Monday, 30 November 2009


Just over two and a half years ago, Mum and I moved into a new house. It had been a long time coming – the old house had been on the market for 2 years and we had spent the previous 9 weeks homeless due to a deal falling through on the house Mum was hoping to buy.

Those were 9 long weeks. Everything we owned was in storage. We had a suitcase each with a week’s worth of clothes in (the length of time we initially thought we would be between houses) and that was it.

It was beyond wonderful to finally have a home. I was not cut out for a nomadic life, sleeping on people’s floors and not knowing from one week to the next where we would be staying the night.
Three days after we moved in was a Saturday. We were still living amongst boxes and trying to figure out where everything would go when Mum announced...

“I want a kitten”

I wasn’t that surprised. I’ve never known a house without a cat and we’d had to put down Pickle, our cat of 12 years earlier in the year. In a way it was fortunate because who knows what would have happened to her during our homeless period. Either way I think now that there was a home again it needed a cat and when Mum makes up her’s as good as done.
We took ourselves off to the RSPCA where we both immediately spotted a gorgeous little tortoiseshell – nose pressed against the glass while her brothers and sisters played. She was ready to go home.
Once we got her home we realised that we had forgotten everything about having a kitten. She was so teeny tiny and was in to absolutely everything. There were gaps behind cupboards and fridges and washing machines to get into, boxes to explore, she wasted no time setting forth on her exploration.
Within a couple of minutes she had full control of the house and it continued that way for many months. We were enraptured with everything she did, except for when she’d hide under my bed in the morning and then leap out on my feet as I tried to get ready for work.
Then one day the RSPCA rang to tell us that the Pumpkin’s Mum and 2 of her siblings had died from feline leukaemia. The mother had been a stray and probably caught it out and about and passed it on to the babies. They advised us to go and get her tested to see if it was positive.

Turns out it was and in a week she went from being a fun-loving kitten, (who did sleep a lot but then what cat doesn’t?!) to not a well little person at all. Her nose was all pale and she didn’t want to play, just sleep all the time.

So 2 years ago today we had to take her to the vets to be put to sleep (by the way, how bad a month was this? Grandparents dying, kittens dying....).

She was only 9 months old and far too young for something like this to be happening to her. I always think about what could have been. She was such a fabulous cat and so beautiful.

RIP Pumpkin.

PS I did not name her

PPS The RSPCA were very good about the situation. They paid for the test and for the euthanasia and told us we would come back and get another kitten without having to pay the adoption fee again. As one of my friends said, “Well I should think so, they sold you faulty goods!”

PPPS We did go back and get another kitten, the infamous Mabel, but that is a story for another time.


Petit Filoux said...

Such a beautiful cat, such a shame.... she looked so pretty too - still makes me want a cat!!
so, fancy some of those mittens hey? really? well if you really want some, I guess I could make you a pair! How about you leave me a message with your email address so that I can write to you about it (I won't approve your message so it won't appear on my blog)

miss*H said...

she is beautiful!!!! thats such a shame but at least the RSPCA did the responsible thing and informed you and you caught it before it was too late as its awful as it progresses. When I brough Winston home from his breeder the vets thought he might have had cat flu...countless tests later we found out he was just allergic to the furniture polish so we had a happy ending. I'm sorry you didn't :(

The Curious Cat said...

Oh poor Pumpkin...did you ever read about The Goddess Kitchen's Ollie? that was a sad story of feline illness...poor little mite... I hate it when animals suffer... still at least Pumpkin had some fun and comfort in her life... I always think that is important and it is always important to keep taking cats in after others pass because there are lots out there in need of love and a good home! xxx said...

I have been reduced to tears, poor Pumpkin! At least she had a good home in her short life. suzie xxx

Nicola said...

I keep reading your posts on my ipod, starring them meaning to comment and then forgetting all about it. What a sad story, she looks like such a sweet cat. I guess these things happen - be glad you were able to give her a home and loving family for as long as you could.

Flitterbee said...

My cat is called pumpkin, I did name her :P
She is lovely and ginger and I miss her.