Suddenly, there were THREE cats here...

by Bob Wilson
(Beaufort SC USA)

This is Puddy Pie

This is Puddy Pie

Four years ago, in midsummer, a neighborhood ginger stray came up our sidewalk to our front porch while I was sitting there. I gave her a saucer of water and she drank it, then wandered away. A week later, it was back and I repeated the present of a saucer of water.

It hung out a bit longer this time, and sat on the porch railing for awhile before going off again. This became a daily event very soon after that, and I began to feed her from a bag of dry cat food. She would not come into the house however... until one very cool, verging on cold, evening.

From that point on, we were hers. We had learned that it was a pet who had been left behind by a neighbor unceremoniously when the neighbor was transferred far out of town.

We took it to the local vet, learned that it was a 'she' about a year old, got her shots, and we christened her as "Puddy Pie." She's an indoor/outdoor cat who refuses to use the litter box and does all of her business outside (most of the time, that is).

She is not especially affectionate, but will turn the affection on and of when she needs it. She is not very vocal, and only sometimes emits an almost silent "mew", but this is rare.

Then, this past winter, another neighborhood stray, a presumably neutered male tuxedo cat, took up residence on our front porch and built a sleeping nest for himself under our dining room window at night.

We built him a nest in a box next to the front door, and he took to it quickly. He is extremely shy and wary of contact. Our ginger didn't like him to be around her territory so much, and he didn't show any desire to come into the house, which was fine with us, and even more so with Puddy.

We call this one "Mr. P.", because more often than not, Puddy will hiss and flatten her ears to him when he gets too close. Mr. P. is a neighborhood wanderer, and we suspect that he gets his food not only the dry outdoor food we provide for me, but also from some others in the neighborhood.

Puddy has come to 'sort of' tolerate Mr. P's presence and he can offer a plaintive "meow" when he's looking for food at either our front or back doors.

Then, about say a month ago, ANOTHER lost or abandoned cat showed up on our front porch while I was sitting there, and purring madly, jumped up onto my lap and demanded head and body caresses from me... constantly. Puddy seemed to tolerate this one's presence more equitably, and this one you had to forcefully keep from running into the house.

The new one, however, totally intimidated Mr. P., and he basically disappeared from the scene. We'd then see him only once a day or so, creeping stealthily around the house perimeter. This cat has an essentially white body with large tan markings, a white nose, a black mask-like upper face, a white ring toward the tip of its black tail, and the most amazing bright blue eyes I've ever seen in an animal.

By its behavior, we figured it had strayed away from its home and was incredibly lonely and affectionate. We posted "found" notices all around the neighborhood and at the local vets, but no-one claimed it. We named it "Frankie" ("Ol' Blue Eyes") for obvious reasons, but we've just found him a new loving home, due to somewhat of a tragedy.

Last week, one of our neighborhood friends who has two cats and a dog, fell in love with "Frankie", but her husband was reluctant to take on a third cat. Then, last weekend they lost to strangulation by a vine in their yard, one of the cats who they had housed for 11 years.

Making a long story even longer, they took Frankie home three days ago, to a happy home. And guess what? Mr. P. has come back around regularly and in fact, spent all afternoon out on our back deck with Puddy and me!

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Poor Puddy Pie!
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry Puddy Pie is having a hard time. Could it be an upper respiratory infection? A URI is very common in cats and is the most common cause of sneezing in cats.

Boarding can, unfortunately, put your cat in close contact with others who pass on some germs. There are several different bugs that can cause these infections, so treatment will depend upon what it is. If she is sick and it gets bad enough, she may go off food, have nasal discharge and water eyes, become reclusive or easily irritated, and sleep more than normal.

See causes of cat sneezing for more.

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Feline Sneezing?
by: Anonymous

Our landlady, Puddy Pie, recently spent a week boarding (reluctantly, as always) at the local Animal Hospital where she got her booster shots and had an application of ointment put on the back of her neck to combat fleas, etc. She also has waxy debris in her right ear, which is nothing new. However, for the past 48 hours she has had mild fits of sneezing. Could she have developed a nasal irritation from her 'medication"? Before I ask the vet, I thought I'd open the floor for comment on this.

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Thanks for that story, Bob!
by: Kurt (Admin)

Thanks for that very interesting story, Bob. I think the word is out among the kitties in the area that yours is a "cat house."

And to Marie, I'm sorry for your loss. It's a shame about Felix. I'm glad though, that Frankie has a good home!

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FRANKIE'S NEW MOM
by: Marie Colucci

I LOVE YOUR STORY OF THREE CATS AND THE ENDING OF THE "TAIL" MAKES ME VERY HAPPY. THE LOSS OF FELIX WAS TERRIBLE. MY OTHER CAT JUPITER HAS BEEN LOOKING FOR HIS PAL SINCE THE ACCIDENT. WATCH OUT FOR THOSE VINES, THEY CAN PUT AN END TO A PETS LIFE VERY QUICKLY. IF YOU HAVE VINES NEAR YOUR HOME AND A PET WHO WANDERS, CUT THEM BEFORE THIS HAPPENS TO YOUR PET.

WELL, I MUST SAY, I AM VERY HAPPY TO HAVE FRANKIE AND HOPE TO ENJOY THOSE BIG BLUE EYES FOR YEARS TO COME.

THANKS BOB AND CATHY

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How Mr. P. Got His Name
by: Bob Wilson

I neglected to mention this in my story, and it does deserve an explanation.

The back story to this, we got from a near neighbor who is the apparent present owner of this tuxedo cat:

As a tiny kitten, he was found by the neighbor n running around by himself in the parking lot of the local McDonald's restaurant. She and her husband took him home, then prepped him for life in their home through a visit to the local vet. They christened him as "Mickey D.", I guess for obvious reasons.

For whatever reason (and possibly because their home was already populated by two large and aggressively friendly dogs (a lab and a boxer), Mickey became mostly a very shy and cautious outdoor naighborhood wanderer and forager, and we actually first saw him several months before Puddy Pie came into our lives.

In her own very limited-range outdoor wanderings once she had established herself into our home, Puddy began to have run-in confrontations with Mickey.

And my wife suspects that he gave her a deep scratch on her vulnerable belly. We took her to the vet for treatment, and then kept a close watch on Mickey, actually chasing him away off our property when he was passing through it on his rounds. (I honestly believe that it was a well-known pesky neighborhood possum who administered the wound.)

So my wife began calling Mickey D. by a new name, "Mr. P.", (That's "P" for "Punk") because she was annoyed at what she thought was bad and aggressive cat behavior toward Puddy by him.

Now we've come to know his personality better, but the name has now stuck, at least it has in our own household!

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