All of our cats deserve a mention, but Charlie was the special one...
We have had five cats in our married life. We gave away the first two when we emigrated to Australia in 1988. Shaboo was a Burmese Brown torti and Smokie who was a Burmese Blue. They were about 12 months old and as they were so young I knew they would be ok adapting to a new family. Then about ten months after we arrived in Australia we brought Jasmine and Toto into our lives, they were Siamese. Jasmine was a Lilac point and Toto a Chocolate point. We tried to keep them as indoor cats, but at roughly 18 months Toto got outside and was fatally hit by a car, he died in my arms. To help Jasmine with the loss we decided to look for another kitten. I saw some Burmese kittens advertised near Phillip Island, so we drove down and had a look. There were six kittens to choose from and we initially chose a Red. We went back to the house to sign the paperwork with the owner, but something was nagging at me and I said ‘hold on, I need to go back’. There had been a Brown who kept trying to get my attention on the first viewing. When I went back down to look at the kittens again the Brown saw me coming, he climbed up the mesh cage to level with my face and I sensed him say to me ‘I’ve chosen you, please take me home'. When I went back a few weeks later to collect Charlie he curled around my neck and stayed there the entire 115 kilometre drive back to Millgrove. In 1993 we brought Charlie and Jasmine back to England with us. Jasmine died in 2002, Charlie died June 2013 after spending almost 22 years with us.
A lament for Charlie...
You were our handsome lad. We laughed at your antics, we cherished your affection for us, and your cuddles. You were fearless, you went from cool kitty to a grand old cat, and everyone who saw you, admired you. You were unique. Each morning you would come into our bedroom and say hello, greeting us with a cold wet nose and a lick. You looked forward to the log fire in winter, taking prime position to heat yourself. When it was warm outside we loved watching you in the garden, soaking up the dappled sunlight next to the spindle tree. You never troubled the birds, the fiercest you ever got was a gurgling meow at the pigeons. We were heartbroken each time we left you at the cattery to go on holiday. Every time we left you in the house we were worried that you would be ok. Even though there were times when we took you for granted and didn’t give you enough of our time, you were always in our thoughts. You were our world.
Very near the end of your life we were devastated. In a matter of days you stopped eating, the stairs were now becoming impossible to climb, and you could barely walk or stand to use your litter tray. You were suffering with chronic kidney failure and other age related illnesses. We sensed the end was near, so we tried to make you as comfortable as we could. I made a bed up and slept on the floor with you for your last three nights on earth. I wanted you to know that we were there for you and that you were loved. On that third and final night I tried desperately to think of the best way out for you. I wanted you to die peacefully in your sleep, in my lap or by my side, I sensed that’s what you wanted too. In the morning we watched you struggle to your feet to try and walk over for a drink, eventually I had to carry you there. We were heartbroken to see you like that, you have always been a fighter and you were clinging to life. We now realised that you weren’t going to die naturally without truly suffering, so we knew we had to help you pass.
When we arrived back home after making arrangements with the vet, you got onto my lap, and there you lay for the next two and a half hours. I wanted that moment to last forever. When the vet arrived I felt like turning him away because you seemed so peacefully asleep in my lap, but you woke and it broke my heart because I sensed you knew what was about to happen. The vet arrived at 13:35 and by 13:45 you were gone from our lives forever. That decision was truly painful, but we wanted you to pass peacefully, no more pain or suffering.
We know that wherever your proud spirit is now, it is at peace
Charlie, you gave us your unconditional love and true companionship. Thank you for choosing to spend your life with us, your memories flood our senses and we will never forget you.
Born 15th September 1991 - Died 13:45 on the 17th June 2013, aged 21 years & 9 months