“Kitty, you’re my best friend. You’ll always be my best friend.”
I sobbed those words as I cuddled my cat closely around the age of….oh…probably 14. Middle school years are ROUGH. And when friends come and go, abandon you, stab you in the back…all the drama of the teenage years…stability is a hot commodity. And one thing I new that was stable in my life, besides my rock-solid family, was my first and only pet….Pumpkin…also known as “Kitty.”
I got Pumpkin when I was 8 as a little kitten. But even 2 years before that cat was born, I knew its name. From the time I was about 6, I would ask my parents for a little orange stripped kitty and I would name it Pumpkin.
I still remember the night, right around Thanksgiving time, that my dad came up from the basement with a wrapped box…and it was making noise! I knew right away what it was! A Kitty!!!! My Pumpkin!!!!! I was only 8 when I got him. And the animal shelter told my parents that he was only a few weeks old, so we counted back the days on the calendar and decided his birthday was September 23, 1994.
Man, he sure was skinny back then. And little.
He packed on the pounds in his (almost) 16 years of life. Perhaps it was the trauma of going from a HE to an IT. Or maybe it was the torture of celebrating his birthday and suffocating him with the birthday party hats. Or maybe the misery of having Scotch tape stuck to his feet. Or maybe the time he got lost outside, and when the neighbor called the number on his collar and asked if we had an orange spotted cat, my brother said no (because he was STRIPED, NOT SPOTTED). Maybe he put on the pounds because we only let him roam a small section of our yard chained to a leash. Or perhaps because we fed him every single time he meowed.
But I loved my plump kitty. He fit right into our family. I knew that I could always find him on my messed up bed, or under the little table in my brothers room, or in the chair in the quiet room, or in mom’s spot on the couch…or, most definitely, laying on mom’s stomach every night while they watched tv.
So many memories. So hard to say goodbye.
I love you so much, Kitty, and miss you already. I wish I could jiggle your hangy-down just one more time. You were the best pet a girl could ever have.
Even if you did always poop on dad’s recently washed rug.