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We got Puss (pronounced POOSE, which is one way they call cats here) from some neighbors when he was still a kitten. He was thin and his white fur was stained with red fruit juice. Mom didn’t really want to keep him, but all of us boys got attached, and as soon as we put him inside he went behind the refrigerator and caught a mouse. Catching a mouse got mom’s blessing, so he became part of the family. We put him in a wash basin with a little bit of water at the bottom and gave him a good scrub, which he very much disliked. When we pulled him out, his wet fur made him look even skinnier, but we wrapped him in a towel and sat with him in the sun with Newt until he was dry.
At the time there were lots of rats coming into the house at night, so when Puss came on to the scene there was a huge change. That evening we heard tons of squeaking and little feet fleeing for their lives.
That was at the beginning of 2012, and from then on Puss has been steadily growing fatter and lazier. The scent of him around the house keeps the mice away, and that’s about all he’s good for. He has the personality I really like for a cat. He thinks very highly of himself and acts as if he owns the world. I love teasing him; sometimes I will loosely tie a heavy string to his tail or tickle his feet while he is sleeping, but the meanest thing I do is smear a small bit of peanut butter on his nose. He will just sit and lick his nose for minutes trying to get the peanut butter off. It’s hilarious.
Puss can tolerate a lot of things, but he can’t do without his cat kibble. We have to have the kibble shipped in by helicopter or plane from town, and naturally there have been several times when we have run out of the cat kibble before the next time we were able to get space on a heli or plane. But Puss simply won’t abide by any other food. In those situations, we just set out rice mixed with tuna and know if he gets hungry enough he’ll eat it. He can go days without touching his rice and tuna; I think he either catches mice or his body lives off of all the fat he stores up.
Puss has been a really good cat; he is even a guard cat, although we don’t need guarding, but he tells us when someone is walking by the house with his intense growls. It sounds cool and makes Puss look like he is all heroic, but as soon as the person gets close to the window he goes running and finds a bed to hide under. He is a good companion though and that’s what counts.
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