It never fails. We put up our tree, and Charlie lays down underneath it. This year we simply put up the stand, and before
we my husband could even fully assemble the tree, there was Charlie. He seems to know that he reminds us that he is the best gift we’ve ever gotten, and the most important.
I grew up with cats and dogs, and Tyler never grew up with any pets so when we got married in 2005, there was a discussion about pets. Naturally I wanted to bring my two cats from my parents house in Minnesota to Chicago immediately. Tyler wanted to get a cat of our own, but only after two years, which I thought was a better idea. This way we would be able to get settled into marriage, learn how to communicate with each other better, and divy up chores before going to a shelter, deciding together on a cat, and figuring out who was going to do what to care of the cat.
Charlie God had other plans for us. Eight months after we were married in March of 2006, I could hear a cat crying in our alley from our fourth floor apartment. I went down, padded with my extra large Abercrombie sweatshirt in case the cat wasn’t nice, and scooped up a very cuddly and willing Charlie. Our landlord found out that we had taken in the cat and told us a little bit about his story. Apparently some tenants in our building didn’t want him anymore and set him out in the hallway. The landlord knew it was their cat and told the tenant he couldn’t do that. So he took the cat and dropped him in the hallway of the building next door. Well Charlie is not stupid and so he went back outside when someone exited the building and wandered back over to our alley parking lot. He started crying to get back in and that’s when we entered the story.
Per our agreement, we weren’t going to keep him. But after it was clear that we knew no one that could take him in and he developed an infection in his foot and needed care, we soon decided to abandon the plan and add a family member. While Charlie is not the cat we would have picked out (he can be very domineering, angry, violent, and downright scary), we know that we are supposed to have him. Because he can also be cuddly, cute, playful, and downright hilarious. And reminds us that he is the best every day. But especially at Christmastime.