A Sweet Little Pumpkin

An orange cat looks at the camera

Every holiday season we have our “Pumpkin’s Stocking Stuffer” donation drive, where donations to SNKC are doubled by the generosity of a wonderful donor, Stephanie Andrews. But we’ve never shared her story, and the story of Pumpkin, the little orange sweetheart we helped her find a forever home for.

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One evening, my husband and I were sitting on our back deck when a young, neutered male orange tabby ran into our yard. We named him Pumpkin. He was clean and well-kempt, but he had no tags and no microchip. He was sweet, though a little skittish, but he let us pet him.

The next night, there he was again. And the following evening. And the next. He would come to the back door and sit and meow. Our little boy cat Morris, a shelter rescue, was older and used to being an “only child.” We were worried about the stress of introducing them to each other, and our owned cat feeling threatened by this new cat, even though they were both orange tabbies and looked like brothers!

We were torn about what to do, especially with the cold weather fast approaching. Posting on Nextdoor didn’t give us any results; nobody claimed Pumpkin.

We didn’t want to take him to a shelter, but we did call other animal welfare organizations, none of which could take him in. We decided that our best alternative would be to build shelter for Pumpkin for the winter.

(First shelter attempt)

Like clockwork, he came by every night and slept on our back deck. We both fell in love with Pumpkin and his sweet nature. My husband was devoted to him and spent time outside with Pumpkin every night and morning. Rain, blizzard, freezing, sweltering; it didn’t matter. We were there for him, feeding and sheltering him.

A man and an organge cat sit in a deck chair
(John sitting with Pumpkin on a chilly morning)

As time went on, the shelter grew to take over our whole back deck. We didn’t mind; we were happy to do this for Pumpkin.

A man puts the final touches on a giant cat shelter
(The final form of Pumpkin’s shelter, which took up much of the deck)

I called several animal and service organizations, but SNKC was the only one that helped us find a foster, and ultimately a forever home, for Pumpkin. I am eternally grateful. It broke my heart not to keep him and was in tears in SNKC’s lobby when we handed over Pumpkin to his new owners. He’s the sweetest little boy, but it wasn’t meant to be.

I fund Pumpkin’s Stocking Stuffer annually because SNKC was there for Pumpkin. I will never forget Pumpkin — he touched my heart forever — or SNKC for helping him.

an organge cat lays on its back
(Pumpkin looking for belly rubs)
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2 Responses
  1. Susana Huntoon

    Thank you for that wonderful story. If I manage to get the job and keep it that I have just applied for, I am going add SNKC to my donating list. I love what you do, have used you to spay several strays that have come my way and it has meant so much to me. I am feeding one right now, a sweet faced orange tabby, that won’t let me near him but hopefully one day he will. Thank you again, SNKC

  2. David Shapiro

    We’re glad to share the story with everyone. Thank you for taking good care of the strays in your area, and best of luck on the job!

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