Puma came to live with me when I was just 20 years old. His mother had been run over by a car, and a nice lady had raised him together with his two siblings. Puma was always a bit different from other cats. He was underdeveloped, and sometimes his behaviour was rather un-catlike.
But I didn’t mind at all. I loved that cat. Puma only lived to be 12 years old, and he had to fight many illnesses in his life: acute pancreatitis, bladder stones, epilepsy and finally cancer.
A few months before his death, Puma was diagnosed with a tumour in his kidney, which had already spread. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of time before he left me. But when the moment came, I was still unprepared for it.
I came home from a business trip on a Friday and was greeted by Puma at the door. I knew immediately that something was wrong. He had a strange head tilt and could not walk right. We went to the veterinary clinic, where they tried to help him. He spent the following day in the clinic too, hooked up to a drip. The vet diagnosed him with a brain tumour, which had slowly grown and was now overwhelming the little guy. On the Saturday evening, the time had come to say goodbye. Puma was put to sleep at the clinic to release him from the pain he was suffering. He died in my arms.
I had a lot of trouble dealing with his death, blaming myself for not trying everything. Puma was cremated, and I still have his urn today. Here is a poem that really helped me to cope better with his death:
Sometimes when you're feeling sad, when all you want is me,
I softly sit and gently put my head upon your knee.
Some nights when your heart does ache, worn out by tears you weep,
I quietly lie beside your bed and guard you as you sleep.
Somewhere far beyond this place, a land where all run free,
I’m calmly watching over you and waiting patiently.
Someday, when the time is right, your voice will call to me,
And I’ll come running like the wind,
Someday… Wait and see.
On the first anniversary of his death, I got a tattoo of Pumas face, so he is always with me. Even four years after his death, I miss him. I can’t watch any videos of him without starting to cry.
Puma was my first pet of my very own, and through his whimsical nature he has earned a very special place in my heart. He will have that place forever.