My Aunt rushed home, loaded a cat carrier into her car and returned to the oak tree. She gently nudged the sickly animal inside and gave her a treat with a little cup of water. The female cat showed no resistance to getting inside the carrier. She was too weak to purr.
Aunt Mary called the orange tabby Pumpkin right on the spot. It’s important to note that my Aunt had an inclination to call all animals Pumpkin. And, amazingly, they all seemed to respond to that name.
Pumpkin was immediately taken to the veterinarian who prescribed several medications. In a few months’ time, Pumpkin changed from a weak and dying animal to a cat that was gaining weight steadily along with developing a charming disposition. As the years passed, Pumpkin became more loving and less frightened of people. She even began to greet friends and family with little squeaks and nose rubs when they entered the house.
Pumpkin and my Aunt became inseparable. When my Aunt would have a painful bout of gout and had to lie in bed most of the day, Pumpkin was by her side. If the burning sensation in her feet became too much, she would rub the cat’s thick fluffy tail and listen to Pumpkin’s comforting purr.
“Thank you, Pumpkin, for being my own private nurse,” Aunt Mary would say with a painful tear in her eye. Pumpkin looked up and gave a squeak as if to say that it was her pleasure.