- Preston Tobery
My Sweet Girl Charlie
Back in the summer of 2008, I was working at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland when I noticed a tiny kitten hanging out close to one of the dorms. I kept my eye on this kitten for around 3 days when I didn’t notice any siblings or any sign of a mama cat in sight. So I decided that I needed to try and capture the kitten and nurse it to health. She couldn’t have been more than a few weeks old and extremely small. While trying to capture her, she found her way into a very old, unused emergency stairway. This stairway only had one way in. I had to military crawl under the rusted, sharp metal wall to get to her. She wasn’t happy being cornered! After grabbing her, I put her in a printer paper box in order to get her home safely. Our trip home was around 45 minutes. The first 20 minutes was her trying to escape while crying her eyes out. So, I decided to pull off and try to have her ride on my lap for the rest of the journey. Well, she instantly became content and managed to crawl her way up to my shoulder where she proceeded to fall asleep. She nuzzled her little face into my neck, and at that moment I knew that she was probably going to become our newest family member.
When we got home, I weighed her and confirmed that she was indeed female. She was only a few ounces and dirty, but seemed healthy. My wife, Amber, decided to take off the next few days to bottle feed her and to try and get her weight to increase. She was so tiny! She was around twice the size as a computer mouse and was so precious. After a few days she was very active and seemed to be extremely satisfied with her new family. We decided to give her the name Charlotte Motor Speedway Cobra Commander Tobery or Charlie for short! Yeah, yeah, yeah, we were really into NASCAR and 80’s cartoons but we knew that this little girl would by far fill the shoes of that name. Charlie was spunky, loving, and had a very interesting cattitude.
Charlie was a tuxedo kitty and had one rear leg that had the pattern of a dairy cow. She also had black and pink toe beans! She had so many nicknames over the years and she answered to every single one of them.
Charles, Cow Leg, Charlotte, Murph, just to name a few.
Charlie was definitely a Daddy’s girl, she loved me like no other living thing on this planet could. She spent almost all of her time with me. She loved to cuddle, she loved to nuzzle my face, she loved to just be around me. And I too her. Charlie would know my schedule and would patiently wait for me to arrive home at the front door. She would loudly purr and chirp to get my attention. She was not happy unless she was the first to get my full attention anytime that I got home. Her favorite lounging and sleeping position was laying on her back. She liked to show off how pretty she was. She probably should have been a model.
She also loved most young men, including my son Jacob. He was easily her second favorite person and loved him very much. She would hang out with him often and show him the same affection as she did me when I wasn’t around. She only tolerated the young ladies. Amber and I agreed that she spent the first eight years of her life trying to murder Amber so she could have me all to herself. She liked to lay on steps in the middle of the night just waiting for Amber to go for a late night cup of water. She also enjoyed hissing and growling at Amber when it was time for nail trimming. She did; however, like to occasionally hang out on my daughter, Morgan's bed. We'd like to think it was because she liked Morgan, but I'm pretty sure it was only to get closer to me when it was time to tuck Morgan in at night. When Charlie was younger, she loved to steal Amber’s clothes and put them in hard to find places. And for whatever reason, she displaced bras the most. I found it charming and hilarious, Amber not so much.
She was also my biggest helper. Charlie was always the first to see and inspect every single adaptive device that I have created. I could tell when she wasn’t into a specific color and when she liked those green and purple devices. I’ll really miss her help. It gives me peace knowing that I can continue to help animals for the rest of my life in her memory.
Charlie grew into a gorgeous cat with deep golden/hazel eyes. She was absolutely beautiful. I know that she had a good life with us and I know that my life wouldn’t have been the same if I didn’t find her back in 2008. We have so many truly amazing memories of her that I could probably write a book about, maybe I will someday. We were truly blessed with having her in our family for all of these years and we will miss her deeply. Charlie was definitely one of a kind.
Charlie…. I miss you. Charlie…. I love you.