Sylvester and Charcoal ...Do you believe in life after love?
by, 01-09-2013 at 01:51 PM (4024 Views)
December 1984 my friend, Sue, had called to tell me that her kittens were now 4 months old and driving her crazy. I would love a kitten for my daughter, who was 5 years old at the time. We picked out this beautiful, tiger, male kitten and named him Sylvester. He was so loved, especially by our daughter.
A couple years later we adopted this beautiful black lab mix….the tricky word is “mix”. He was the cutest puppy you had ever seen, that grew into the ugliest dog you had ever seen. By that time, it was too late, we loved him. We named this puppy Charcoal , but Sylvester had the upper hand. Plus I loved cats more than dogs, so Charcoal would never have a chance to be the dominant pet in our house, even though he grew to be about 50 lbs.
Charcoal learned very quickly that I loved my cat and he was not to hurt him or chase him. Sylvester, with the sixth sense that cats have, knew this, so he picked on Charcoal every waking moment which was not often.
Charcoal weighed about 50 pounds and Sylvester was a husky cat, at about 20 pounds. Sylvester would slap Charcoal, then run as fast as he could, trying to coax the dog to chase him. Charcoal, would look at me as if to say… mama did you see that? I would shake my finger at him and say “don’t you hurt my kitty!”. Charcoal would lay down feeling defeated. Soon Sylvester would come strolling back upset that the dog was lazy and no fun at all. The looks they would give each other were so funny and then Charcoal would look to me for approval. Yes, you’re a good boy! He would wag that tail and clear the table as I pet him.
Charcoal loved playing with the kids. In fact, he really thought he was one of the kids. We would go to Wolf Lake Park and he would run to the circular slide, climb up and slide down. It was cute and fun to watch him and the children play. Charcoal would then run to the water faucet, which was constantly running; he would get a drink and run back to slide down with the children. I imagine he dreamed of those days when he was alone in the house, with everyone working.
Cats seem to have the ability to know if you are awake or asleep and Sylvester knew that for sure. I would wake up and never open my eyes; pretending to be sleeping, just so I could have some peace before getting up. Sylvester would put his nose in my eye as if to say…”I know you are awake and I want to eat right now!” He knew I would get up and feed him; after all, he really wasn’t asking for much in return for his love.
Our children grew up and Sylvester and Charcoal were getting very old. Sylvester was having strokes on a monthly basis. I would come home on my lunch hour to take him to his kitty litter, and make sure he still had food and water, because he could not walk very well. He never had an accident and always waited for me. I loved him and it was so hard to let go. Nine months and nine strokes later, we decided that we were only keeping him alive for the next stroke. Charcoal would not spend his entire life at the mercy of a cat…Sylvester died at the age of 18. We buried him on the 2 acres of land, we had just purchased to build our house. We had a little ceremony and our hearts were crushed as we listened to our daughter cry for the cat that was with her, during her entire childhood. She had claimed that he was the only male that stood by her through every heartache. We now have a tomb stone in honor of our loved one, Sylvester.
With four people working in our house, Charcoal went insane and died at the age of 15. Who would've known that Charcoal needed Sylvester as much as I did, to keep him company. They both left our family with memories of a lifetime.
Losing Sylvester and Charcoal was a huge loss. I cried for hours after work. The land we had purchased, the house we were building, my job….nothing mattered to me. My children were busy with their lives and those precious little critters, that needed me so much, were gone.
After about a week of mourning, my husband grabbed me by the hand and said lets go to the store. He said there are always people wanting to get rid of cats. I was resistant to the idea but went anyway. After about the third store, I found one note about someone wanting to sell their kittens. I called and my first question was do you have a male? She said we have one. My next question was what color? Because to me, at that time, I wanted Sylvester back. She said he is a brown, tiger color. I knew God had reserved for me that kitten. Such perfect timing. So we went to pick out our kitten and I knew which one was him. It was Sylvester all young and new again. I picked him up and held him… this is Sylvester Jr. Then my husband picked up a female tiger and said.. this is Sylvia. God had double blessed us.