As we have highlighted in our Canada Day post, we bring you another ‘moving day’ rescue story of how Charlie joined the Chirpy Cats crew. It was December 2014 when I received a text from my husband with a photo of a cat behind bars with large alert eyes and a confident stare. The text read “Our new cat, see his big head”. He must be joking. I thought our Chirpy Cats clan of five was just the right number, you know, like the “Big Five”, in fact, we called them our “Little Big Five” and now he decides to adopt another. That was not in the memo, that was not the plan! He was supposed to just take two of our cats to the vet for their yearly checkup and vaccines, not to be looking at adopting more cats. But what struck me was the reason for abandonment, he was a July 1st cat or as I call them, ‘moving day’ cats, yet another of the many that are abandoned on ‘moving day’ in Quebec. Once my husband had his mind made up about something, he follows through with it all the way, so I knew Charlie was coming to stay and that was that. He wasn’t joking. Below, Charlie speaks his heart out about his brief brush with homelessness and how he spent five months in a shelter before coming to stay with us.
It was almost the holiday season and I had been there since July 2014. I know I didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe it’s because I threw up a hairball on the stairs. Maybe it’s because I jumped on the counter that morning, but I still wonder why my human’s left me there, while they went to live in their new home. My toilet habits were impeccable so no problems in that department. I was a friendly chap and never got into any trouble. But there I was, stuck in a cage, my home for a good while.
I liked my carer very much and she tried her best to make me feel at home, whatever that was. She promised that she would find me my forever home. I never quite knew what this forever home thing meant, but I caught on that it’s a place where you find your true family, where you get to snooze in sun puddles all day and you don’t have to worry about being left behind bars. My fellow inmates next door to me told me that it does exist, it’s not just an urban legend and that a few of the cats who had passed through this place were lucky enough to have left to go to their forever homes. That sounded like something that interested me and I wanted in, I wanted one so badly. People came and people went. I would face the bleakness of being fed in a cage for many months to come and at night it was so lonely. Sometimes during the day, we would be let out to roam in a big room and that was sort of fun. Believe it or not, my best friends were a rabbit and a bird. They were also there waiting for their homes.
One day someone came in and immediately this human seemed to take an interest in me and watched me from afar while talking to my carer. He kept staring at me and I, being the daring cat that I am, boldly stared back. Did I tell you my gaze can break through walls? “Hey you, Mr. Tough Guy, if you like it then you better put a collar on it. Don’t just stare, it’s rude. If you want me to do cute, I can do cute. Here, let me roll over, here, let me say something.” I was known as being talkative and the staff called me “Le Jaseur” meaning chatty or talkative cat in French. Well, I sound more like a duck’s quack but hey, I said I could do cute, not graceful. I thought to myself, now is the time to showcase my intricate vocal range and rap my lyrics, since I had his attention, who knows, maybe I could be on Instagram one day. I started blurting out my most melodious chirrups and rapped away the best rhymes I could muster. I poured my heart out to this stranger, perhaps he knew where I could find this elusive forever home. I was trying to seduce and appeal to the cute epicenter in Mr. Tough Guy’s brain, after all, everyone has a cute center in their brains, even bald-headed tough guys. But he was not impressed. He reached through the cage and gave me a few tickles under my chin, then he took my picture and that was it. He was not there to take me away, to be entertained by little me, or to be persuaded to adopt a cat. Mr Tough Guy carried some other cats in a carrier and left. Lucky them. Oh well, I was so used to people coming in, looking at me, giving some chin rubs and leaving. Why did my human’s leave me here again? I just don’t understand. My carer was very sweet and spoke to me gently, but I yearned to make biscuits on someone’s lap or to warm up their feet at night.
A few days after his visit it was decided that I needed to be cut in my nether regions. My fellow inmates told me it was no big deal and that it’s one step closer to finding your forever home. About a week after he came to see me, Mr. Tough Guy was back. This time he brought a bigger carrier with him and it was empty. He was with his lady human and she gasped at my big size and rubbed my chin. There was a lot of buzz around the reception area and my carer gave me the biggest hug yet and with tears in her eyes, she transferred me to Mr Tough Guy’s carrier. Does this mean what I think it means? My fellow inmates were right, I was cut for a reason. He came back for me! I couldn’t believe it, Mr Tough Guy and his lady friend came to get me and I am going to my new forever home! I was so happy that for the first time in my life, I had nothing to say, I was speechless. Not a chirrup passed my weary jaws as I sat in silent anticipation in my carrier during the car ride home.
Watch me jabbering on in excitement when I was brought home.
As soon as I was put in a room of my own I couldn’t hold in my excitement any longer. I started jabbering nonstop about everything. I’m not sure if they understood but they seemed to enjoy my tales and they would talk back. After a week spent in my own room, I was slowly introduced to the rest of my housemates. A lot of them decided that this newcomer was not welcome, I think it’s because I was bigger than them. I showed them that I am not interested in taking over and I had no intentions of being elected in a leadership position. I proved this by always dropping down on the floor submissively when they cornered me and I always walked away from a stare down. It took a while for the others to accept me and for some of them to just tolerate me, but eventually, we learned to time share the sun puddles. I was pleased to learn afterward, that Mr. Tough Guy was really impressed by my big head, bold stare and rap lyrics as I was peering at him from the cage, and he knew there and then that he was taking me home.
Who knew that a forever home actually existed, but here I am, in my very own, making biscuits on Mr. Tough Guy’s arm every morning while he works on his laptop. I am Charlie, “Le Jaseur”. I sweet talked my way into my forever home and I have never looked back.
Baking morning biscuits on Mr. Tough Guy while he works. You’re welcome!