Goodbye, Charlie 2006-2020

This is from an email we sent to friends on Oct. 16, 2020. Click on photos for larger image.

We have some sad news: we had to put our Charlie down today.

A younger Charlie, prowling through his front garden

We knew he had some kidney issues (he went through some blood tests just before we moved last month), but they became suddenly acute yesterday. The vet wasn’t sure why: perhaps a blockage, but the tests showed far higher levels today than a month ago, and one kidney was massive, the other so tiny, the vet wondered if it had ever functioned. The prognosis didn’t look good, and at the least he’d have to go to a different hospital somewhere (they’d have to find one first) for investigation and surgery. Clearly, his prospects didn’t look good, so we think we made the only decision we could.

We did have some time with him in the end. When I leaned against him, with my arms around him, he calmed right down. We stayed like that for a while, and then called in the vet. We finally told the vet to go ahead. Charlie & I stayed like that till the end.

Charlie came to us in 2008, when he was about 2, and long after we had said “no more cats.” We had put down too many cats, and decided we were ready for a cat-free life at some point. But unlike other strays who had only wanted food, Charlie wanted a home. I said, repeatedly “No, we’d agreed before”. We figured we’d find someone to take him. One person did, but returned him a few days later (already had a cat). Two friends wanted to take him, but couldn’t because of where they were living at the time. So, he moved into 98 Mayfield, joining Lucy and Ethel. 

This was our most common position

Who would have guessed what we got ourselves into? What a great cat he was! Somehow he attached himself to me, and we became inseparable pals. From the morning, when I had my coffee and read the newspaper with Charlie on my chest, to summer evenings when the two of us hung out on the front porch, until bed time when I read a book, again with him on my chest. In between, he loved afternoon naps with Oksana, and depended on her for snacks.

He was also was great pals with Ethel who left us 4 years ago. (Our notice about Ethel’s passing here.) They loved their boxing matches. (Videos

He loved the outdoors so much that we were worried how he would adapt to our move. We took him here one day pre-move, and he was very upset, but once we moved in, he adapted really well to apartment living. A little puzzled at times, but he was pretty relaxed. He was curious looking at the downtown world from on high, and enjoyed me carrying him onto the balcony.

I have a lot of photos of him, but one of my favourites is one of the last I took. He and I are sitting in the same chair we sat together in at the house. He’s stretched out on my lap in the glow of the sunset. That’s how I remember him now. We are having the photo framed; it will be mounted beside “our” chair.


We have had 9 cats since we’ve been married, but for me Charlie was #1.


(And no, we will NOT be having any more cats.)




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