It was October 1991 and we had spent three days searching for him in
the woods beginning
pre-dawn, in darkness, with flashlights. I finally managed to grab
him (he couldn’t resist the
tempting food) and throw him into a carrier for the trip to our home
where he would be safe
and loved for 12 years. In this Halloween season, when you welcome
an orange tabby into
your home, what do you name him? Pumpkin, of course!
Pumpkin came into our lives in the summer of 1991. He became my husband’s
returning each day for food and affection. This pattern continued into
October when we needed
to make a decision about “Little Red” (his temporary name). We already
had two cats in our home
. Did we really have room for another? YES!
My husband decided to take Little Red to the vet for a complete checkup.
That’s when I
got the frantic phone call at work. Little Red had jumped out of the
basket he was in and
had run into the woods behind the vet’s office. “Get that cat home
before dinner”, I demanded!
Dinnertime came; no cat. We had to find Little Red! The search began,
thankfully with a
happy conclusion. He became our Pumpkin, our Halloween gift. He was
a sweetheart. I
decided his birthday was Valentine’s Day.
Until October 2002, Pumpkin was robust, strong, and healthy, a big love
of a cat at
18-and-one-half pounds! Then he began to have symptoms of a cold. We
took him to our vet.
Antibiotics were prescribed and, as a result of a complete examination,
Pumpkin was diagnosed
with diabetes. We determined to do our best for Pumpkin, and
began insulin shots. I purchased a
glucometer to begin home testing with the support and encouragement
of those on the Rainbow
Bridge list. We were determined to manage Pumpkin’s diabetes and we
knew we could.
While learning to manage Pumpkin’s diabetes, we were concerned that
his “cold” lingered on.
An x-ray taken in early March 2003 brought devastating news; Pumpkin
had a cancerous tumor
in his left sinus cavity. It was not certain how much time we had with
our precious Pumpkin.
We decided, with our vet, to take an unorthodox step. We began steroid
shots to slow the cancer,
resulting in increased blood glucose levels. This treatment lasted
for twelve weeks, weeks that
were devoted to Pumpkin.
Pumpkin lost weight and weakened. His breathing became more and more
difficult. We knew
there was precious little time left, and we were devoted to making
his final days happy ones.
They were marked by restful time in the sun in his favorite place on
our front lawn
(still watching for mice and chipmunks!), generous helpings of shrimp,
his favorite sea scallops,
and lots of love, hugs and kisses.
May 2003, we were heartsick when Pumpkin’s cancer broke through his left
We were with Pumpkin for his journey to the Rainbow Bridge on May 29,
It was a sad realization to know that Pumpkin’s diabetes
could be managed with success, but his cancer could not be.
Pumpkin was a brave and courageous fighter until the end.
His inspiring spirit was evident in his final days.
Pumpkin was a precious gift in our lives for twelve wonderful years.
Blessings to Pumpkin, our precious angel at the Rainbow Bridge.
Dottie holding Pumpkin
In Memory of Pumpkin
--one year without you
29 May 2004
Our beloved Pumpkin,
I remember you through my tears,
So sweet and so loving,
Devoted to us for twelve years.
You brought us so much joy
With your character and charm,
I prayed for your good health and long years,
Protection from pain and harm.
You never wanted to leave,
You tried so hard to stay,
But your illness would stop you,
And number your days.
Your eyes stayed so focused,
Looking deeply into ours to let us know,
That you loved us so much,
And my tears would overflow.
Through days you were in pain,
You were stoic, brave, so good,
Keeping it all together,
The best that you could.
Your body faded day-by-day,
Eighteen, then ten, pounds you weighed,
No matter how you looked,
Your inner beauty stayed.
Your final days, so quiet, solemn,
You still tried to eat,
Chicken, shrimp, and scallops, too,
You were so courageous, so sweet.
Up to your last day with us,
You had a favorite place on the front lawn,
One afternoon together, just me and you,
You caught a mouse—but just for a second or two!
Until your last day—
May 29th, two thousand three,
You told me with your spirit
You would always love me.
