puddinmiller

Our grand adventure with Puddin cat began in early l993 when he found us (his new family). My one year old daughter Shannon and I were leaving my accountants office in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. The meow came as a tiny ball of grey fur ran up my leg and ended the climb perfectly positioned on my shoulder. I looked at Shannon and said “Well it looks like we have a new cat to join the gang”. At the time we had Snowy, a white female with blue eyes; Little Red, a male, who preferred to be an only child; Do Funny, a red tabby so named because “he do funny things” and Shadow Man, a long hair gray male, who as the oldest, ruled the household. Every cat except Puddin appeared in our Poland Avenue Yard and decided to join the household. Puddin, as the youngest, never seemed to understand the pecking order. In late l993 we moved the family (humans and cats) to St. Peter Street in the French Quarter. Our first night there Puddin cat went missing. Around nine o’clock that night our doorbell rang and there stood our neighbor holding Puddin. According to the neighbor she found Puddin strolling down Bourbon Street having a grand old time with the humans. During our five years on St. Peter Street Puddin continued to stroll the neighborhood. Only one neighbor complained about Puddin and his brothers and sister. The neighbor, an attorney, in a formal letter complained that our brood came into his yard everyday and disturbed his large bulldog. Additionally the neighbor claimed that his roof was being damaged by the heavy weight of Puddin, in particular, and the rest of the gang. So to maintain peace we put all of the cats on a diet and ordered them to stay out of the neighbor’s yard. When that plan didn’t work we moved from the Quarter to Lakewood South where all could roam peacefully. During our time in Lakewood South Puddin developed a thyroid problem, which resulted in him needing medication for the rest of his life. The condition also caused him to be hungry all day every day. Puddin would eat his food and everybody else’s too. The cat food bills were so enormous we decided we should buy stock in Petsmart and Petco. During our time in Lakewood South Puddin’s older siblings from Poland Avenue passed on to the great cat beyond. Finally only Puddin and two dogs remained. Puddin was none to happy about his dog sisters–he couldn’t eat their food but Rollie and Pumpkin sure liked Puddin’s food. My daughter Shannon and I decided Puddin needed a new cat brother–so off we went to Petsmart and found the wildest, craziest kitten we could find–Dot-T, a black and white male with a large black dot on his nose. The two became friends and allies in the daily cat/dog battles. When Hurricane Katrina came we evacuated to Memphis with all family members, both two and four legged. We lived in a hotel room for two weeks, then an apartment for two months and then a townhouse with a yard until we returned to New Orleans. We found a Vet for Puddin’s thyroid medication and time passed. Puddin celebrated his fourteenth birthday when we returned to New Orleans in 2006. We had lost much but our family, both human and animal was intact. During 2008 we discovered that Puddin had a fast growing cancer. He endured several surgeries and four weeks of radiation treatment. He was a trooper throughout. One month after the treatment ended we discovered that the cancer had returned adjacent to the original site and to one of his front legs. We knew his time was short. Puddin cat seemed to understand this. He began spending much of his time outside enjoying the sun. He continued to eat everything in sight and cuddle up with his family. Puddin knew when his time was near–he found the darkest spot under the bed and refused to eat or drink. Like the little man he was Puddin ended his life the way he had always lived it–his way. We will miss him.