I’d like you to meet Charlotte.
Charlotte was found in the early summer of this year, so emaciated and pregnant that the vet could feel the lump that each kitten made in her belly. ‘Stray’ is what was written in her file, even though she wasn’t, not really. A cat as chatty and cuddly as her must have had a family once. Maybe they let her out on the edge of town one night, when they realized they couldn’t afford her and a litter of new kittens besides.
She raised two litters of kittens that summer – hers, and another as well: those belonging to a mama cat too sick to care for her own. So the staff named her after Mother Theresa. Her last foster mommy and a friend of mine, K., changed “Theresa’s” name to Charlotte, and that really stuck – sophisticated, charming, lovely Charlotte.
Until one day. I hadn’t seen K. in a while, and learned the heartbreaking news that Charlotte was back in the shelter for their annual adoptathon – and her last chance at a forever home. They would not be returning Charlotte to K. If she wasn’t adopted out, she would be put down.
Two days later, I brought Charlotte ‘forever home’ – for good 🙂 She’s spent Christmas with me – through car rides and plane trips, no less – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
So, here’s a little something I wrote for her, when I was feeling especially warm and fuzzy about my warm, fluffy ball of love:
My Cat is a Friend
My cat is a friend, in the truest meaning of the word.
She is not only my friend. She is a friend of every other kitty she can charm, of every friendly hand that gives her a treat, of every person whose eyes fall upon her.
In this world of angels and devils, my cat is a blessing so great as to be indescribable.
My cat sits, tonight, in my boyfriend’s living room, with his mother’s two cats.
We are two peas in a pod now, me and my cat. She goes where I go, but she does not feel as I feel.
Rather, I learn from her, as she slips into each new environment with quiet wonder. With the dignity of a queen and the patience of a saint.
My cat does her best every single day to make herself and everyone around her happy.
My cat is a friend – and a friend to herself first. My cat will not torture herself nor others on a long plane ride in a carrier. Somehow, she trusts that she’ll arrive safely.
My cat is slippery as an eel when she needs to be. She teaches me no means no. She teaches me how to care for her.
She speaks, this kitty, in little ‘murphs’. Whether she wants a hug, some food, or someone to help her bury her hairball, she’ll let you know.
I teach her things too, sometimes – like that you can’t bury a hairball in wall-to-wall carpeting – it is simply not feasible. It’ll have to go in the garbage. And I’ll have to take a minute and just laugh.
My cat is a marvel because she gives only what she can give and she asks the same from me.
We are not fair weather friends, my cat and I.
No – she is far too smart. If I were so shallow, well she would never keep me around.
Have a Happy Holiday and a Very Happy New Year everyone. More to come soon!