Charlie Cat RIP July 8 2018
He showed up at the farm the summer of 2014, wild, scared and elusive. He would go into the open greenhouse at night and sleep and when I would go out in the morning I would catch him napping as soon as he saw us he would run out. We started leaving food & water on the empty greenhouse tables for him and he would eat at night for we would find the empty bowls in the mornings. I would watch him roam the farm through the day and would often talk to him as he cautiously watched me pick produce from a distance, always cocking his head as if listening. As fall came we left the greenhouse door cracked so he could go inside for shelter and to eat and drink. As the days grew cooler he would stay in the greenhouse all day unless he was curious as to what we were doing. We turned on the heat mats to 72 degrees so he could keep warm and we built him an insulated tote to curl up in to sleep. He wouldn’t jump up and run but he still kept his distance. If we were at one end of the greenhouse he was at the exact opposite always watching us.
One day in January hubby came running to the house and told me the feral cat was almost dead in the greenhouse. I grabbed some leather gloves and a crate and headed out to see what was the matter. As I entered the house he laid motionless head low, sides heaving as he struggled to breath. I said he has an upper respiratory infection so let’s get him to our vet. As wild as he was I thought I would need my leather gloves to handle him but as I put the crate up on the table he crawled over to me and I gently picked him up and put him in. We headed for our veterinary’s office in the next county over.
We hauled Charlie in and Dr. Sandy took one look and said “he doesn’t look good”. She proceeded with the exam and said he probably had less than a 50% chance of making it. I said well we have to try. She said “if he responds by morning to the antibiotics then we might have a chance but don’t get your hopes up”, then she added “when did you guys get a cat?” We told her he was a feral cat that just showed up so we were not sure what his history was but we couldn’t let him suffer. She asked his name for the records and hubby and I sheepishly looked at each other and said “Charlie, Charlie Cat.” We packed our sick cat up and $60.00 later we took him home. On our way home I told hubby we better stop at the dollar store and pick up a litter pan, litter, a shallow cat bowl for his food rather than the deep butter bowl we had been using. We bought him a comfortable bed so he wouldn’t have to sleep on the plush bed of straw in his insulated house and got him some treats and some soft cat food since it was hard to eat hard food with his respiratory illness that all came to a grand total of $60.00. Hummm there seems to be a trend here with the number 60.
The next morning we awakened to a cat that had made a 360 degree turn for the better and decided we were his new best friends. I gave him his medicine, fed him some warm soft food and as he ate stroked his back to which he started purring. I called our vet to inform her of this miracle and asked what it would cost to neuter and vaccinate him when he was well enough, to which she replied $60.00. That was how Charlie cat came to be our 60 dollar cat.
Although we have only had 4 short years with him he has brought us a lifetime of memories, love and caring. Charlie was the best hunter he would take out rabbits, young ground hogs, chipmunks, moles, rats and squirrels that were doing damage to our crops. He rode shot gun on the gator and spent hours in the fields and greenhouse with me. He loved to sit either on my or hubby’s lap as we rode the gator to and from the fields. If he wasn’t on our lap he was the best seat warmer we ever had. Charlie became a very vocal cat and was always giving his two cents worth. He would roll in the poison ivy along the fence row and sometimes fall asleep while waiting for me to finish in the fields. He always knew when I was ready to head for the gator he would come running then rub all over my legs. I would find out the next day where he had napped for my legs would have a rash that would itch for weeks. Charlie loved his treats and he had numerous comfy beds all over the garage and barns that he enjoyed curling up on. He never wanted to come in the house much to our dismay but his beautiful face greeting us every day was the highlight of our mornings.
He loved to help me plant my flowers and often times when I would be weeding he would jump out from his napping spot under a hosta or petunias and scare me. He just delighted in that little game. Although we bought Charlie a barrage of toys he never had a fondness for playing with them. He loved boxes and the more unusual the shapes we would cut in the box for him to enter the more he delighted in going from box to box seeking a treat. There wasn’t a shelf in the garage that he didn’t claim for a bed and often times he would perch on top of the van or truck and as we walked by he would reach out and pat us on the head as if to say “scratch my chin would ya.” Of course we would always oblige.
Hubby lovingly called Charlie Chuckles to which he would come a running. I taught Charlie to sit, come and sit up and roll over. Charlie loved to eat so he was an easy tutor when it came to learning new things.
We don’t know who the nasty person was who dumped this wonderful cat to fend for himself but as nasty as they were for what they did we are so thankful he was there disposable cat for that allowed this wonderful cat to come into our lives. Charlie was up in years when he came to us and 4 years have flown by to fast but our dear sweet Charlie left us too soon.
Charlie became ill a little over a week ago but he did one of his notorious overnight recovery’s and came home to recuperate. He was doing great through the 4th of July but then Thursday he regressed we rushed him back to our vet he was so anemic and in a trance. Our vet kept him and has given us a daily prognosis. Deep down I had a feeling this might be the end of our little friend but hoped he had it in him to pull through. Friday our vet called and said he wasn’t responding like he normally does but she had done some blood tests and the results would be back Saturday morning. They came back as very anemic and very low blood counts but she wanted to try some other meds and would keep us posted, but she also eluded that it could be leukemia but hopefully he would respond to the meds she was giving. If he didn’t then Monday we may need to make a decision. Late this afternoon Charlie took a turn for the worse and our vet called and said we better come and see him. Our decision was made by Charlie that we would have to put him down so he would not have to go through the pain of his organs shutting down. We arrived at the office at 6pm and held that frail but beautiful body as he passed away.
Our time was too short with one of the greatest cats I
have ever known. There is such a void here tonight we all feel it, hubby & I, Coby Cat, ole Raz and even the two little terrier dogs. We all will miss our sweet, wonderful, mischievous 60 dollar Charlie Cat.