Nineteen years ago we adopted a stray kitten (one of many over the years), a little ball of gray fur that fit well into the palm of my hand. We instantly fell in love with the little kitten and the kids were trying to come up with a name for him. One wanted to call him Charlie and the other wanted to call him Roger, so he was, forever to us – and the vet’s office – Charlie Roger Black.
He was the typical kitten; playful, mischievous, adventurous, a good hunter and affectionate. When we had the screen porch built onto the back of the house, we had a little space at the top of the door that wasn’t closed in yet. Charlie Roger was the first one of the cats to climb all the way up to the top of the screen and jump off the top of the door, landing with a thud on the floor below. And he did it often (until we had the space closed up). I think he lost most of his teeth, and three or four lives, jumping off that door.
We had several more cats and kittens – all strayed or rescued – when Charlie first came around, and they all along quite well, but it was easy to see who had the hearts of the kids.
That’s Charlie on the far left with brothers, Wicket and Yellow Kitty.
As the years went by Charlie was showing signs of age. His eyesight was all but gone and his hearing was, as well. I took to calling him Charlie Roomba (after the robot vacuum cleaner), because he would walk into something, back up and go another way, until he ran into something else. Then he would repeat the pattern until he got where he was going. In spite of this he still knew where his food and water were, and how to get to his favorite sleeping places.
Two nights ago I sat and held Charlie for, what I was sure, was the last time. I expected to say goodbye while I had him in my arms, but he was stronger-willed than we thought and hung in there a little longer. As I type this, we are in the room as he takes his last breaths and crosses over that bridge. We are confident that we did all we could over the years to make sure he was safe, taken care of and loved.
Thank you, Charlie Roger ‘Roomba’ Black, for the laughs, the love and the blessings you brought to our home and to our lives. Rest In Peace.