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Pepper

March 28, 2010

screenshot2010-03-28at6-14-42pm-emqlsnqrvrsc.jpgOn March 28, 2009 I lost my best friend and my very first cat, Pepper. This blog post is to celebrate his wonderful life of seven years that he and I spent together.

The mood in New York was very grim after 9/11 and I needed a significant distraction.  I had always wanted a cat and thought that now was the best time to get one. I adopted Pepper from North Shore Animal League on October 7, 2001. He was about ten weeks old.. and my life changed for ever!

Kitten Years As a kitten Pepper was very mischevious when he was awake, but he also loved to sleep and sleep and sleep. Curiously, he also enjoyed lying in the bathroom sink.  Sometimes we would look for him and find him curled up in the sink in the dark bathroom.  At night when I would turn off the lights and take off my slippers he would run towards my feet and grab my ankles!  Pepper loved going inside grocery bags and sitting inside boxes.

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Waiting for my Return When I would come home from work, as I would get out of my car he would be sitting at the living room window sill looking at me and open his mouth to meow.  Of course I never heard him but could see his mouth opening wide.  As I would climb the steps to my second floor apartment, he would come to the door and stick out his paws from the door’s undercut.

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Race to the Bathroom One of the most prominent things that stands out about him is how when he would see someone going upstairs he would dash up the stairs, overtake them, run to the bathroom and jump on the sink, in the hope that we would go the bathroom and turn on the tap for him to drink water.  I was

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convinced that one of us would definitely trip on the stairs as he whizzed past us.

Drinking Water When one of us would come to turn on the faucet for him, first he would rub both sides of his face on the medicine cabinet.  That corner became grey and still is to this day.  Then he would proceed to drink running water.


Pepper’s Vocabulary He recognized the words, ‘food’,

‘water’, ‘I love you’ and various versions of his name such as ‘Pepper’, ‘Motu’ and ‘Pepu’.  When I would say, ‘I love you’ or send him a kiss through the air, he would always slowly blink his eyes, acknowledging the same. The moment we would say the word ‘food’ Pepper would come running from any corner of the house he was in.  He would gobble up his own food and then try to stare Sumie (our other cat) down as she slowly ate hers.  We had to keep guard until Sumie finished otherwise he would eat her food.

The Can Opener He would also come running when he heard the sound of the electric can opener knowing that a can of chicken or tuna was being opened and he would be offered juice from the can.  He eagerly drank the juice.

Greeting He would recognize people he hadn’t seen for a long time and greet them.When we would enter the house he would greet us and in his excitement, he would scratch an outside corner of a wall nearest to the door. That wall is scratched down to the wood stud still today.

Geek As you can see from the picture below Pepper was a geek just like me! He hung around my computer and was often a barrier between me and the monitor.

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Caring When I got sick in February of 2009 and was in bed for four days, he stayed next to me the entire time.  Whenever I would cough he would look up and his eyes would widen, as if to check up on me and ask, “Are you okay?

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Pepper lost his life to lymphoma of the stomach and died within three months of being diagnosed, despite of surgery followed by chemotherapy. After he was diagnosed and before he passed away, the surgery and chemo helped him to live a relatively healthy but short life. His health declined in the last week and we had to say good bye to him. I love you and miss you, Pepu.

A New Chapter As I sit and write this, Simba, who arrived a couple of months after Pepper passed away, is emerging out of my my waste paper basket under my desk! He has brought a lot of joy to us. Here is a picture of him as a kitten.

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-by Noerah

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Shehla permalink
    March 29, 2010 4:45 am

    I am so sad to read it and see Pepper’s photo. I never realized that it is already one year that he left us. He was the most adoring cat I had ever come across. I often miss but miss him most when I reach NY and enter the house. But I am sure he is in a better place now.

    • March 29, 2010 7:06 am

      Yeah, yesterday we all were missing Pepper very much. Believe it or not, I did see him in my dream last night.. he was happy and running and playing around with us outside! You will be surprised to see that Simba is beginning to look like Pepper although his habits are unchanged!

  2. March 29, 2010 7:45 am

    I also can’t believe its been a whole year. Its so great that you have such lovely photos to remember him by. I love the pair of him in the sink!

    • March 29, 2010 7:51 am

      Thanks, Talia. He used to love sleeping in and drinking from the sink.. I don’t know why. I am happy that I had a good dream about him last night.

  3. stace moye permalink
    March 29, 2010 12:48 pm

    I’m sure Pepper would appreciate the tribute very much! It’s great that you are keeping his memory alive.

    • March 30, 2010 6:24 am

      Thanks Stace! I really miss him and putting this together and writing about it gave me peace.

  4. Indira Banerjee permalink
    March 29, 2010 3:38 pm

    A year has passed too quickly since we lost Pepper.

    It was not too long that we were all concerned about Pepper. We would all try to make him eat or drink something. Even on the last day when he left us, as we were going to the Vet’s office I was thinking that the Vet would probably treat him with some antibiotics and then he would feel better. I did not think even for a moment that this would be the last that we would take him to the Vet.

    I learnt a lesson of dignity and courage in suffering from Pepper. He will always be my source of strength. I miss him.

  5. March 30, 2010 6:26 am

    Your were so important to him. I am glad we could give him the best 7 years of life.

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