As it goes with cats they find a home where other cats live and then begin hanging out. It has been a long while since I have written a blog however since from time to time this may be something others experience, I thought I would write about Charlie.
He began hanging out at my neighbors when her cat sitter left food out for the neighbor’s cat Reggie that she allowed to go outside. Not really good for any cat and in some ways the lazy way of having a cat. Or an uncaring way, in my opinion. Of course a wandering cat will seek out food which is what Charlie did.
Then I realized the tenants in a house behind me had left their cat when they moved. A huge not neutered male that soon became really awful looking. So I put food out for him. Canned and dried because I can not bear for a cat or animal to starve. Meanwhile as he regained his well being, I searched for a rescue person who could catch and save him. That took a while to fit into her schedule. Finally that was resolved and he now had a nice home down the lane and is thriving. One of those nice successes.
Charlie apparently had discovered the food as well and began showing more frequently as time when on. I tried not to become too attached because I felt he probably had a home since he was friendly. I posted in on the site of next-door.com about him and a neighbor a street over replied that he had a home albeit not a good one. Told me his name which is what I began calling him and that made him even more friendly. So it became the ritual of breakfast and dinner. He showed when he knew I fed my cats which is early in the morning and then late afternoon. I gave him canned food and dried food. A bowl of water and treats. He hung out in the butterfly garden falling sound asleep under the plants which offer coolness and a nice hiding place.
It was so endearing to see him roll over on his back apparently feeling safe and comfortable. So since I have five cats I began to ask around among the neighbors who will talk to see if maybe someone would give him a home. Offering to pay for the cost of neutering and such. No one wanted to bother. In fact some just did not like him and felt he was not friendly. Well that told me something about the people. Cats are wise like that.
Time moved on, not years or anything just weeks and a couple of months. Then I decided I would just take him. Not really sure how it would work with my cats since I have two that are fifteen, one of which is a cranky ol girl who tries to rule everything. Then there are two really sweet sisters who are eight and then a feisty young boy of three. I felt maybe Seb the young boy and Charlie would have a nice time together so was willing to give it a go.
I had been feeding him just inside the side door of the garage so he will feel safe and eat comfortable. One evening I closed the door. I had set up all he would need for the night and planned to take him the next day to the vet for a change of life. It was terribly hot. I did not have a fan which would not have helped anyway. So after a while of Charlie and I going back and forth about it all, he tried to push at the door. I waited hoping he would just go lay under one of the cars and be cool. It wasn’t happening. Although now that I look back I should have just let him be and maybe all would have been ok.
I went back inside and came out a little later to find him really hot. Again he was at the door so I reluctantly let him back out. Not really sure why I did that other then he was really hot. It was the only place I had for him until he was neutered and could hang out in the house with the other cats. He was too street wise to mix with my inexperienced cats and not knowing his health, rather risky. Even though I adored Charlie and so wanted to just take him in, I let him out.
He lay on the sidewalk by the door for a long while watching the birds and just cooling down. Then as he wandered on his usual way, I told him I would see him in the morning and to be safe.
Well morning came and as I was putting his canned food on his nice red plate…real plate, glass plate, pretty and all, I was slammed with vertigo. The type that tells you to wait until the boat is steady again because it always feels like being on a boat in rough seas. A storm was out at sea and those always affect me and that morning it did. So I did not wait outside to greet him or tell him good morning. I didn’t set the food in the garage for him to meander in and eat. I set it outside. So I didn’t see if he came to eat or not. Someone ate the way he did, the canned food and a bit of dried from the side of the bowl. Yet I wasn’t sure it was him although didn’t think he hadn’t shown because he had done so regularly.
Then dinner came and he didn’t show. I waited outside. No Charlie. I walked over to the neighbor’s house which is very overgrown where he like to hang out. Called. No Charlie. Same thing the next day and the next. I posted him missing on next-door.com and the same woman who had told me he had a home, now told me he did not that he had been turned out a long time ago. So I made flyers and posters. Walked the entire area knocking on doors, leaving flyers since so many did not answer their doors. I did this every day for now over a month. People remembered him. Said he hung out in their yard and thought he was cute but no one had bother to do anything for him. Nor did anyone let me know he didn’t have a home.
I visited the shelters which is so incredibly sad. Listed him missing on their sites and continued to walk the neighborhood and expanding my area to bordering streets. Some were quick to tell he gruesome stories of coyotes and bears. Others offered help and still look as I do.
Then I receive a message from a rescue woman who found a cat on her way home in the wee hours of the morning when she was returning home from feeding a colony of cats. She sent me a photo she had taken. The markings were all the same although the head seemed a bit larger and the neck more muscular then Charlie. Also she said the cat was neutered and we know Charlie was not.
There are some parallels with all of this. I let Charlie out on the evening of October 9 which was the date my husband had been killed thirty years prior. I found out about him on the morning of the 10th. Also the lane beside my house which is how I access my garage is the same name as the street we lived on in another city at the time of my husband’s death. It seems weird that Charlie would disappear on those dates and if it is indeed him that was killed, it makes me question why a God would be so cruel.
Charlie didn’t so anything to deserve to be killed and in fact he always seem to avoid the street where the woman found the cat. Still the time, the markings and all point to it being him. I waffle back and forth about it. The woman at first after looking at the photos felt sure it was him and then a few days later said she didn’t think so. It is a tug of the heart either way.
To disappear the same month, same date as my husband from the same name street where we lived, seems the universe is sending a message. I only hope Charlie has at long last found a wonderful indoor home. That it is a mansion with great care, a lovely sofa to lay on and fabulous food. There have been feathers tossed at my feet on my walks. I use to consider that messages from those passed. Since all this with Charlie, I have more or less lost faith that anyone is looking down. That there is a truly a God. A first for me however there is just so much meanness in this world. For a God to take a sweet little cat such as Charlie when he is adored by me makes me question the existence of a higher being. And then there is the parallels…of what the hell. Why?
I am still holding on to hope though that he will show up. That he is ok and at times that is a strong feeling then I think of the cat killed by some uncaring, negligent driver and have the pangs of loss. It would be a really cruel God who does that if it is indeed Charlie who was killed because I alway believed God knew all and would have known Charlie was adored and was getting a home the next day. So it would be a very cruel God to rob him of that.
And so it is Charlie is missing and I miss that sweet little face. The joy he had from the tummy rubs, the rubbing of his ears and all the touching in general. He loved it while he ate and so enjoyed his food from his little red dish. I hope he returns. So hope he returns so that maybe the parallels will be denounced and there will not be any feelings of weirdness, bad vibes, energy and such.
I won’t repeat this mistake again. It challenges trust. It challenges faith. It robs the day of the peace and joy I had. I suppose a lesson is to always go with one’s instinct and I so wish I had taken Charlie long ago regardless of what the neighbor said of him having a home because it wasn’t a good one. If only she had told me where I could have approached them however she wanted to protect the neighbor and not have issues. So Charlie was compromised and I wish I would have just acted on his behalf. I am sad and mad with myself for not. I hope I have to chance to let him know.
So should a sweet cat wander up to your door and keep returning. Take him/her in. Give them a home and if it turns out they have a home well so be it. We must take care of the animals.