10 August 12 • MAV

Above: Charlie this morning

By now you all know Charlie, right? Well, somewhere in these weeks of late August/early September he is turning 10 years old. Charlie and I have lived together since he was just about 10 weeks old. I thought I would take a minute to dedicate a dispatch to this cat and all that he means to our friends and family.

Charlie was born on the streets of Chicago. Ever since the first day I met him, he has been an anxious cat. He is never quite comfortable or settled, always rigid in his body and very tense. He does not relax. Someone said it best to me when they said, “Charlie’s dream life is a completely quiet house, with no one coming or going ever, and just the two of you living together in peace.” And it’s true. Charlie wouldn’t know what to do without me.

His schedule is fixed. Up at 6 a.m. Eat. Clean. Sleep. Up at Noon to look around for me. Find me. Annoy me for 30 minutes. Then back to sleep until 4 p.m. when he starts looking for dinner. Annoy us. (His meow is unmatched. So loud. Like a baby’s cry, really.) Eat dinner. Clean. Sleep. Up at 8 p.m. looking for his nightly treat. Treat. Clean. Bed. He rotates where he sleeps between either our bed or off somewhere by himself. Wherever it is he’s wrapped up in a tight ball. Charlie never lounges or sleeps in a laid back fashion. He would never be caught in a haphazard stance whether sitting, laying down or walking. He’s precise.

Charlie is the cleanest cat we have ever known. Never a hair out of place! He gives himself several baths each day and after being picked up, even cleans the spot where you might have touched him. He’s very fit and does just enough daily exercise to keep it that way. He’s very strong. Most people can’t believe he is 10 years old. Sometimes I can’t either … except I have started to see him slow down just a bit this year. Our Charlie is getting older.

Charlie can be downright nasty. He’s a punk. He goes out of his way to swipe his paw at the kids when they come over to play (they, on the whole, don’t like Charlie at all) and he jumps on us rudely while we are trying to sleep. He punches people in the face if they pick him up and he’s not feeling it. I always say that he understands English. He knows when we are going to leave town, he knows when we are going to leave the house, he understands everything. I’ve had many a time where I might be crying and he’ll come to me to check on me. He will not cuddle (he rarely does) but will sit just near me letting me know he’s there by crying out loud too. He’s a very sensitive cat.

Charlie and Scotch have a true brotherly relationship, laying together one minute and fighting the next. They clean each other, well really it’s Charlie allowing Scotch to clean him, and run the length of the house together like wild cats. I can’t even let my mind wander to the idea that I might outlive Charlie. I love him so, so much. I always say, “he’ll live forever and drive us crazy every day.” Gosh I hope that’s true. Happy Birthday, Charlie!

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Don’t miss the last week to get a few items in our shop. My last two tops, our prints (new ones go up August 24, 2023) and we even found a few issues of Q6 on the shelves. Next Friday we’re clearing the shop of these items … need to make room for new stuff! The new issues of Quarterly go out to subscribers on Monday/Tuesday!