Pushkin was named not after the author, as some suspect but after another nearly perfect cat. My great aunt had recently lost her Pushkin and while he was a long haired white cat he had the same cheerful disposition. Pushkin purred in the carrier the whole 2 first hours we spent together.
Once at the vets Pushkin had a quick once over – everything seemed fine though his bladder was very full. We went home and Pushkin walked into the living room like had been with us for years. Dogs, cats, nothing phased him. Within a couple of days it became obvious that while Pushkin was urinating he was not completely emptying his bladder so he went back to the clinic. He came home again and then blocked more completely. Back to the clinic he went. He got through that episode but in the process endeared himself to the clinic staff so absolutely they begged to adopt him. Project Jessie agreed on the condition (as we always stipulate) that if for any reason he didn’t work out at the clinic he came back to us.
Many cats might not be ideal clinic cats; many clinics might not provide perfect homes for cats but Pushkin and the Danforth Vet Clinic were made for each other. He moved location with them and stayed through a change in clinic ownership, purring through it all. He was always available for a chat if someone (client or staff) needed some consoling after a difficult diagnosis or appointment. He occasionally donated blood so other cats could live longer healthier lives. He inspected deliveries to make sure they were up to par and investigated all new staff carefully. Pushkin approval was an important part of becoming “in” at the clinic. He stole dog beds and went through a phase of opening food bags (not a popular phase – one that was managed very quickly). He comforted tiny orphan kittens and good naturedly played dress up for photo opportunities.
Pushkin aged well despite a couple of setbacks, injuries and a daily routine of medication but in the fall of 2010 he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was a tough man and was determined to enjoy each day to the fullest. Like all good warriors he had good, bad and great days but he purred his way through most of them. His purrs slowly decreased this month and today the very sad decision was made to let Pushkin go join the others who await us at the Rainbow Bridge. I was lucky enough to have a long visit with him today and be so very grateful for being able to love this dear friend the last sixteen years. Thank you Project Jessie and DVC for giving Pushkin such a special life.