I came home from work tonight to find that my sweet CharlieCat had passed away in his sleep, curled up on one of the dog beds. He had been losing a bit of weight lately, but otherwise seemed fine. He was, I suspect, old; I adopted him almost 10years ago, and he was likely middle aged then. He had had a rough life, living on the streets.
He was rescued from an abandoned house that burned to the ground. He had 3rd degree burns over most of his body. No one thought he would survive. But he did. A group called PAWS took him in and nursed him back to health. They did not usually take animals that badly injured, but when they looked in on him, lying there brunt so badly, he raised his head and licked her hand. She said she couldn’t leave him there to be euthanized.
months later, they put him up for adoption at PetSmart. The trouble was, no one wanted him, then called Char, because his little body was covered with hairless scars. He wasn’t ‘pretty’ enough. I went into PetSmart that fateful day, NOT looking for a cat… Only a couple months earlier, I had adopted a cat from PAWS, and didn’t need another. But there he was, and as I read his bio, I hooked my fingers in the cage, and Char began licking them, a deep rumbling purr echoing in the room. I brought him home that day and renamed him Charlie.
Immediately, he settled right in. He became best buddies with my Gordon Setter puppy Nick. The wrestled and snuggled. Nick would sneak up on Charlie when he was sleeping and drag him around, and Charlie would sneak up on Nick when HE was sleeping and pounce. Charlie often got in the crate with one of the Gordons, curling up on top of them. When Papillon Bunny came along, he had someone his own size, and they would chase each other endlessly. On chilly nights, Charlie would literally wedge himself between me and Nick in bed, the warmest spot in the house, and purr us to sleep.
Charlie begged like a dog; he LOVED butter and demanded a lick anytime I got it out of the fridge. He occasionally chewed on a rawhide, like a dog. He greeted me every night with kisses, and always came when called.
I was always more of a dog person than a cat person, but Charlie, along with my girl Ruby, let me see that cats can be every bit as loving.
Life will not be the same without my sweet, sweet CharlieCat. He was a once in a lifetime kitty. I don’t know what we are going to do without him.