Euthanasia

Well, that was a bit traumatic.

We had to put Pumpkin to sleep last night.  His first birthday was supposed to be tomorrow.

It’s a pity.  He was a good cat – friendly, affectionate, and patient with Peter.  He was also an exceptionally good-looking cat – he had a beautiful orange and brown coat with white highlights around his eyes, chin, ears, paws.

I let Pumpkin out yesterday morning, as usual.  He usually comes and goes during the day, but he was gone all day Friday.  I didn’t think much of it – he probably came in while we were running errands and was sleeping somewhere.  Or he was just having fun outside.

Pumpkin came home at about 9 p.m., and Son let him in via the back door.  As he came in, Son asked Pumpkin what he had in his mouth.  I quickly realized, though, that he had nothing in his mouth.  In place of his chin was mangled flesh the color of dried blood.   His jaw was broken – shattered.

Remember that scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where the bones of Harry’s arm vanish, leaving a useless blob of unstructured flesh?  That’s exactly what Pumpkin’s left front leg looked like.  I’m truly amazed that the poor cat was able to hobble home.

I don’t want to go into much more detail than that.  It was painful to look at, and I quickly burst into tears as I realized that Pumpkin would not be able to recover from his injuries… at least not without weeks or months of intensive medical care.  He could live with only 3 legs, but he couldn’t live without a lower jaw and lips.  He couldn’t eat.

I think he was struck by a car.  I can’t think of anything else that could have caused the injuries.

Son tried to put Pumpkin to sleep – or at least provide pain relief – with chloroform.  The attempt was unsuccessful, but I eventually found that the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University has 24/7  emergency services.

So we took Pumpkin to the North Grafton and had him put under.  The veterinarian reassured us that we made the most compassionate choice for him.  Even if he could have survived, recovery would have been very difficult…

I suppose it’s good that this happened while Peter is still young.  He was very fond of Pumpkin, and I’m sure he would have been heartbroken if he had lost his animal friend at age 3 or 4 or 5…

Rest in peace, Pumpkin.  You will be remembered.

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