I wrote "The True Story of Puffer" shortly after his death. Since Puffer had been my childhood pet and I missed him terribly, I decided to write his story. It was a very sad time in my life and writing his story helped me get through it. The events in this story, humorous and sad, are entirely true.
On October the eighth 1980; Eight year old Erin got home from her day at school, she was in the third grade and was a very happy child. She came in from school and was about to go up to her room to relax when her mother stopped her.
"Erin, there's a surprise for you downstairs in the basement."
"A surprise?" asked the child with curiosity.
The eight year old child went to the basement when to her surprise sat a tiny beige-and-white cat. She was so happy she went to cuddle the kitten. They were best friends ever since that day.
That evening, Erin and her parents were discussing the name of the kitten.
"Bambi" Erin said.
"Why Bambi?" asked her dad.
She shrugged. "He's the same colour as Bambi," she replied.
After much talking they decided on Puffer or shortened to Puff. Erin once again suggested that name after a character in a book she loved. Days passed with the frisky kitten sleeping at Erin's side. The two of them would play together for hours on end and he'd always end up sleeping on Erin's bed.
At this point in time, Erin's three year old brother was learning to climb stairs, so their mother would put a lawn-chair pad up against the stairs to prevent child and kitten from going up the stairs while everyone was in the family room watching television.
The years went on and baby and kitten as well as owner Erin got older. That same year that Puffer was brought into the family; Erin had Show-and-Tell at school, so with her mom's and teacher's permission, they brought the frisky kitten to school so she could show her classmates. They had fun petting the frisky-yet scared kitten.
The following year, once again; Erin had show-and-tell, and with a new batch of classmates to show she brought her beloved kitten to school again.
Every day when Erin would go to school, she would be sad because she left her cat at home and she wished she could spend the time with him.
She was glad when the weekend came because she would spend time with him, playing inside and outside. One thing about Puffer, he loved his young mistress
Through Erin's elementary school years, Puffer would be there by her side, disrupting her from time to time. He loved pencils, and one day when she was writing her speech; about him! He jumped on the coffee table and tried to get the pencil away from her. She just sat there and laughed and wrote what he just did in her speech.
One day the family was watching television, Puffer was perched on the back of the couch and suddenly without reason, he pounced on her mom's head! To tell the truth it sounds funny but Erin's mom wasn't laughing!
One day, Erin was in Grade four or five, she brought her cat to school in her arms, She was almost at the school when she put him down in the bushes and told him to stay there (as if he would!) Puffer wasn't there when she got home so she was worried.
She told her mom what she had done so both of them went looking for their cat. They found him in someone's bushes along the street. Lucky forthem! That was the last time she tried to take him to school!
One day in December, a few days after putting up the tree, the family was doing their own thing; obviously not paying attention to Puffer; Puffer was a curious cat so he decided to climb the tree He ended up knocking it down instead. When the family heard the enormous crash they came running to see the tree down and the cat... no where to be seen!.
Puffer was an independent cat, he decided whether or not he wanted to curl up on a lap. He decided if he wanted to be petted; and when he had enough.
Puffer had a wonderful life until... August 28, 1989, He had a near fatal accident. He was hit by a car. Back then Erin was a total wreck worrying about him. Puffer's pelvic region was damaged and if he didn't urinate soon, the veterinarian would have had to put him to sleep... but God's eyes shone down on them and Puffer urinated and he was operated on.
So when he came home from the vet he was put in a cage; and to prove how much she loved him and despite the fact that she was breathing in cat hair all night, Erin slept in the same room with him, right next to his cage.
His cage was set up in the family room and every night she'd set up her sleeping bag right up to his cage.
That year, Erin was in grade eleven and she had to go away for a week at the end of October on a Camping trip for school. She had to leave her cat ... she didn't want to leave her precious cat... but when she returned home, she was back at her cat's side sleeping in the family room.
About six weeks later he was allowed to come out of the cage and he cautiously walked around the house. He wouldn't go outside for a long time. They'd take him out and then he'd hear a bus or a car and run for the door. They coaxed him out and gradually he was more comfortable being outside and he was not as scared.
About October of 1991, Erin had accidently slept in. She had three classes that semester before she completed high school. Her classes had only begun at about 9:45am not at 8:30am. Anyway Puffer began meowing at her door, just knowing she was in there, but her mom, not realizing she had accidently slept in told the cat that she was at school and that she'll show him.
But the cat was right! Erin wasn't at school but was sleeping. Puffer then gave Erin's mother a self satisfied look and walked away. Erin and her mother laughed as Erin got ready to make her last class. (She figured she was already late for her second class - History so why bother going in late so she went in for her Geography class - only because she liked the teacher!)
Two and a half months later; around Christmas time, tragedy struck once again, This time Puffer is not going to get better. They had brought him in just after New Years 1992 for a check up. Puffer hadn't been eating and he had been drinking a lot of water. They didn't know why, they thought it could be he wanted a change in food. As it turned out to their horror,it was Kidney failure...when her mom got the phone call that horrible day and she was talking for a long time and in private She knew it was bad news. It doesn't take fifteen minutes to say "The cat is all right it is just the brand of food!"
She came up to Erin's room with a kleenex and told her the awful news, by saying "It's time to get a new kitten"
Erin's mom had rented a very funny comical movie, that night instead of laughing; Erin kept thinking about her cat Puffer and sobbing on and off. What a way to begin a new year! The following day Erin and her mother went to look for a new kitten while Erin's father took care of the paperwork at the veterinarian's office.
After going to many pet shops and finding nothing suitable they went to the Humane Society and found a cat who would not take Puffer's place but fill the void in their lives.
The new cat was named Charlie and it was the frisky black cat who chose Erin, She had been looking a kitten above him and sudenly she felt a smack - it was Charlie. The decision was made right then and there to adopt the frisky black kitten.
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