Yes, it’s true! Of all the humans who have come to this house to see me (because, of course, that’s why they come here), I have chosen the most wonderful human of all.
First, she was besotted with my charming photo, above, which I carefully planned to catch the eyes of all humans possible. Apparently she was swept off her paws and couldn’t wait to meet me because within hours she arrived here on Tuesday this week, in the late afternoon, when I had just finished a nap and was observing the wildlife through the basement door. My current human, who is perfectly serviceable but who has a habit of collecting other cats so that I will never receive the amount of attention I deserve, let me know the woman had arrived.
With dignity and aplomb, I strolled to the front door and stood to watch this human walk down the sidewalk toward me, and, well, whether I intended to impress her with my Charm-ing purr-sonality or I was overcome with recognition that this was the human for me, I flung my tail in the air, and twitched that special pale orange tip in anticipation.
As soon as she entered, she was mine. She was actually on the floor next to me in minutes, and then we proceeded to move into the kitchen where I could parade around on the table and teach her how I like to play and be petted. I did all my cutest things for her just to be sure she looked at only me and not any of the other cats in this house, and there would be no doubt in her heart that I was to be the one to live with her for the rest of my life. I took a moment to tell my human this woman was the one, then went right back to curling upside down in a box and batting my person with my paw. She took several photos of me, and then, when I was sure she was totally possessed with me, I returned to my wildlife watching from the basement.
Indeed, Charm has been adopted by a very wonderful person who was indeed besotted with the photo of the sweet tortie in the basket! Michelle is the woman’s name, and she is moving at the end of the month so Charm will join her for her first night in her new home—their new home.
And Charm really did all the things she described above, including running up the steps when I told her that her visitor was here, and walking directly to the door and eagerly greeting her, totally focused on Michelle from the moment she came in. I have never seen such a wonderful meet and greet, or a cat who spent nearly 40 minutes with a total stranger!
A request was posted in the foster group for female cats under the age of two for a person who had no cats at the moment and wanted to keep a one-cat home. Normally we like to send cats who don’t want to live with other cats to homes like that, but Charm was in the age category, and I felt she was really ready to start looking, so I shared the photo above just to get her in the mix. Within hours the woman wanted to meet her! I mentioned to her about cats who want to be only cats while Charm is friendly with other cats, and she understood, but it was because Charm was a tortie that she wanted to meet her. She had rescued a tortie cat and lived with her for 16 years, she showed me photos and I knew she missed her. Charm was the kitty for her, and we all knew it.
I’ve been holding on to Charm to take care of a fur/skin problem—even while her kittens were still here she began licking excessively and pulling out fur, then vomiting up hairballs almost every day. I quit with the kitten food for her and fed her what my cats were eating, talked to my vet and began preparing for food testing for her, trying different foods and eliminating certain ingredients. If she had a food sensitivity or even inflammatory bowel disease or a related disease it was something I wanted to establish before she was adopted in case she would need to be on a special diet or need treatment. The fur-pulling slowed down as did the vomiting after a few weeks before I even started the food change; I would have had to have fed her separately and had to wait for the foster room to clear out. She also began to put on weight and adjusted completely to being a house cat, mingling with the others without pushing and shoving and stealing food, and allowing me to pet her without attacking my hand, even in play. In the past two weeks her fur has grown in evenly and she’s put on about a pound, feeling nicely balanced. She went from being kind of a wild, friendly, shaggy kitty to being a soft, gentle but very active and playful and appropriately affectionate kitty. It seems the conditions likely had more to do with her changing situation and even hormonal changes from living outdoors feeding kittens and being chased by tomcats to coming in to a strange house, the heat, being spayed, adjusting to all the other cats, it’s a lot to ask of a cat! I’m so glad I had the chance to see her transformation.
And she likes people, she greets people at the door and gets her pets, but I’ve never seen her focus on one person for that long, even ignoring me completely. It was when Charm left Michelle for a few seconds and came over to me for pets, crouched down and purred while I petted her head and kissed her, then went right back to Michelle, that I knew Charm was telling me Michelle was the person for her.
No, I am not sad that Charm is leaving—I am thrilled that she has such a wonderful home with someone who will understand her energy and her prey drive in play, and who looks forward to doting on her and spoiling her with lots of affection. Charm fit in well here, much to my surprise. She has a strong personality, and was accustomed to being independent and surviving on her own. I really thought there would be conflicts, but it’s testament to her sweet nature that she accepted her position in the clowder here, never once acted aggressively toward anyone. But she is a high energy cat who needs a lot of play and interaction. With my regular five she would be fine, but I know I’m always going to be fostering to some extent, this house is small, and in time that may have started to wear on her. Already she had started to spend time alone and sleep elsewhere rather than with the rest of us, and I sensed she was feeling crowded. Charm and I will always love each other, and I couldn’t be happier that I had the time and the means to help her when she needed it. I also know that I can help many more cats this way.
And thanks, too, to Pittsburgh C.A.T. for helping me from start to finish with veterinary care and food for her and her kittens and the opportunity to advertise them for adoption and use their adoptive services for Charm and all five kittens. Thanks too to Missy for visiting to help socialize the kittens, donating food and the baby gate, fan and other items, and being instrumental in Charm’s rescue. And thanks to Jenn, who lives next door to where Charm and Scarlett were abandoned and took care of them. Fostering and finding homes without that support would have been nearly impossible for me right now!
So we’ll see Charm here until August 29 when she moves in with Michelle. It was nice to have tortie here for a while again. We’ll have to have a Charm-fest of photos!
If there is ever any doubt in your mind that you could foster a cat, please put that aside and give it a try. Charm was rescued from abandonment, literally, and she and her kittens will not have to live the cycle of reproduction, hunger and suffering living outdoors without the protection of a human. And if there was ever a doubt that you could give up a cat that you’d come to know and love as I have with Charm, seeing your foster meet the right person—and later on hearing about how happy they are—will dispel any sadness or doubt. It’s matchmaking at its best, and the best gift you’ve ever given anyone, introducing a human and an animal and seeing the first moments of that forever bond between a human and an animal.
Read more about Charm‘s journey.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!