Punkin Thomas Has Left the Building

It's a blue day today at my house. One of my cats, Punkin Thomas, passed away yesterday. I'm not sure how old he was, but my ex-wife brought him home in '94 or '95 and he was already an adult cat at that time. His former owner was a little old German lady who was the mother of one of Bekki's co-workers, and when she died and her daughter couldn't take her cat because she was allergic to cats, Punkin came to live with us. "Just until we find a good home for him," she told me, as usual. I always was a soft touch.

You'd expect a cat named Punkin to be orange. You'd be wrong. He was gray with a white belly and paws, and bright green eyes. Bekki thought that it was kind of silly to have a gray-and-white cat named Punkin, so she said, "He looks kind of like a Thomas to me. We'll call him Punkin Thomas." And so we did.

He had been declawed (which I would never do to a cat), so if he wanted to get your attention, he would nip lightly with his teeth. Not hard enough to hurt, just to say "Hey, I want to be petted!" He was always very friendly and affectionate, and he liked to snuggle on the bed or climb into the computer chair when I was sitting in it. His favorite thing: Cheese. If I got out a Sargento cheese stick, he'd be meowing and begging until I broke off a few little pieces for him.

He had been getting old and frail in recent months, and had lost a lot of weight. Yesterday, it became pretty clear that the end was coming. I laid him on an old pillow and made him as comfortable as possible. He was still alive when I went to bed around 4 p.m., but he was gone when I woke up around 8:30. It was thirty years to the day of Elvis' death. Take that for what it's worth. And so, in the fading twilight, I had to do quick undertaker duties. He's resting in peace now.

I think I'll have a cheese stick in his memory.