Chipmunks & Groundhogs & Possums -- Oh MY!

Thanks, comes in many forms, other than the obvious word or words of course.

Sometimes you go about doing the things you do without any thought of getting a thanks, take Charlie for instance. Charlie Parker, a stray cat who came around singing at night about two months ago.

I named him Charlie Parker because he is surprisingly similar to a cat that went missing on us two years ago this month, Miles Davis. (Beginning to sense a theme here?) Miles came to us as a stray as well. When I was still occupying a cubicle at the Insurance Agency, he turned up outside the building, a gangly teenager, on a Friday afternoon.

He spent the day sleeping in the accountant’s area and we had nearly convinced the owner that we should keep him to help with the mice issue in the basement where the long-term file storage was kept.

Yes, archaic sounding I know, and we all hated going down there, flashlights in hand to pull old files, trying not to notice the scurrying sounds in the corners of the dirt floors.

Oh yeah, I miss that place --- like a pair of jeans that are two sizes too small on a fully booked, cross-Atlantic plane ride. Not that I really know how that feels or anything.

Miles finally woke up from sleeping off the trauma of his being lost in the big world, stretched, yawned and proceeded to walk the length of the entire first floor and into the owner’s office. And shat on one of the files he had piled on his floor.

So there was now NO chance that he had a place to call home at the agency, mice or no mice. “Come five o’clock that cat is back on the street if he’s still in this building!”

It’s a small agency with fewer than 20 people in the building and while everyone was concerned, no one was willing to take him home. Including myself who already had two cats and two dogs.

As it got closer to five and I thought about him being back out on his own with all the traffic on that road, I gave in and called home.

“ Is this where I’m supposed to talk you out of it like when you called about Stinker?” (Way too long a story that!), asked the Hubster.

“Good try, but no, I won’t be able to sleep if I know he’s on the streets alone.”

So home he came.

I named him Miles Davis because he had a surly attitude and a soul patch of grey fur under his chin. It suited him.

When Charlie started coming round he shocked us all with how much he looked like Miles, in coloring as well as having a big head, minus the soul patch and what seem like chubby cheeks. If cats can indeed have such things, as chubby cheeks.

I of course added Charlie to the list of critters that get fed on my front stoop in the evenings.

You know, the skunks, possums and the occasional raccoon.


You don’t feed the critters around your place?

Yeah, my neighbors think I’m whacked as well, so don’t tell them about Varmint Poo Tang, the ground hog that’s been living in the back gardens since last summer.

They all have their place. Mr Poo Tang eats the weeds around the crab apple tree. The chipmunk that lives under the garden shed cleans up the seed the birds spill onto the back deck from the feeder and the skunks; well they are the cutest, most polite little guests of all.

So now Charlie shows up every night between 7:30 and 9 PM depending on his mood and the weather and sits at the front door until I feed him.

I talk to him through the window while I get his food scooped and when I open the door he greets me with squinty eyes and a hiss while leaning in to stick his nose in the food scoop as I pour into the dish.

Then I talk to him a little more while he eats and he returns with low growls in my general direction.

I do wish I could get close enough to stroke his fur or at least apply some flea and tick juice to his back but he’s having none of it so I make do with talking to him in soothing tones and hope that I will eventually where him down. Hell, I have even resorted to petting Ozzy, Lucy and Ichy in front of him so he can see that they survive it.

Then again, I have no way of knowing just how long he’s been out there on his own or where he was previous to that. For now our relationship remains highly dysfunctional and reminds me of my stepfather at the dinner table. That tells you so much about me …

I’ve told Charlie that he doesn’t have to like me but he might want to pretend to tolerate me long enough to relocate to NY with us and become head barn cat as the other three cats are lazy, indoor sloths.

Over the weeks our doomed relationship has remained stagnant as I do my best to gain the affections of this bad boy. Oh, except for the time I so stupidly came at his head with my hand from above while he had his head down eating, thinking I could sneak a scratch in and was promptly rewarded with a scratch of my own.

He’s like a boyfriend I had in my 20s. Not very predictable, worries me when he doesn’t show up some nights and then doesn’t return the love when he is around.

Or does he?

The last time I went away for the weekend, there was no one to feed him for two nights. When I got back Sunday night, I opened the door to put food out and found this.

Oh Charlie. You love me; you really, really love me!

Eat your heart out Sally Field.

2006 ~ Dawn Marie Kelly~ All Rights Reserved
posted by Angel @ 3:41 PM | 9 comments