Thursday, May 10, 2012

Our Adorable Orange Kitty

Our cat Charlie turned 7 yrs old on the 7th. I wouldn't have realized this if Sweetie hadn't said something. She remembers things like this.

In June of 2005, I was hanging out with some friends and playing with a new litter of kittens. A super fluffy and cuddly orange boy totally stole my heart with purrs and nuzzles and I announced as much to my friends. They told me they'd already picked him but that he had a brother just like him back at the house. He was the only one not spoken for yet, and the owners insisted (who knows if they were serious) that any remaining kittens would be tossed out to fend for themselves. As soon as Sweetie joined us I showed her the fluff ball, batted my eyes, and asked in front of all of our friends if we could "please please pretty please get his brother?" So of course, she resigned and said yes. I later learned that she only agreed because I'd cornered her in front of our friends and she didn't want to look like the bad guy. I felt bad for making her feel that way but I was glad it worked out ;-)

Charlie came home with us on July 4th completely covered in fleas. He had short hair instead of long and he did NOT want to be held. He loved to bite and pounce and bat at our fingers and feet. He was not at ALL like his brother except that he was orange, LOL

8 weeks - that "I'm gonna EAT YOU!" stare was 100% accurate.
He was too young for flea treatments from the store and there were too many to comb out. We didn't want the fleas to spread to the house so we kept him in the sink until we were sure all of them were gone. The poor guy had 3 baths with Dawn dish soap in the span of about an hour. That was his first introduction to us and his new home.

We decided to follow that traumatic event with an introduction to our 10 yr old cat, Sadie. To our credit, we really did believe that she'd be okay with him since he was a kitten. We did our research on the proper method and took it step by step. Sadie was not as impressed with the tiny cat as we were. Did you remember what day it was? Fourth of July.

My family was coming to our place to shoot fireworks and barbecue. We closed Sadie in the back bedroom and let Charlie have the roam of the house. He didn't want the house. He wanted the outside. He howled and pawed at the patio door the entire time we were outside. We were horrible humans and he made sure we heard about it.

Within the first year, he'd had a visit to the Animal ER for what we feared was a broken leg from swiping the rod out from under a propped up window. It wasn't broken.

Somewhere between 8 weeks and 1 year

Somewhere around 2-3 years, he had his second visit to the Animal ER after escaping the house and losing a fight with some much more skilled outdoor cat. 

3 years
After that scare, we decided to try a leash. He obviously had some stray cat in his genes - or at least he believed he did. The leash helped tremendously. He stopped darting out the door under our feet and started howling next to his leash when he wanted out. In 2010 we bought a house and fenced in the back yard, then started letting him run loose in the back. So far he hasn't jumped the fence (even though he could easily do so) but he loves to climb trees!

7 yrs. He thinks he's part cougar
Now, 7 years later, Charlie is (most of the time) a cuddly and loving cat. He follows me around the house and has even learned a few words.

"Outside" is, by far, his favorite word.

Bugs in the leaves, Beware!
Stalking my wiggling fingers. Gets him every time!

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