Oh, Charlie


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Dear Charlie,

Dear sweet, lovable Charlie,

This is a love letter to you, beautiful tuxedo cat Charlie. This is a letter of thanks, of love, of appreciation and it is a letter of sorrow.

Dear Charlie,

When you came to Mom’s house, it was because my brave sister Liz wanted Momma to look forward into her future with happiness. You came to her house after Dad died, when she was at her most fragile and at her saddest. You brought your silly kitten energy, and that made her laugh.

You brought your sweet kitten neediness, too, and that was even better. Every night, as Mom sat in her glider and watched her favorite shows, you jumped up onto the footrest and asked to be brushed.

There were so many evenings when I sat there with Mom, unsure of what to say or how to act, when you would give your little “brrrrrp” sound to make sure we knew you were there. Then you’d leap gracefully onto the footrest of Mom’s glider chair, where you’d curl your tail around yourself as if it was the robe of the Emperor. You’d open wide those beautiful golden eyes and you’d stare at Mom with perfect confidence until she reached for your brush and gave you the attention you so obviously felt you deserved.

Charlie, you were so smart. So agile and graceful and sweet. My Ellie, at the tender age of two, fell in love with your yellow eyes and your sense of calm detachment. She adores you.

I do, too, Charlie. I adore you, too.

But no one loves you more than Grandma, for whom you have been the best of boon companions.

You cheered her up on lonely days, Charlie. You made her laugh when no one else could. You sat beside her when she felt sad and weak.

Oh, sweet Charlie.

I remember that shortly after she got you, Mom said to me, “I worry about what will happen to Charlie when I die.” I tried to suggest that perhaps you would go before her, but Mom was having none of it.

“I’m old,” she assured me, as if I didn’t know it. “Charlie is only a baby.”

And yet here we are. At the end of your life. Watching you struggle to eat, to walk, to rest comfortably. After surgery and medicine and more medicine and every kind of loving intervention, you’re telling us that you really do need to go.

Mom will miss you more than any of us can say. She will miss your antics, your silliness, your presence, your big yellow eyes.

We all will.

Charlie. I’m so sorry. You gave it your very, very best. You are a champ, my darling little boy.

I’ll take you to rest in a couple of days, honey. I promise. And I’ll hold in these tears until you are gone, over that rainbow bridge. Then, I promise, I will bawl like a broken hearted toddler as I mourn the loss of your sweet presence.

Rest, little guy. You’ve earned it.