The heartbreaking story of the cat, abandoned in a shelter by its owners after 18 years, has gone viral.
Reddit cat lovers were back with mixed feelings after a photo of Pumpkin the Ginger Tabby by u / DoctaEiffel posted on the site.
The poster wrote next to the adorable snapshot, stating that Pumpkin had been abandoned by her family in an unnamed animal shelter for nearly two decades because they “didn’t want cat hair”.
Despite the troubling circumstances surrounding the cat’s arrival, Pumpkin had since been adopted and appeared to be in good health. The picture showed her with one paw outstretched, relaxing on a bedspread.
Regardless, the image and accompanying story on Reddit had a huge response from fellow cat owners, many of whom were shocked and saddened by the circumstances of their adoption.
DancesWithElectrons wrote, “How the hell did you go without a pet after 18 years?”
Riley_Cooper_SC replied: “To be honest, I have no idea. How can you give away a companion after 18 years just because of the hair?”
“Such people are empty and hollow,” commented Burens. “If you behave this way towards an animal, then you act this way towards people. This is how you behave towards your child. If someone treats an animal badly, he will treat everyone badly when given the opportunity.”
HeadDrill wrote, “Sometimes I judge people by how they treat cats.”
GD_Bats went even further: “I always judge people according to how they treat animals.”
Teriyaki religion added: “Especially older animals”.
Aforawesomee tried to highlight the main difference between caring for a cat and caring for a dog.
They stated, “Dogs will do anything for you. But a cat needs patience and approval.
“It teaches people to understand an animal that is not always on call … So I judge people by the way they treat cats because it tells me if that person is patient and considerate or not they need to be happy all the time be.”
For filthymcbastard, Pumpkin’s story served as an example of how some people treat pets like objects.
“Things to get rid of when they cause you discomfort. Dog limping? Put it down. Grandfather is old, the original Mustang needs tires? It’s hardly worth it. “
Techleopard meanwhile said, “I’m ready to bet this was someone’s pet and they moved out to school.
Ennino16 agreed: “My parents used this excuse so many times when they gave away my puppies / kittens.”
Varyskit, meanwhile, hinted that the decision may have been a financial one.
“They thought the cat has gotten old and will develop more medical problems that cost money, so they might as well throw them away,” they wrote.
“Doesn’t matter, it’s (or ever was) part of the family. Pretty unfortunate.”
However, CreaTrish did not consider this to be an excuse for such treatment. “You don’t throw away people or animals that you really love,” they wrote.
“You find a way to help them. He doesn’t look like he’s sick, he’s beautiful! “
Others like OneMorePenguin urged its Redditor colleagues to withhold their judgment because they didn’t know the full story.
“This could have been a family choosing to have the family’s pet or paying the rent. We don’t know, ”they wrote.
“At least they didn’t throw him out on the street. Not all shelters will take in older cats who won’t be adopted quickly when there are still many kittens looking for a home.”
A stock picture of a ginger tabby cat. A similar looking cat was recently rescued from a shelter after being left there by its owners for 18 years.
Konstantin Aksenov / Getty
Some spoke of their experiences in animal shelters and revealed that cats of this age were brought to us regularly.
Reinadeluniverso said they had “seen many such cases”.
“Once an old woman died and they left their 4 cats unattended for almost a week and then they wanted to get rid of them,” they wrote.
“They were all older kittens, 10+ so it was really difficult to find someone to adopt them.”
James120756 agreed, “I volunteered at our local animal shelter for years. I’ve worked with the seniors and I’ve seen it many times. It was heartbreaking.”
Despite the circumstances of her arrival at a shelter, Pumpkin is one of the lucky ones.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, around 3.2 million cats enter US shelters nationwide each year.
It is estimated that around 1.6 million people are adopted each year.
Newsweek has asked u / DoctaEiffel for a comment.