagels right out of my hands because you wanted some.

Even the way you scratched at the door at 4 a.m. because you thought breakfast should be at a less appropriate hour.

Eight months is not a long time. But you didn’t need that long to caress my heart and purr your way in. You didn’t need that long to become my best friend.

Today I thought I heard your bell. Today I thought I saw you coming around the corner as I opened the dishwasher. Today I came home and had to pause before opening the door to prepare myself for you not to be there.

We had a short time together, but I will miss you. The way you came out from your hiding place in the end to purr despite your pain and say goodbye will wreck me every day. Even then you were the sweetest cat I ever met.

You died in my arms where you belonged, and I will carry your love forever.

I hope there are trash cans over the rainbow bridge for you to find a snack. I hope I was able to make the last moments of your life comfortable and happy. I hope you don’t hate me too much for making you wear a Christmas sweater.

Pumpkin, I love you. And I hope you will still wait for me at the door when I come for you.



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