How a Dog-like Cat Won My Heart
My husband and I have loved both dogs and cats throughout our married lives, but there was no cat more special than Puddin' Pie, a gray and white tortoise shell kitty who was part of our family for over a decade. Puddin' was also special for another reason: She acted more like a dog than a cat.
Puddin' was my sister's loving rescue kitty. And we knew from visiting my sister that Puddin' was special. My sister named her because she said she was as "sweet as puddin' pie." But my nephew had developed an allergy to cats while serving in Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s. So, when he returned to live with my sister, they asked if we could give Puddin' Pie a home.
Puddin' didn't have the temperament of cats I'd previously known, like running from visitors or being coy with her affection. She loved people, and the more humans in the house, the happier she was, a lot like a dog. Although we already had two cats, we agreed to welcome Puddin' Pie into our family.
Puddin' quickly transitioned into our household. Her sweet demeanor extended to the other cats and our dogs. She mostly ignored the other cats, but it wasn't unusual to find remnants of Puddin's hair on the dogs from where she'd been rubbing up against them.
However, it was her behavior with me, in particular, that intrigued me. I'd had dogs who followed me everywhere and seemingly communicated with me by their expressions, but until Puddin' did it, I had never experienced it with a cat.
Puddin' seemed to know when I felt ill or was upset. Not too long after she came to live with us, I was lying in bed sick. I awoke to find her sitting on the floor looking at me. She jumped up in the bed next to me and curled herself by my head, purring. She fixed her deep blue eyes onto mine and still purring, lay down right beside me as if to keep me warm.
Another time I was distraught over the death of my great aunt and was lying in bed crying. Puddin' was there again, jumping into the bed. She rubbed her head to mine. Purring, she gazed into my red eyes and gently began licking my tear-stained face. I held her tight and she lay down beside me.
Our favorite times together were playtime and mealtime. Puddin' loved to chase a feather toy that dangled from a string on a pole. She would chase that feather forever. She would also chase a little plastic ball that had a bell inside and bring it back, just like her canine sister, Hershey.
During mealtime, she would sit by her bowl and give me that look, awaiting her meal. I always made sure to choose foods that looked delicious, like Meow Mix® Bistro Recipes™. I believe rescues are reminded how lucky they are when they get good meals, and I think that helps strengthen the bond they share with us humans.
Puddin' Pie was several years old when we adopted her from my sister, so we only had her for a little over 10 years before she passed away in my arms. When it was my turn to comfort her, that gaze was fixed on me, and I knew by the look in those beautiful blue eyes that the love I felt for her was returned.
Photo Credit 1: "More blue eyes." by Eric Walli via Flickr. License info.
Photo Credit 2: "Li'l Blue Eyes" by jeffreyw via Flickr. License info.
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