Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cute guy

Isn't this guy cute? Charlie is a bit spoiled (okay, very spoiled), but so handsome and loving that he can get away with it.

Charlie is my first cat. I had a dog for almost twenty years, and when she died it took a few years of grieving until I was ready for a new pet. My apartment complex didn't allow dogs, and I'd never had a cat and didn't think I wanted one, so I got two female dwarf hamsters. They promptly had eight babies. It took a couple years, but after the last hamster passed away, I started yearning for a more substantive pet, one I could cuddle and bond with.

I reluctantly decided to get a cat. I knew it would have to be a rescue and started looking online at pictures posted by shelters, but something told me to wait, that my cat would show up when the time was right. One hot Saturday in July, I felt this strange little internal nudge to go to Alviso, a nearby town with a slough where I like to birdwatch. I didn't want to go there on that particular day, but kept feeling the nudge, so I went.

When I arrived, there was a tiny little skeletal kitten standing in the middle of the street looking like it might be his last day on earth. One eye was swollen and infected, his whiskers were singed, and his fur was so tangled it seemed to be standing on end. I felt bad for the kitten as I carefully drove past him because it was obvious he wouldn't be around much longer.

He looked the way Bill the Cat probably did at six weeks old.

About a half hour later I started wondering if he was my kitten. I went back to where I saw him, and sure enough he was still standing in the middle of the road. I decided if he would let me pick him up and take him, that meant he was mine. As I got out of the car he started to run away, but then suddenly laid down and showed me his belly. I scooped him up, got him some wet food and water, and took him to the animal emergency hospital. They told me not to get too attached to him because he might not make it.

I didn't listen.

Now he is a healthy, gigantic cat who loves to snuggle and play and chat. I call him the Kissing Bandit because he sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night with face kisses.

I had to laugh when I saw him in this pose this morning because I woke up with a headache and it looked like he had one, too.

We're simpatico.


Anonymous said...

Sweet, sweet and more sweets! Dogwood

Rachel said...

He's beautiful. He looks a bit like my Rex did in his younger years. Rex is pretty mangy and skinny now, at almost 18.
I agree with your assessment of hamsters - they are not substantial pets. An animal is not a pet if you can't cuddle with it. Period. I had a hamster when I was a kid. I got tired of it and gave it away. I'd NEVER do that with a real pet!
Have a great Sunday. ☺

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

What a wonderful person you are to rescue Charlie.

Acornmoon said...

What a beautiful cat. I laughed when I read your hamster story, been there, done that!

Anonymous said...

Oh Stacy, that is such a wonderful heart-warming story it had me in tears, but smiles too :o)
Charlie really is a darling. How lucky you both were! =^.^=

Anonymous said...

Your rescue story sounds a lot like mine--we found Chevy, a baby Maine Coone kitten at a McDonalds parking lot when he climbed into our wheel cover(?), we heard him crying, he was dirty, hungry and had fleas....I could not leave him there knowing he would not make it...we took him home and 2 years later, he is 18 pounds, big, beautiful baby boy that I don't think I could be without.. we named him Chevy because we were driving a Chevy Trail Blazer the day we found him...he has a high pitched meow, beautiful striped fur, large paws, fluffy tail, big gold eyes....what a blessing, he has been added to our family of 2 other indoor cats.