There are no kitty obituaries, but I want to say a few words about my dearly departed friend who – if I’m honest – made more of an impact than most humans could even attempt.
In 1996, I got a kitten. I was 8 years old and the handkerchief tied around his neck when we brought him home read “Blazer”. Despite me begging to keep the name, we re-named him Puddy, after another… unique… tabby my parents had shortly after getting married.
He was absolutely mad. Darting around the house, howling atop the stairs, balancing on banisters, clunking his head off railings, dragging food around the house, terrifying the local wildlife and crying at the door whenever you left. His mood swings went from hissing at the other cat to snuggling up to your shoulder and drooling on you within seconds. He was everyone’s best friend and he required every stranger to love him back.
This is not just a cat. At times he was my only friend growing up; he would wake me up with purrs and kneading in the morning to follow me into the bathroom for nothing more than affection, and he would seek me out whenever I was upset so he could curl up in my lap. I always joked that if he was a human, I would have kicked him out long ago for how needy he was.
Before he was even 10, he had two bouts of medical problems. When I was 13, he ran away from home for ten days and ended up on the other side of town with a new fear of turtles. He was the only declawed cat who could win in a fight, except for one time which got him diagnosed with FIV. With a cat who had clearly used up his share of lives, the only thing that could get him in the end was old age.
I woke up this morning looking for him.
I don’t recall a Christmas without him. I’m not sure what it’ll be like if I can’t harass him with jingly Christmas collars and cuddling during Christmas carols. It’ll be weird to not have to barricade the gifts to stop him from eating the ribbon. However I’ll always reminisce of the time this 3-month-old kitten brought down an entire 8-foot Christmas tree.
I miss you Puddy; I can’t believe you’re gone. Thank you for being the best cat and friend a family could have for 16 amazing years. There will never be another like you.