Yesterday we made the difficult decision to say goodbye to our beloved Autumn…aka TumTum…aka Ploogin (more to come about that). My heart hurts, and I keep hoping she’ll come back to me. I wanted to take a few moments today to tell you about my girl. You see Autumn wasn’t just a cat or pet. Autumn was my baby. If she had been human, you would have thought she was my mini me. Autumn and I were inseparable, but it didn’t start out that way though…
We adopted Autumn nearly ten years ago. It was within like a week of my 20th birthday. We had gone to Georgia (back then we lived in Alabama) with the intention of adopting another cat that I can’t even remember the name of now. I think Ryan saw Autumn first (well her name was Sweetie then) and said we had to adopt her. Autumn had been found by a dumpster eating trash and was rescued by some wonderful people. I actually liked another cat named Midnight, but there was just something about Autumn, so we adopted her. We decided to name her Tinkerbell, which lasted like five minutes. I finally chose the name Autumn on the drive home. We drove home in the snow with Autumn in the backseat. I’ll never forget that day.
You’re probably assuming all went well, and we lived happily ever after. Well… Autumn didn’t take to her new home initially. She actually became quite aggressive, and we were terrified of her. I hate to admit it, but I contacted the adoption folks to see what needed to be done or if we needed to bring her back. She was mean. Thank God they never responded to me. Back then I didn’t understand cats the way I do now. I mean I didn’t know shit. Autumn was only our second cat, and Isabella (our first) was super chill. Autumn was going to teach me.
Over the course of a couple of months, I had to gain Autumn’s trust. I worked with her constantly. I can still recall the day she finally came to me. I was so excited to tell Ryan when he got home from work. So that’s how Autumn and I became a pair. We eventually adopted Dunkin for Ryan since I hijacked Autumn and Isabella.
Autumn was a significant part of my day. She slept by me nearly every night. She followed me around the house and got involved in anything I was doing. She was also my evening buddy. No matter if I was on the computer or watching television, she was there. Autumn greeted me at the door when I came home, and she gave me kisses on command. Everybody new Autumn was my girl.
Autumn was with me through the good and the bad over the years. She comforted me when I was upset or sick. She was always there, which is why the last twenty four hours have been incredibly heartbreaking and lonely. I miss her so much. So how did we get to yesterday?
Autumn started showing her age last year. We actually started noticing significant weight loss and changes in her routine back in April. We took her in for senior blood work and everything was normal. They basically recommended some B-12 injections. We decided to try some other foods at home, because we didn’t think she’d appreciate weekly injections. She wasn’t a fan of the vet. Two months or so ago she started having diarrhea. Weeks of vet visits and ongoing tests showed nothing. After spending over $1000, we didn’t have any answers. Simply nothing.
They prescribed medications that helped temporarily, but many of her symptoms never went away. We were given a referral to a specialist towards the beginning of the month. We called to get an idea of the cost, and we just couldn’t afford more tests. There was no guarantee they’d find anything, and Autumn was already really stressed. The 90 minute car ride to the specialist probably would not have helped that. So we decided to take it day by day.
This past week was hard. Anything she ate went right through her, and she was starving. She appeared exhausted even though her spirit was very much there. She fought to the end. Although I’m still struggling with our decision, I didn’t want her to suffer. I know she didn’t want to leave me, and I really didn’t want her to leave me. It’s so hard deciding what to do. I just didn’t want her to be in pain. I’ve seen what happens when you wait too long.
We had her vet come to our home yesterday afternoon, because we wanted her to be comfortable at home. That went horribly, and we had to take her to the vet’s office. She was super freaked out, and it broke my heart. She was so fragile and seeing her on that table…I just can’t. Losing her hurts so incredibly much.
Autumn will forever have my heart. I know this terrible feeling won’t last forever, but I know my life is changed forever. Autumn wasn’t my pet, she was my kid. She was my kid even before I knew I couldn’t have children. She meant the world to me. I know Autumn’s in a better place and no longer in pain. I hope she’s chattering at birds and laying in the sun.
So that’s just a glimpse of Autumn’s story. She was an incredible soul that I will forever miss. I’m so grateful that I got to be her mom. Before I go, I have to tell you about her nickname. Ryan looked at a plug-in scent thing one day, and asked, “What’s a ploogin?” Autumn was nearby and responded to him with a meow. She became a ploogin, and she responded to that name.
I promise to have our holiday home tour up after Thanksgiving. So check back the first week of December for a look at our holiday decor.