We were with you, crying,
When you journied to the Rainbow Bridge,
You knew it was time to part,
But you would always be with me,
Beloved friend and angel, forever in my heart.
You are now among so many friends
At the Rainbow Bridge,
You are beautiful, healthy, spirited, too!
I know we will reunite one day,
My Pumpkin, how I miss you!
29 May 2004
Pumpkin's brother Oliver has joined him at the Rainbow Bridge
Tuesday, July 01, 2003 6:43 PM
Oliver Joins Pumpkin At The Rainbow Bridge
It is with great sadness that I tell you of the passing of another
of our beloved cats.
Oliver, who would have celebrated his 16th birthday with us on August
15th, died last night.
In August 1987, a box of four kittens was left at my workplace. I found
them when I arrived
at work, and brought them to my office. We spent most of the day playing
with them and found
homes for all. I took home the tiniest kitten, a beautifully marked
British Tabby we named Oliver.
He was a little love, always a very sensitive and emotional kitty.
Oliver was the only cat I have
ever seen shed tears. He just loved Christmas when the gifts were opened
and he could romp
in all the wrappings. Christmas will not be the same without Oliver,
and we will miss him.
Oliver was diagnosed with an inoperable fibrosarcoma
on his lip. It was so bad he could not eat. We tried to feed him with
He was withdrawing more and of course missed Pumpkin.
Last night, he suffered some kind of seizure; I had not witnessed anything
like this before. It was traumatic. We rushed to our vet, just 10 minutes
away, but he died while on route. I prayed and prayed that he would
a peaceful passing, but it was not to be.
We are heartbroken to lose our two cats in one month. It is the first
are without a cat in 16 years. It is a different place without them.
just numb. I will be back after some time has passed.
Dottie, Pumpkin & Oliver at the Bridge
I need to heal and remember the many good times we shared.
Please say a prayer for us.
Oliver, one of my most favorite books I read as a child,
Oliver, one of the sweetest cats (and you know how cats are wild)
Oliver, precious kitty who fought hard to the end,
Oliver, at the Bridge with Pumpkin.. waiting for the circle to begin
Be well our little Oliver Dear,
We keep the love you gave us near..
And when the time comes that our souls once again meet ,
I'll smile at the picture of Dottie, with Oliver at her feet.
© Charls Cain 2003
In Memory of Oliver
--one year without you
30 June 2004
Oliver, the cutest kitty,
A British tabby—black, gray and white,
With that sweet apricot tummy,
I loved you at first sight.
You were left at Centenary College,
With three siblings that October 15th day,
In nineteen eighty-seven—
We could not turn you away.
I cancelled all my meetings
On that lovely fall October day,
We had to find four homes,
And make some time to play!
At first I thought you were a girl,
Were you “Alexis” from the show Dynasty?
No, you were a little boy,
You were “Oliver” in our family.
You were tiny and sassy—our “Little Dude”
You were Maxwell’s best buddy,
We laughed at you, all in good fun,
You could be such a fuddy-duddy!
You favorite time of year
Was the morning of Christmas Day,
In all the colorful wrappings
You would jump and hide and play.
For fifteen years we loved you,
Sal and Lisa, and I,
You were emotional and sensitive,
You shed tears when we saw you cry.
Pumpkin joined our family,
But there was tension between you two,
Until your later years
When age and illness bonded you.
It was a cold, snowy sad day,
Christmas Day, two thousand two,
I worried it was your last Christmas,
But, I would lose both Pumpkin and you.
Through winter two thousand three,
We knew there were no more years,
We loved you, Oliver and Pumpkin,
Each day, a gift stained with tears.
So sadly you left us
That tragic night in June,
Just one month after Pumpkin,
Too much to absorb, too soon.
You were in our lives, fifteen years plus—
Almost six thousand days were ours,
Now you romp and play at the Rainbow Bridge,
In lovely meadows of beautiful flowers.
We miss you so much, sweet Ollie,
Our Little Dude, our love,
You are now our guardian angel,
Watching over us from above.
30 June 2004
New pets for Dottie!!
Ricky have arrived
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