Likes: Likes people, being loved, eating, sitting in the window, playing, when momma combs him, exploring outside, stalking lil' sis.
Pet-Peeves: When hoomans don't get up early enough, not being able to go outside, insulin injections and bg ear poking, riding in the car, most other cats. He has a big dislike of human feet - if I touch, "pet" or go near him with my foot, he just hates it...??
Favorite Toy: Anything really. A snake stuffed with catnip, cords and a leash, shadows, most anything...
Favorite Nap Spot: Various chairs, outside under bushes, at night near my head, my lap.
Favorite Food: Most anything. He's never been picky and always had a big appetite. He likes cat food and many human foods. He loves sliced turkey, loves any canned and raw food. I have to watch him because he wants to get into everything...
Skills: Chasing shadows, sleeping on the pillow near my head, being super sweet, waking Momma up in the morning, biting my nose in the morning when he is hanging out on my chest, and also he loves to lick my ear lobes.
Arrival Story: Gumpy was a stray kitten. He appeared in our garage in 1994 at about 6 weeks old. His sister Kali (at the Bridge now) showed up a day or two before, and then Gump appeared. I think these kittens were dumped and wandering around in the woods near our house for a few days. I was in my mid-twenties at the time and happened to be living at my parent's home for a while. I believe some neighbors dumped these kittens. Gump showing up in my life was a gift. He is the most loving and special cat. The first night I found him, he slept with me and he was almost frantic and desperate for love and connection. He was frantically licking my ears ("nursing") and face and wouldn't stop. He wouldn't leave me alone. I finally put the covers over my head and he started digging frantically at the covers to get near me. He still enjoys licking and sucking my ear lobes at age 16. MOL. He also was ravenously hungry when I found him and I think being without food affected him. He has a great appetite and is not a picky boy....
I named him when I saw the movie Forrest Gump, which came out the year he was born. I didn't take enough time to name him, and might have named him something different at this point. But he is my Gumpy boy. He is just the most sweet, gentle, adorable, peaceful little being.
Gump was diagnosed with diabetes in fall of 2006. I learned a lot about feline nutrition and health after this diagnosis. He was on insulin for about 3 years, getting two and sometimes three injections a day. Though his insulin needs kept decreasing over time and in the winter/spring of 2010 he started staying in normal BG numbers on his own and it continued. He actually went into remission and ceased needing insulin and has remained in remission. I still test his BG several times a week, if not everyday. Gumpy got sick in late 2010 and was diagnosed with pancreatitis, but he seems to be doing well when he's not having a flare-up. Many diabetic kitties also have chronic pancreatitis which may flare up from time to time. Gumpy has also developed kidney disease. His kidney values had been going up little by little, but by January 2012 he clearly had some pretty serious kidney issues and he also developed high blood pressure (which can be controlled with meds). He's slowed way down, but he's hanging tough and has been stable with fluids, low phosphorus food, some supplements and meds. His appetite is still good which is so, so, so important.
Gump is my soul kitty, he's been by my side for the last 18 years. There's so much to say...but he's very loving, gentle, affectionate, sensitive, smart and fun too.
Thank you for thinking of me on my birthday. Thanks for the gifts and messages. I’m a 19-year-old old furt now and celebrating at the Bridge with my angel buddies. Cake, bowling, catniptinis and lots of good stuff. But Mom is still sad about everything and hasn’t been able to be involved here on Catster. We apologize for not being around and not being here for others. You friends are in our thoughts even though we’re not active here now.
Mom is going to write now:
Happy 19th Birthday, my sweet darling boy. I really didn’t think last year was the last birthday we’d have to celebrate with you here. You were(are) the most magical cat/being. So gentle, so loving and affectionate, so adorable, so sensitive, so strong, and tough as well. You were such a source of support, always there with your loving, peaceful presence. That presence was always so comforting - whether you were sleeping on the pillow by my head, coming over to meet me at the door, or just near me in a cat bed, you gave me such a sense of peace just by being with me.
I just wasn’t prepared to lose you. As you got older, I always said to you, “how am I ever not going to have you here with me”. And I guess I just didn’t mentally prepare for that, even though I knew it was an eventuality. I’m still tormented about some of what happened at the end, and things I did and didn’t do for your health. Still wonder if it was the right time. I actually feel like we both weren’t ready that day. An unexpected death can be just as traumatic for the soul leaving as for those left behind. Maybe this will change someday, but it's in my mind right now.
