Monday, March 1, 2004

Happy Birthday, Charcoal

Max temp: 43 degrees F
Min temp: 35 degrees F
Peak wind: E at 25 kts

Charcoal is a Pisces. We don't know when--exactly--she was born, but when we brought her home in November of 1994, she was seven to eight months old and had her adult teeth. Her personality revealed that she was neither Aries or Aquarius. And with those sea-green, soulful eyes--I haven't had much doubt about this ethereally-lovely, quiet, sensitive cat.

She was a sad case when I first saw her--a half-grown kitten, hunched in the kitten pen at the Animal Shelter, her back resolutely toward the door. She would turn frightened eyes toward anyone who came within the pen and try to escape any hands that would pick her up. She will be a beautiful cat, I thought, if she gets a chance to grow up.

So shy, she came very close to not growing up. The Shelter was crowded with cats and kittens. She was adopted out to a home but brought back because she tried to escape and hid when she couldn't. Such a timid cat would not make a very good pet, it was thought, and her time had run out.

I told her story to Denny. "If she's all that shy," he said, "we'll never know we have another cat." So she came to live with us.

I had hoped she might become as close to me as that other outstanding Pisces cat in my life, Kisa. But Charcoal--we call her "Charly"--is not Kisa or any one else. She is herself and the circumstances of her life have shaped her differently. She is sweet-natured and affectionate but she and I have never had the opportunity to bond as deeply as I did with Kisa, who was my sole companion for the first nine years of her life. I never have felt the subtle psychic click that marks a meeting of true minds with Charly.

But she is perhaps our most lovely cat and a soothing presence in her own quiet way. I am glad she came to live with us.

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