Hayden's Cats


Ray Hayden

Ray Hayden

Ray Hayden's Book

Ray Hayden's Book

Cat of the Month:





Puff (The Puffster, Puffy-Wan (she is a Jedi Master))

Puff is our beacon of love. This wonderful little cat was born in 1995 and has been with Ray ever since she ran into his garage back then.

Puff is our first cat together, thus, she is "Cat 1.0" and is the operating system. According to the Puffster, all other cat-like critters are nothing more than malware.

Puff spends her time investigating various potential sleeping spots, tending to favor a kitty bed in the front window of our home. She has grown used to having the other kitties around, and spends a lot of her time napping next to Killer B Kitty.

Updated, 3 April 2011:

On 3 April 2011, at around 3:50pm, our wonderful, beautiful girl, passed away while lying on Ray's chest.

When we acquired Ray's mother's cats, Shadow (who we renamed Bee) and Snow, Puff was not all that excited with the prospect of sharing her home with new intruders. She made noises that we had not heard from a cat in her disapproval of these new cats.

Puff had been with us for a number of years and was very happy being the only cat in the house. She did not require additional company, because she worked with Ray in the office on days when he was working from home, content to ball up on Ray's desk to purr and nap.

Puff was 16 years old in human years, which kind of roughs out to somewhere between 80 and 84 years old. Cats do not age 7 years per one human year... Puff would have been 112 years old by that measure, instead, there is a rapid aging in the first year followed by a slower number. After the first year of life, a cat's aging slows down. Ray found three different conversion websites that place Puff at either 80, 82 or 84.

By time alone, Puff had an excellent run. She was very healthy and she was loved unconditionally. As new cats entered into our home, none of them ever treated Puff badly. This past six months or so, Puff began to lose some weight. Her behaviors really did not change, and she could do everything that she wanted to do.

Years ago, she stopped jumping up onto the highest cabinets, content with just jumping up on the counter. Only more recently, as she grew thinner, did she stop jumping up on the kitchen counter. Years ago, we had found that she loved to drink water out of a coffee mug that we would leave on the counter, as if it was her special mug of water. When she stopped jumping up to the counter, we would place it on the floor for her.

This past month or so, she could no longer jump up onto our bed, she slept with us almost every night all these years, so we placed her bed on the floor next to us so that she could be near us.

We had her food and water right next to her, and all the other kitties have been very nice to Puff, kissing her on the head and just coming around to see her.

Puff would eat and drink on her own. On the evening of the 2nd, she had been able to walk around her bed, get a drink of water and get into her bed on her own. Gloriously and mercifully, Puff never showed any signs of pain, no signs of any discomfort or distress.

Puff has been, and always will be our incredible beacon of love. As Ray has said so many times, "All she does, is love."

As an update, Puff was cremated and her ashes returned. At the time of Ray's death, his body will be cremated. Ray and Puff will be laid to rest together.