A Farewell Letter to My Beloved Cat

Dear Pumpkin,

I wish more than anything I could change what happened to you. I wish that I never went away. I wish I could go back and change everything and do things differently so you would still be here with me. I wish that I could have protected you and prevented what happened to you. I wish I was there for you so you never suffered. Oh, how I wish.

But nothing will change what happened. But I miss you. I will always miss you. I will always look for you in all of your special places—lying in the garden, under the trees, on the grass, curled up on your chair, and always sleeping on my pillow. I will never get used to you not being there—those places will never be the same without you. They are empty now.

I look at your grave and can’t imagine you are there. I must look away because I feel so much pain—that you’re gone. Pain for your suffering, pain for how bad you felt those last days, pain for the circumstances I cannot change, and pain that I wasn’t there for you when you needed me. You didn’t leave this world the way I imagined, the way I wanted for you. You left as the result of a mistake, a fateful error in judgment, a careless blunder that should never have been made—and you paid the price. Oh, how I wish I could change everything and go back.

I look for you everywhere now. You’re not there to lie beside me and curl up around my head, caressing me all night purring me to sleep. You’re not there to hold my hands the way you did with your paws during the night, touching me to reassure me you’re still with me. You’re not there in the morning as I wake up to greet me with your beautiful emerald green eyes full of life and your enduring spirit. You’re not there beside us as we plant new plants and garden—which you loved so. You’re not there in your favorite patio chair that you loved under the trellis. You’re not on the grass, lying in the sun, soaking in the warmth, listening to the bird’s sing and the wind-bell ring. You’re no longer waiting for us to come home after our long days of work, so eager to see us, calling to us to come to you. Your special places are empty without you.

You’re not there but I will remember you—I will remember how from the moment I set eyes on you I loved you. I will remember how you lived in the rain in the parking lot of my apartment building—homeless for a year—before I brought you inside to live with me. I will remember when we drove together from Seattle to San Francisco to our new home in two days—you in the backseat in a car filled with belongings, going to a new life. I will remember how you waited patiently for me to commute home those days I worked long hours—and you would chew up the mail for something to do. I will remember getting you a companion and adopting Red for you—who was homeless and had been abused and you nursed him back to health. I will remember moving to our new house and fostering many cats and you accepted the ones who never got adopted, or were unadoptable, one by one, begrudgingly. And I remember when we almost lost you—suddenly our healthy 18-year-old was sick, very sick and I couldn’t think about letting you go. I will always remember what an incredible spirit you had to endure another 1.5 years of hospice care with all your meds—because you wanted to live and not let go, and live you did!

Pumpkin, you will always be in our hearts. Your love, friendship, beautiful spirit, and grace were such a blessing. Thank you for sharing your life with us and giving us the gift that was you. We will never forget you.

Your loving guardians, forever

A Farewell Letter to My Beloved Cat
Pumpkin’s Last Moments in the Garden, Her Favorite Place to Be
A Farewell Letter to My Beloved Cat
Spending an Hour in Her Garden, Visiting All Her Favorite Spots


More stories about Pumpkin: Cat Hospice Care Extending Her Life

4 thoughts on “A Farewell Letter to My Beloved Cat”

  1. Jennie, this is the most touching and heartbreaking letter I have ever read. You honored Pumpkin while she lived, and now you continue to honor her even as she plays in Kitty Heaven. There can’t be a more compassionate, generous or loving kitty mama than you. You honor me by being my friend. PJ

  2. Hi Jennie, It broke my heart reading your precious, loving letter to you beloved Pumpkin. It made me cry. I know you hurt terribly. I’m not sure if my elderly Miss Kitty is preparing to leave but I am watching the changes I see today very closely. I also made a mistake 2 years ago and I wish I had done things differently. Instead of bringing our Callie back home from leaving her at the vet, we brought her home and buried her. It hurts so bad to lose them. I hope you pain will end soon. Hugs to you.

    1. Ann, thanks so much for your kind words, and my thoughts are with you for your Miss Kitty. Sometimes they surprise you when they seem like they are leaving us, and they endure far longer, so I hope this is the case for your Miss Kitty. The bond and love we have with our pets can be so deep and undeniable, it’s wonderful, but so painful when we lose them. We have to remember the blessing that each one brings us.

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