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Her Name Was Pudd’in

No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.  ~Leo F. Buscaglia

Pudd'in doing her usual routine 2012

Kyle has always seemed to understand the idea of death and dying.  The concept that death is permanent and it is a part of life.  I guess that’s what happens when you loose your dad before you even really remember him, and the only answer of his absence is that he is with the angels in heaven.  I don’t think Kyle really comprehended that explanation, I mean do we as adults really understand?  Yet, it appears that Kyle has always understood, almost in an adult fashion about loss.  Although, Kyle has yet to loose anyone really close to him.  By the time I was Kyle’s age, I lost my grandpap Chester and my pappy, not to mention my cat, Morticia, along with other relatives and animals.  Once, about six or seven years ago, I was looking for Pudd’in in the house, as I did every time I entered the house.  “Pudd’in? Pudd’in?” was the only sound projected from my vocal chords, that and, “Mom where’s Pudd’in?”  Kyle came around the corner and said to me in a very neutral, as-a-matter-of-fact way, “Maybe she died, cause you know Aunt Heather she is old.”  He said it in a manner like an adult talking to a child.  I was aghast!  Instantly I came to Pudd’in’s defense saying, “She is not dead!” and Kyle retorted, “But she is old Aunt Heather” almost like preparing me for the inevitable.  Ironically, Pudd’in was still in very good health at the time.

Ryan holding Jake as a puppy c.1990

But eventually the inevitable came, today, this morning to be exact, Pudd’in’s time has expired.  She was 19 years old and I had her for nearly half my life.  She really was a good cat and a true companion.  Training her early on to stay off of the counters and tables, she obeyed the rules of the house, well most of the time.  I love cats, but I don’t believe their paws, that are used to dig in the litter box, should be allowed on eating surfaces.  I never had Pudd’in’s claws removed, I think it’s a mean practice and not fair to her since she would wonder outside sometimes.  She was certainly a house cat, remaining on a strictly Pudd’in diet all her life, I never fed her people food.

Now being a typical cat, Pudd’in wouldn’t follow me around like a dog, but she did have her moments.  I always had this thing where I would make a ‘Twoo twoo’ noise as I padded my chest as if saying come here.  Sometimes she would come, if she felt like it, unless it was time for bed.  Pudd’in always slept with me.  Sometimes she would start meowing at me in the evenings letting me know it was time for bed.  All I would say is, “Ready for bed?” and she would follow me back the hallway and run and jump on the bed.  Usually she wasn’t ready for rest because she slept all day, what she wanted was to play.  I will absolutely miss falling asleep to her purring, that sweet sound was so soothing to me.  Now don’t get me wrong, I knew what went on in the middle of the night.  You see, Pudd’in would lay with me till I fell asleep, then undercover of darkness, she would roam the house.  Doing what, I have no idea?  Then, before I would get up, she would go back to bed and lay there, still purring like she was resting all night long.

Chad Nicole Piper Jill Aunt Heather Piper
Nicole holding Jill & Jeremy & Chad in the background. Jill was a great dog.

Even with the arrival of Kyle, Pudd’in showed she could be trusted with infants.  She pretty much left Kyle alone, however she did love playing with his toys, after all A Toy’s a Toy.  When Kyle got older, he became quicker and a craftier kid, sometimes cornering Pudd’in.  She never brought harm to Kyle, even when he pulled her tail.  Once when Kyle was learning to pull himself up and walk, he got in Pudd’in space.  She swatted at his face, which made me hold my breath waiting for scratch marks, as it happened so fast.  But not a scratch, she never revealed her claws to the curious, harmless baby.  I wish she was that courteous to me when we played.

Pudd’in wasn’t always such an innocent hermit.  She was a lot like me in the respect that she loved to instigate.  Yep, sometimes she would tease the dogs to get them in trouble.  Her favorite was waiting for Scooby to lay on the floor and fall asleep, then ambush his ears.  Sometimes the dog would almost roll his eyes as the cat attacked his face, pouncing all around him.  Mom said that sometimes in the middle of the night, Pudd’in would jump into their bed, which contained both dogs and get them all wound up, jumping around, then leave to go back to her room.  Then we must remember Pudd’in vs. Dad – New Kind of War.

Pudd'in Piper-Close-Up-Aunt-Heather-Piper
Close up of Pudd'in. I wanted to get her eyes, but she wouldn't let me. c. 2012

Looking back on Pudd’in’s life, I originally got her from my friend Tree.  I was suppose to be her foster home, but we know how that turned out.  I always did laugh at that, saying “I’m Pudd’in’s foster home.”  But really she was apart of the Piper household from the time I brought her home.  Although, I had no idea how tight we would become and our special bond that would form between us.  Thinking back on that time, Ryan was still alive.  Heck, so was Jake and they were good friends.  When Jake passed away in December of 2010 at the ripe old age of 17, Pudd’in was clearly upset.  In fact, when I moved out of the house, I didn’t want to take Pudd’in for fear her and Jake would miss each other too much.  I had Pudd’in for years before the arrival of one Mr. Kyle Edward Piper.  Then three months after Kyle’s birth, Pudd’in stayed by my side when Ryan died, laying there purring and comforting me.  Pudd’in was always there through life’s celebrations and when life took some really bad turns.

Being well aware that loosing a cat is nothing of a true tragedy, especially one as old as Pudd’in, but it still stings at the heart a little, to loose someone I’ve known for so long.  I have been through my fair share of complete sadness, but this one was hard to accept, even if I knew it was coming.  I hope everyone has a Pudd’in in their life.  No doubt loosing her was hard, but I can’t ignore all the joy she brought me.  Thanks Tree for giving me such a terrific cat!  Rest-in-Peace Pudd’in Piper.

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationPetsReminiscing

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