Life With Charlie

Though I have always considered myself more of a “dog” person, and aside from the fact that we have never in all of our 42 married years owned a cat before, I have owned cats before. In fact, we both have. Cliff had outdoor cats that lived in a little “cat house” in the backyard that they would heat in the winter. One cat was name Shnooky, which they thought was a boy; but then Shnooky had kittens. They were named…Butterball, Snoopy, Porkchop, and other names that are long since forgotten. Perhaps that’s for the best.
I also had two cats as a teenager. Pippi Longstocking who was actually given the entire Pippi Longstocking name of Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking. Yes, I was a book nerd even then. We called her Pippi for short, that is until we found out she was a he. Then I named him Pepe Le Pew after the debonair cartoon skunk.
Pepe enjoyed the simple things in life, like attacking my sister’s feet and lying in the middle of the street daring cars to hit him. And then one did. I was devastated. My sister, not so much.
The second cat we owned was named Smoky. Not a very imaginative name and he wasn’t grey, so I don’t know why. He was black and white, what they now call a tuxedo cat. He ran away one day. He didn’t return for quite some time. When he finally did return he looked kind of chubby and after awhile he had five kittens in our basement. If you haven’t guessed by now, determining the sex of cats was not either of our family’s strong suit. The kittens were adorable. Adorable and covered in fleas. We went to the basement to see the kittens in our cute little white socks and came out of the basement with socks that were brown…and moving. It was pretty horrible and our house had to be flea bombed. After that, we mostly had dogs with nice big flea collars.


Lots of years and at least 6 dogs later, we have Charlie. Of all the cats either of us has ever owned, Charlie is the best. He’s clean, he’s calm, he’s entertaining, and he and Phoebe get along just fine. Mostly. Phoebe at 45 pounds and not the sharpest tool in the shed, seems to think that Charlie is an odd looking dog. In her defense, the only other dog she ever lived with was a chihuahua, so it is kind of understandable. Charlie at 5.25 pounds, is not having it. Fortunately, Charlie is much faster and can easily take the high ground, which Phoebe can’t reach.
Charlie also inspires songs in us. Really! He does! I’m dating myself here, but remember the “Choo Choo Charlie” song? It goes like this…ahem…

“Choo Choo Charlie was an engineer
Choo Choo Charlie was his name we hear
He had a little engine and he sure had fun
He used Good and Plenty candies to make his train run
Charlie says, “Love my Good and Plentys”
Charlie says, “Really rings the bell!” (Ding, ding)
Charlie says, “Love my Good and Plentys”
“There’s not any other candy that I love so well!””

There you have it. And that’s what we sing. Both of us. It’s weird, but kind of fun!
So far, all of having Charlie is kind of fun! Watching him jump after a feather that is attached to a wiry thing. Having him attack our feet in our bed. Cleaning counter tops and the table because you can’t really stop him from walking on them. Paying exorbitant vet bills for an animal that weighs less than ten pounds. Cleaning litter boxes more than once a week…The things we do for love!

There has been one problem that Cliff and I have both had to deal with. There are very few things in life where our thinking is alike, but we both have this innate idea that cats are girls and dogs are boys. Since our animals are the opposite, this has posed a problem of sorts. We are constantly referring to Phoebe as “he” and Charlie as “she”. Before Charlie, we never had a problem referring to Phoebe as a girl. But now, we call her “him”. Maybe someday we’ll get it straight. But then, in the light of all eternity, it’s really not that big a deal!

About Not That Big a Deal

Roxanne has a gift for writing and making people laugh. She enjoys sharing both with as many as she can.
This entry was posted in Animals, Blessings, Cats, Chihuahua, Childhood, Christians, Dogs, Encouragement, Family, Home, Humor, Life, Love, Memories, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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