If I had a dollar for every time I uttered “Charley, no!” or some variant (“Charley, stop it!”, “Charley, get out of there!” “CHARLEY!!!!!!”) I’d be a wealthy woman.
At 10 years old, our resident tuxedo cat shows no sign of slowing down.
He has chewed through more things than you could fathom and nearly toppled over our brand-new flat-screen tv last year. I often describe him as “full of pep” or “highly intelligent”; another way to put it would be “full of mischief” and “always into everything.” When I get dressed, I have to reach into my closet and pull out clothing as fast as I can before Charley dives into the closet and buries himself in the farthest reaches. He loves to burrow into things and hide, and wedge himself into the tiniest of spaces; and to follow us around and chatterwaul. I often have to give him a “job” to do to keep him busy – he loves to chase around a catnip ball (the “pawbreaker”) or climb into a cat tunnel. I don’t own a single plant and I rarely have flowers in the house, because Charley will eat them.
Last week, we got a couch delivered, only the first delivery was the wrong item. While waiting for the store to send someone over to pick up the wrong item and deliver the correct one, we had a large cardboard box in the middle of our living room. “What kind of trouble will Charley get into with this?” I wondered. I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Right before the pick-up, I tried to herd the cats into the bedroom, and Charley was nowhere to be found… until my husband suggested that he must have somehow wormed his way into the box. Sure enough, there was a tiny little opening that formed a very small cardboard tunnel, and Charley was wedged way into the back of it. Thank goodness we found him before the piece of furniture got picked up and put on a truck! When I told my mom this story, she laughed, because once when she was cat-sitting Charley and Thurston at her place, Charley managed to wedge himself into an empty cabinet drawer, seemingly in defiance of the laws of physics, and did NOT want to come out for quite some time.
The other day my husband was saying how he wished we could have a Christmas tree, how festive it would be. “It would,” I agreed. “Although it would ruin the festive atmosphere if we killed your favorite cat after he ate the needles off the tree, chewed through the cord to the lights, and then knocked it over” – all of which he’s highly likely to do.
Even though I am constantly saying “Charley, no!” he amuses me to no end with his crazy antics. I fell in love with him at first sight, and I still melt whenever he gives me a silent meow or I see the spot on the roof of his mouth when he yawns. He’s the inspiration for this website, along with his favorite human (my husband). He was born at this time of the year in 1999, so happy birthday, Charley pal, to you and your (decidedly more mellow) feline brother, Thurston. May you be full of pep for many more years to come.