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What Love Can Do
This is a picture of Charlie looking very healthy after a year of lots of love and food. Charlie was rescued by Feline Cat Care Rescue Charity from a cat hoarder who had twenty other cats. Charlie had Feline calicivirus that was left untreated. Because of this, he had trouble eating, leaving him incredibly thin and emaciated. I took one look at him and adopted him. Although I had to wait two months before they would release him. Every Sunday I would spend time with Charlie getting to know him. Even though he was mistreated, he was a loving cat ready to trust again.
I looked forward to seeing my little Charlie or the bear as I called him. He would be meowing away with excitement. Charlie was in the intensive care unit at the charity to receive special intensive treatment to increase his weight. Charlie was given antibiotics to stabilize the Feline calicivirus symptoms. The virus had caused two large ulcers on his tongue, running nose, and ulcers on his eyes. This meant he had a blocked nose and could not breathe probably. Even with all of this, he was still purring and loved attention.
When I visited Charlie they would let him out of the cage for me to get to know him. Charlie was so thin that I described him as a bag of bones. His muscles had atrophied away. As he walked, his hind legs would slowly do the splits under him. This did not stop him moving around. Charlie would rest his legs until he could stand again. Each time he tried to walk his hind legs would give way again. Each week I saw him his hind legs were getting stronger. Unfortunately, his hind legs never regained their full strength back.
After two months, I was finally able to take him home, it was a long time coming. Charlie made himself at home straight away, with no regards to my other two cats, Hannah and Rozey. Rozey was the first cat to make friends with Charlie and he loved curling up to her. They would follow each other around everywhere. But Hannah, unfortunately, only tolerated him being around. It was kind of sad really, as she was only friendly with Rozey. The only problem I had with Charlie was his insistence to help himself to all three food bowls. This very much annoyed the two female cats, Hannah and Rozey. Hannah would growl and spit at him. In the end, I had to feed her up on the window sill as he couldn’t jump up. Rozey pushed him away by using her weight to do it, but it didn’t stop him trying.
Charlie slowly recovered with the help of strong antibiotics, food, and lots of love. However, the muscles on his rear legs had atrophied away. These muscles did not recover, leaving him with very weak hind legs. That didn’t stop him running around, although his legs would give way on him. Because he couldn’t jump on the furniture he used his front legs to climb up. The Feline calicivirus was kept stable with antibiotics. Charlie had to have what remained of his teeth extracted leaving him gummy. Having no teeth didn’t stop Charlie from eating as he loved his food. Charlie loved chasing the laser pen red dot. He would give me the stare to get the laser pen out. The laser pen was a way of exercising his hind limbs to try to make them stronger.
After a few years, Charlie was able to make small jumps onto the furniture. By strategically arranging the furniture, Charlie could reach the window sill. During feeding, Charlie would start meowing after every mouthful of food. This was so sweet I really miss this. Charlie lived with me for five years until advanced kidney disease set in. Sadly, he had to be put to sleep at the age of seventeen. I miss him terribly but know I gave him a great life. His life was filled with love for the five years I had him. It is particularly harder when you lose a special needs cat that you put your heart and soul into giving a happy, loving home. Hannah and Rozey have also gone over the rainbow bridge. I miss them all.
I do urge people not to overlook a special needs cat as they give so much joy. Having a life with a special needs cat is priceless. Charlie enriched my life for the better. I really miss you Charlie and thank you for being a part of my life for a little while. RIP Charlie.