I feel like I shouldn’t have these thoughts, even here on Catster with all the cat people. I feel like I should make peace with all of this....but I haven’t completely yet. Losing such an extraordinary being who I was so close to for eighteen years, I guess it’s the way I’m grieving and I am still in it.
I hope to be involved here again and maybe write more about some of the wonderful things about you and some fun stories about you. And to be here for others - which I feel very bad about now.
I love you so much, my precious baby and always always will. Forever.
(Still feels weird calling you an angel, btw).
Gumpy here again:
Mom, I love you forever and always will. One day you’ll understand that Love and the essence of who we are doesn’t end or die.
Don’t you remember when I sent you those whisper thoughts? Remember when I sent you that thought that maybe it was a relief for me that day. Be aware of those whisper thoughts...
I wanted to thank everyone for all the kindness and support in dealing with the loss of my sweet, precious, beautiful boy. Thank you for everything - all the gifts, stars, rosies, pawmails, poems, photos, comments and also for diary entries.
I will be working on thank yous, but I’ve just been so physically and emotionally drained that I haven’t had a chance to send out any thank yous. I am very grateful for everything. For every comment, every kind message and gift. Having this place to share our fur babies and their lives - the joy, the fun and the pain - is a beautiful thing. It doesn’t change the loss, but it so helps knowing others understand and care. I also feel grateful to have been able to share my sweet boy with others.
Some purrsonal thank yous:
I wanted to thank Tasha and angel QT for posting very touching and caring diaries which helped ease my pain. I need to repost the writing/poem Tasha posted called "You Have Chosen Tears". So beautiful and healing.
Thank you to Sammie & Lady’s dad for the pawmails and for the lovely poems. Those poems are very comforting to read. Thank you for the caring pawmails from QT and her mom, Kaci’s mom, Natasha, Bella & Ruffy, Tully, and Monster. Thank you so much for caring and taking the time to pawmail. Thank you to Calvin and his caring Mawmee for getting wings so quickly for Gumpy. Thank you to Tigger’s mom for reaching out to me when she was dealing with so much loss herself. Thank you to Angel Alfie's mom Eva for being there that day through email and phone and trying to help me. Thank you to Tully’s mom for always caring about my tuxie boy (and me). Thank you to Lacey & Alex for posting about what was happening and for your understanding. Thank you to Annabelle for writing a diary for Gumpy. Thank you all!! I may have missed others - please let me know and I’m sorry if I did.
Thank you to Zach, Zoe & family and the GreenPaws group for the gift of the two lovely Angel's Breath Achillea plants! I’ve planted them in an area to keep them more protected through the winter, though I may end up moving them once they get established. Gumpy's Angel's Breath plants by the garden fairy. What a kind, thoughtful thing to do in memory of my boy who loved being outside. I look forward to watching them grow and bloom with abundant white flowers. Thank you!!
I also just received another wonderful, special gift in the mail. Look at this lovely and wonderful custom throw/blanket!. I cried when I opened this. Such a unique and caring thing to do for us! I love all the photos that you picked! I will cherish this and will be enjoying it so much! So wonderful to have those photos right there and in such a large scale, too. Thank you all!!
Thank you also for taking the time to comment in our diary. All of those comments mean so much and have helped me. I’m feeling a little better, but I'm still crying often about not having Gumpy physically with me and still questioning some things. The hurt will never be fully gone because he was so much to me. Even though intellectually I knew that cats don’t really have long life spans and I knew his little body had dealt with a lot which was weakening him, part of me thought he was my strong, sweet boy who had overcome so much and I thought I’d have him with me longer. Part of me thought maybe, maybe I could have him with me much longer. Maybe he could overcome more. But of course he couldn’t. I’ll write more....
I have what’s left of him back with us now. I found a nice container, but I feel numb when I look at it. It’s not him, but I’m glad ‘he’ is back here...in a some form, I guess.
Thank you also for all of the fun balloon and pirate gifties. I’m sorry we just haven’t been up to sending out those light and happy gifties. But thank you for thinking of us. I’m always grateful for that. We’ll get back to doing more of this.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL the kindness, love and support. Thank you for caring and being our friends. Everything is appreciated. I’m sure my little angel boy is also grateful for the kindness you’ve shown us.
P.S. I’m sorry if I’ve left off anything or anyone.