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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dill

The trouble with family...Part 3

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

As Pudding watched the monitor of the security camera, he couldn’t believe who was showing up to his three-story house. Punkin and Otis were bringing his twin-flame, Russian and soul mate, Olav right up to the door. He had only seconds to wipe the crumbs off his beard and shuzz up his tail.

“Well, this will just have to do,” he whispered to himself. He pushed the wrapper of his favorite snack under the couch. “I don’t want to look like a little pig, now do I…”

Ding, dong. The door sounded. “Come in…”

One by one, three cats of various sizes stuffed their bodies into the cat door. The first in was Otis, then Punkin and then…there he was.

“Hi Pudding,” Otis said, surveying the entrance. “We came over to formally introduce you to one of your computer friends…”

Punkin interrupted “This here is Olav! You know and…”

Pudding and Olav weren’t paying attention to the formal greetings and introductions. They were both taking in the other.

Olav smiled with his eyes as he observed Pudding. Pudding batted his long orange lashes as if one bone in his body could even be shy.

“It is pleasure to finally me you, Pudding,” Olav said, in his stiff accent. “We have been in touch for so many times.”

“Yes, we have,” Pudding said, acknowledging the way Olav spoke. It wasn’t perfectly correct grammar, but it added to his charm. The handsome dark brown cat with green eyes was exactly what he imagined him to be. All those nights talking over the headset and solving different internet conspiracy theories in various hacker catchat rooms. “Come in please,”

Pudding led the group to a larger living room, complete with a hard orange soda colored sofa made for aesthetic reasons only. “This is our entertainment for the rich humans, but we can keep going to my lair.”

Olav laughed at Pudding’s joke, but upon arriving in a second room painted with dark purples and silver branches painted on the walls, the mood was significantly darker than the last room.

“So this is where you hideout?” Olav said.

The room was full of monitors, big and small. Pudding’s owner, Seth was probably missing all of his own electronics, including an old Blackberry rigged to a voice recorder. But since Seth adopted a cat who could use the toilet on his own, all bets were off on Pudding’s abilities.

“This is where all the magic happens,” Punkin said. “All the magic Pudding wants to happen…”

Pudding stared at Punkin. She could always ruin a moment. She never failed to make things less fun.

“It’s not magic, Punkin,” he said. “I believe in science. And all the technology that makes my life easier.”

“Well said, Pudding,” Olav said, narrowing his eyes.

He sure was a snacc, Pudding thought.

“So what can I help you with, Olav,” Pudding said. “We’ve never needed to meet up before. Computer-hacking bros are usually solitary…”

Olav said. “This wasn’t my idea. Though I am glad I ventured out to meet you in person.”

Even Otis who shunned emotion could feel the warm vibes of attraction between the two felines. It made her laugh to herself.

“Your sister, Punkin asked for my help in an election matter,” Olav said.

Punkin stared at the ceiling. She was so over NOT being the center of attention.

“Yes, and what did you say?” Pudding asked. He needed to get to the point in case his Ubereats suddenly arrived in the middle of this conversation. He wasn’t sure he wanted to share a sushi roll with anyone except Olav.

“He said no, unless he met you first,” Otis said.

Pudding considered the request. So Olav wasn’t just a hired gun who would work for the highest bidder. That’s something he hasn’t seen in the hacker community, cats with principles.

“I didn’t exactly say that,” Olav said, looking down shyly. “I heard you said no and I wanted to understand why.”

Punkin said, “It’s just a little ole election for this catillion, what’s the big deal, brother?” she asked, imploring Pudding. “You have the skills and you rarely even help me with anything.”

Pudding laid back on the couch and thought about his sister’s request.

“First of all, I don’t want to go through any family drama when I just met someone, but it’s not worth a risk for something so trivial. And that’s my final word.”

Olav nodded, confused, “Why is this different than what we did two weeks ago for that cat, Bernie’s mom?”

Pudding blushed. “That was different, Olav. And I don’t want our partnership to be on blast either. What we did helped out a mother who had a lot of mouths to feed. Who cares if an pet food delivery truck stops at the wrong house every once in a while. That’s standard and it’s a low risk for any company. Punkin wants a pedestal to look down on all the other cats who looked down on her. It’s not a worthy cause!

Punkin’s eyes watered up, “You don’t even understand, Pudding, And you never could! This is how we advance. One of us has to make it out there and you and dad both abandoned me in Alabama…”

Otis interrupted, “I don’t think that’s what happened, Punkin.”

“Oh no! Well, fine, you and your boyfriend here can just live happily ever after and I will just run back to where the girls at least have the decency to talk about me behind my back…”

Pudding stomped his foot, “That’s enough, Punkin!”

Olav seemed very uncomfortable, “I think it is best that I be going.” He walked back toward the entrance.”

Just as the whole party was feeling weird, the door bell rang.

“Oh gawd! Who is that?” Punkin said. “And why did they just leave.”

“It’s my sushi,” Pudding said. “Wait! Olav! Don’t leave.”

But Olav had already walked through the cat door. Pudding ran through to follow after him, leaving the Japanese fish at the door.

He ran as hard as he could but it took awhile to catch Olav, walking in the night.

Olav turned, “Are you ok? You were running really hard with much difficulty,” he asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. That’s why I was lightening up and getting sushi instead of a pizza.”

They both laughed.

“Sorry about my sister,” Pudding said. “We’re still figuring out our relationship as grown cats. I’m not sure why they involved you.”

Olav, “It’s no problem. I left my own family in Russia for a reason. Not a good one.”

The two cats walked in the night. “I can walk you home if that works,” Pudding said. “I’m not sure how I will find my way back. I have a terrible sense of direction…”

“No problem, Pudding. I know where you live. I’ve actually seen you a few times but I was too scared to say hi.”

This was news to Pudding.

“Where did you see me?”

“It was strange. You were with a husky and a pitbull. And I definitely didn’t want to know what the deal was. But I have a network of strange friends too.”

Pudding laughed. “They are two of the good canines. It’s amazing what you can do if everyone is on the same mission. I’m their tech guy. The one who helps them solve the case, so to speak.”

“Oh I see,” Olav said. “So what are you going to do about your sister?”

“I’m not sure,” Pudding said. “She’s addicted to the circus of herself. I’m not a fan.”

“Well, maybe you can be a fan of my circus,” Olav said, staring into Pudding’s eyes.

Pudding blinked. This was all so sudden.

He locked eyes with Olav and decided to go in for a kiss. Then a crash. Both cats turned to see a raccoon popping the lid off a trash can.

The raccoon waved, “don’t mind me…nothing to see here.”

They both laughed.

“Well, that ruined that,” Pudding said.

“Don’t be so sure,” Olav said, as he went in for kiss.

Warm hugs, kisses and happiness. That’s what Pudding thought about as his heart pounded out of his chest.

“I’ll see you soon,” Olav said. “Don’t be a stranger.”

As Pudding trotted back to the house, his whole world was changed. That was a big move. No more longing glances at Bones…Pudding had his own man.

As he entered through the cat door, he noticed the bag was gone.

Then he heard giggles as Otis and Punkin were both fully engaged eating the lover’s roll and the dragon paradise roll he had painstakingly ordered through his fake voice app.

“You brats! That was mine,” he laughed. But he wasn’t even mad, not a little bit because he had the real prize and his name was Olav.

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