Char Char, Charmander, Charleney-bob. These were my nicknames for my beautiful Charlene, named with the proper /ch/ as in Charlie, for she was named for her Charlie Chaplin moustache markings. My beautiful long-haired calico, a gifted kitty from Emily's friend Allie, way back in our Oakridge days. Nineteen years ago. Nineteen years, Miss Charlene, you graced my life, entertaining me with your shopping bag capes, your hide-and-seek games with kitty Kiara, your little paw poking around under the door, the way you came to me when I wiggled my fingers by my leg, nesting on my lap, keeping me company in the studio, and giving me what-for if I didn't pay enough attention to you. Deaf for the past two years, your meow got louder and more insistent, but still you were patient with me and my ways.
Charlene was not everybody's favorite kitty. She could be aggressive when she felt the need to protect herself. But she also provided a lot of loving comfort when needed. I wish she were here right now! But I guess the big move was too stressful for her poor old body, or she was missing her buddy Kiara too much and went to go play with her in the Great Beyond. And so she passed away last night, sweetly, quietly, still beautiful.
Thank you, Charlene, for blessing me with your presence and your companionship, and yes, your love. I love you, too, kitty girl.