Considering they were the inspiration behind the name, it seems only proper that my little sidekicks get a proper introduction post of their own. First off, meet Charlie, sometimes called Charles, Charleston, Chuchiebug (yeah, I don’t know), or Greygrey:
Charlie was not originally mine. I first moved to Memphis with my college roommate, A. and she adopted Charlie when he was 5 months old, soon after we moved. When A. got married last year, she decided it was best that Charlie stayed with me. He was afraid of her fiancé and they were planning to get a puppy. He was already fairly attached to me and Lucy, especially… it just seemed the best thing for him, although it was hard for her. Charlie is a shy but affectionate Mr. Sensitive. He’s fairly obsessive about having a clean environment (seriously, he scrapes his paws on the edge of the litter box after he gets out) and can get easily stressed by changes. He’s skittish around most people and slow to warm up, but with me he’s extremely affectionate and quite the clown. He goes nuts for light (laser pointer, flashlight, reflection from something shiny, etc.) and when bored has been known to chase shadows or his tail. He loves nothing better than to snuggle with me, and is concerned and protective when I’m sick or upset. He hates it if I shut a door on him and will cry piteously until I open it. He’s the older of the two, at four years.
Then there’s Lucy. Luciana, Lucille, Lu, Lulu, Lubelle, Lulubug.
I adopted Lucy a little over two years ago. A friend’s daughter (now my friend as well) had been given this little stray, whom she named Little Kitty (as she was afraid naming it would make it more difficult to give up). I was barely a month beyond putting to sleep my first kitten, Pip, who suffered from FIP and hadn’t wanted a new cat yet. But when my friend’s daughter needed to give up some cats, I decided to visit them. I was originally interested in Jack – who now has a great home – but Little Kitty stole my heart. Jack ran away from me but Little Kitty played with my hair and jumped after my fingers. And he was just what a wanted – a little boy kitty. Yep, when I went to meet my friend at the vet, after they’d taken “him” to get all checked up before adoption, I got the news. Little Kitty was a her… but she was already purring in my arms and I said I’d take her home for a trial run. I knew soft-hearted me wouldn’t ever let her go. Lucy’s my social girl – she loves parties and new people; she’s not afraid of an adventure. She’s all about enjoying life: naps in the sunshine, gazing out the window, TREATS, getting scratched under the chin or behind her ears, and food. Oh food. She’s about 3 or 4 lbs. heavier than Charlie, with a little white tummy that swings when she runs. She’s very playful (strings and ribbons are her favorite) and is an excellent spider and cockroach hunter (which I appreciate!). She’s a hisser, too, and not afraid to express displeasure when my roommate’s dog comes too near or she’s not in the mood to play fight with her brother.
I didn’t grow up with pets of the fuzzy, interactive variety, due to parental and sibling allergies, and never finding that elusive point between “you’re too young for the responsibility,” and “but we’ll have to take care of it when you go off to college.” I have a sneaking suspicion that a point where neither statement is true doesn’t actually exist. Now, though, I couldn’t manage life without them. There’s something therapeutic about having these little creatures to nurture and cafe for. And in my opinion they give back far more than I put in. They’ve put up with hugs too tight and too long when I’m lonely and plenty of tears have been cried into their fur. They’ve sat next to me or put their little paws on my arms when I’m upset. Usually at least one is snuggling with me when I fall asleep and wake up. Although I don’t believe in the “pet heaven” view of dogs and cats, I agree with the friend who said that pets are “soul-ish creatures.” There’s something special about them.
There you go… you’ve met my two best non-human companions! I try my best not to be the pet owner version of the mom or dad who thinks their kid is the only interesting topic of conversation, but you can be assured C+L stories will be a recurring theme here.