Charlie and I just bumped into one another one day. Pure happenstance, but we hit it off. After talking to him for while it became clear he was between living arrangements, and I invited him to stay with me.
It was a little bumpy at first. He could be headstrong, willful and demanding. He didn’t always get along with the others in the house, but I couldn’t bring myself to kick him out. It seemed like that had been done once, or twice before.
We’ve lived together many years at this point. People have come and gone, but Charlie has remained. Even when he was being a jerk he was a steady companion. In point of fact, I don’t know what I would have done during the lockdowns without him around. There were long stretches where he was the only one I had to talk to.
He’s older now. He doesn’t go out anymore. He’s not as mobile, and he tends to sleep a lot. I know the time will come when Charlie won’t be around anymore. I don’t like thinking about it.
Charlie, you see, is my cat.
There was a Public Storage next to my old store. My guess is that someone came and cleared out their unit, and dumped their cat. It wasn’t the first time it had happened.
He had been neutered, and was missing his front claws. Left defenseless, and unable to hunt, he was scrawny. I don’t know what he was eating, but it wasn’t much.
I took him home, and then to a vet I knew. The chances of him being chipped were nil, and I knew it. He was skinny, and weak. The vet said that if I hadn’t taken him in he likely wouldn’t have lasted much longer. I think he slept for 24 straight hours.
That was 13 years ago. He’s nearly 20 now, and I know that he doesn’t have many years left. He really was a consistent companion during all the pandemic craziness, and I’m thankful that the big fur ball was around. I think he’s thankful that I picked him up all those years ago.
At least I think he is.
Sitting, sipping my morning tea.
Everything in front of me.
A cat sleeps next to me, snoring.
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