Manduline, my youngest cat, taunts Pudding from the table top. Here Pudding is waiting patiently for breakfast and not interested in retaliation.
Pudding has a favourite chair in the office lounge - all four of them!
Pudding, like all my other cats, is a rescue cat. Previously she belonged to a family with three rowdy, unruly little boys who terrorised her at every opportunity. The family also consisted of two Alsations and a Rottweiler who would have killed her if they could get her. Pudding spent the first four years of her life on the garden wall. She only ventured down for food if the little boys were asleep and when the dogs were placed in the walled back section of the garden. The man of the house hated cats and obviously kicked Pudding at some stage. She has broken ribs which pain I pray has lessened with time or she has learnt to live with.
I heard about Pudding when the owner told me she was going to have her cat put down because she thought the children would get ringworm from her. I had four cats already so I spoke to my son Angus who, single at the time, was living in a house on a farm near his work. He agreed to take Pudding and the owner unceremoniously dropped her off at Angus' house.
As Angus placed Pudding on the floor in his bedroom, she shot underneath the bed and stayed there for about a week. Gradually this dear cat realised her living conditions had changed drastically and for the better and she began to relax. She ventured into the garden which, sans dogs and little boys, was surrounded by wild bush. Pudding had landed in Utopia. Here she was in a quiet house with only one young man who never raised his voice and never lashed out at her. In the fields beyond the fence, she hunted the hundreds of rats that lived in the long grass.
When I went to live and work in West Africa, Angus packed up his house and moved back into my home. He brought Pudding with him. Although she took a while to get used to the other cats, she soon settled into life in my house. Today Pudding still sits at a strategic point inside a doorway and swipes at any unsuspecting cat who dares to pass her.
Three years later I came back to South Africa. Around this time Angus met and married the girl of his dreams and moved out once more. Pudding stayed with me.
Pudding celebrated her eleventh birthday this month and is so much part of my household I don't know what I would do without her.
Pudding is very fussy about her food (see my first post about Pudding here); Pudding knows what she wants and knows how to get it. When feeding time approaches, Pudding, who lies on the garden wall or on top of my pick-up canopy during the day, saunters indoors and sits at the spot where I place her dish. No matter how long I take to feed the cats, Pudding sits here, frequently looking over her shoulder as if to say: "I'm waiting..."
As soon as she's had enough to eat, Pudding washes her face and meanders off to the office lounge, climbs onto her favourite chair and sleeps until morning.
Pudding is very quiet and well-behaved. Pudding, in short, is a real lady and I love her dearly.
An unusual sight: Pudding sharing "her" chair with Tigger
Happy Birthday Pudding. May we share many more years together.