I’m reviving this long-dormant website for a moment to eulogize my cat, Charley.
Longtime readers of this site know that I adopted two cats, Charley and Thurston, shortly after they were born in December 1999. Thurston passed away in 2013. This past Sunday, I awoke to find out my Charley cat had passed away peacefully in his sleep. He made it to a whopping 18 years old.
Charley was a tuxedo cat who was very mischievous in his younger years. He chewed through cords, he scaled the highest heights, he chased toys around, and he once caught a mouse. He also loved nothing more than to snuggle with his cat-brother. Charley could be slow to warm up to people, but once he warmed up to you, he was affectionate and would purr loudly the second you touched him.
In the past few years, Charley had to adapt to a lot of changes. We had a human baby, we moved, and then Charley’s brother died. We debated for a long time about whether to add another pet to the household, and earlier this year, we got a puppy. We got the puppy in July, and by November, Charley had decided they could be good friends. Suddenly, he was drinking out of the dog’s water bowl while the dog ate his food. He teamed up with the dog to beg me for pieces of chicken. When the dog ate a dog biscuit, Charley ate the crumbs. We even installed a special gate with a cat-sized opening, so Charley could come and go as he pleased but still have a dog-free space (and the dog wouldn’t steal his cat food). He started sleeping on the dog’s bed, and I thought that soon they’d be snuggling together by the fire. Over the past few weeks, my son would regularly have Charley on his lap and the dog next to him; or I’d have Charley on my lap with the puppy at my feet.
I miss Charley already. It’s the end of an era – it feels so strange for me to suddenly not have a cat in my house, after living with cats for the past 18 years. On that note, this will most likely be the last time I post to this website, but the archives will live on. I started this site in a time before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr were around. At this point, I think it’s outlived its original purpose. I almost produced a Men and Cats book and a Men and Cats calendar, but neither project came to fruition. Others subsequently did produce such books and calendars, even though this website was the first project to really celebrate men who love cats, as far as I know.
Thanks to everyone for all your years of support and for those who contributed, I am honored that you chose to share your photos and stories with me and the audience for this site.
Please pet your cats for me.