Reflections on a diva named Puddie


Some of you who have read my fanfics Dangerous to Know and Lost & Found are familiar with my cat, Puddin’ aka Puddie. She became a very important supporting character in those stories–a long-haired tabby of ample proportions and a lot of  “catittude.”  She gained her own little fan club, and she adored every minute of it.  A diva in fur, indeed.

Puddie’s health has been in decline in recent months.  She’s been losing weight steadily.  The cats all tend to lose a little weight in the hot weather, especially since our central air went out,  but nothing like this.

We’ve given her special nutritional supplements and bought the “good” cat food in hopes of tempting her. She still enjoys her canned food, but seems interested in little else anymore.  Slowly but surely she seems to be fading away before our eyes.

Tonight I picked her up and she felt like little more than fur, skin and bones.

And tonight, I finally asked what I just could not put into words before now. “She’s dying, isn’t she, Benny?”

“I’m afraid so,” he said softly, with kindness in his dear blue eyes, and gave me a hug. I commenced crying all over the poor cat, which hardly made her feel better.  Sometimes, you just can’t help it.

She proceeded to go over and eat a little canned food when I put her down, as if to say, “Hmmmmph. I am NOT done yet.”

We can’t remember just how old Puddie is.  She was a mostly wild kitten when we first encountered her on the back porch of my parents’ farmhouse–I don’t know, 15 or 16 years ago?  Slowly, we gained the orphaned kitten’s trust and ultimately her love.

She was a bit funny-looking early on. For a long time one eye was slightly larger than the other and her ears were so big we called her “Bat Cat.” She grew into her looks, however, and become a beautiful cat with the most delicious purr. Like that of a big V-8 engine–smoooooth.  Dare I say, a Richard Armitage sort of purr, were he a cat.

None of us can live forever, and our pets have far less time on earth than we do.  Goodness knows I have loved and lost so many animals in my lifetime, from accident and injury, illness, old age and even through the malice of others. Still, I don’t regret a moment of it.

I don’t know how much longer we will have her with us. Puddie isn’t in pain and this give me some comfort.  And I know she has already gained a sort of immortality.  In her own way, my big, beautiful, grumpy, funny, proud cat will be SND, too. And live on with the lads and Ladywriter in Sloth Fiction Land . . .

Puddie, in better days

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

28 responses »

    • Puddie says hello. She is getting tired of her mama crying on her, though. 😦 Brings out her grumpiness. Which sort of makes Mama feel better, somehow. Thank you.

        • I go from laughing to crying and back again. So I don’t know either. I did rather enjoy watching her march off twitching that plume-like tail of hers after I put her down. That whole “We are NOT amused” vibe. It just doesn’t seem like all that long since we lost our late FIL’s cat. It think it’s this on top of everything else that’s gone on in our lives in the past year that’s getting me down. *sigh*

  1. Dear Fedoralady,
    Puddie is so sweet! And I can tell that you share a loving bond. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Puddie. Our doggie Max asks you to please give Puddie a sniff and a lick from him. Woof!
    Love and Hugs, GratI

  2. I am also crying now. God, I have lost so many cats already…Earlier this year my lovely Barbarossa died. He used to be such a big ginger boy and he had survied so much – fibrosarcoma with two operations and six months of chemotherapy, but at the beginning of May he died of heart failure. No metastases, so the therapy gave him one and a half years of life without problems. But in the end he barely weighted 3 kgs. Puddie is lovely and beautiful and I hope she will be with you for some time yet. *hugs* She’ll be SND, you know 🙂

    • Oh, yes, Nietzsche, I remember your Barbarossa. I do so love a big ginger cat. We had a lovely one who lived outdoors named Cheeto. He used to jump up and run around on our roof. Quite disconcerting until we figured out what was going on. 😉

      When you see someone you love, be it human or animal, becoming so thin and fragile when they were once so robust–well, it’s heart wrenching, isn’t it? She may very well fool us and pull through this–she’s a stubborn old girl–but I fear this persistent lack of appetite isn’t a good sign. 😦 Anyway, we do our best to make her comfortable and as I said, she doesn’t appear to be in any pain. Thank you for your kind understanding. I told Benny tonight about her SND status and all her supporters. It made him smile.

      • Puddie is a beauty – an Abessynian type! The Ur-cat, so to speak 😀 I keep my fingers crossed that the game is not over yet for her 😀 Miracles may happen…

        I am getting two new darlings next week. A black and white boy and girl. Mars and Minerva.

        Thank you for remembering Barbarossa. *hugs XXXX*

        • She ate a little more canned food earlier this afternoon and seemed to enjoy it. She’s camped out on the kitchen floor. Seems to have a favorite spot.

          How lovely about Mars and Minerva. Minerva was the name of my mom’s oldest friend here in Alabama. A name very beloved to me. 😀

            • I love it!! I had no idea of that connection. Well, I think they are great cat names and a way to honor JP, too. We didn’t get very creative with Callie’s name. I don’t know how many calico cats I’ve heard of named Callie. LOL Thumper, being three-legged, made a thumping sound when she walked and that’s what led to her name. (or, as some of my very southern friends say, “Thumpah.”

      • Her Royal Highness Puddie, may her remaining time on this plane be pain-free, surrounded as she is by love. I feel for you, knowing how hard it is to lose such a good friend. Yet when it is time, I am sure that the lads will take care of her when she is SND.

    • Thank you, Judit. She is loving all the compliments about her good looks. I went to check on her again a few minutes ago and she seemed OK for now. Seemed to enjoy me scratching her head.

  3. It’s so hard to watch our lovely feline friends go down hill. Pepper never exhibited any pain last year. She just stopped eating. But as I type this into my phone, my lovely new fella, Buddy, is crawling all over me purring and rubbing on the phone. So consider that a big hug from us.

    • I am glad you have your little Buddy. My calico Callie has been sticking close to me the last couple of days. I need that right now. She is curled up napping next to me.

  4. *Hugs fedoralady*

    One of the worst days of my life was when we had to put down our beloved English Setter/Springer Spaniel mix, Maggie. The Addison’s was finally just too much for her. We both cried for days.

    • Thank you, jazzbaby. I think it is hard for people who don’t have pets to sometimes understand, but you really do become so completely attached to them. I keep going in periodically and checking on her. She seems happiest right now in a spot on the kitchen floor. We’ve set up some food and water close by. It just breaks my heart that she feels so thin beneath that long fur.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s