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 . . .