Indie and Charlie are our two darling cats. They’re just over 8 years old and had a rough start to life. They’ve been inseparable since birth and it just seems wrong to talk about one and not the other.
We’ve known Charlie and Indie since they were born. Two pregnant cats thought my friend’s backyard was a quiet and safe place to bear their children. They hid in the shrubs lining the back of her fence. My friend wasn’t sure what to do about these sweet babies. There were about 10 kittens plus the mothers and at the time she was a college student without a job. Plus since she was renting, she wasn’t allowed pets. Even if she could afford it, she also knew she wasn’t going to become the owner of 12 cats. After a few weeks, she spoke with her neighbour who had a friend who ran a no kill cat shelter. They came the next day to save the cats.
When my friend came home from school a few days later, she noticed they had missed two of the kittens! She did what she could to keep them fed and hydrated but knew she had to do something. This all happened right around the time my future husband and I were moving in to our first home, getting married a few days after that and then heading on our honeymoon. I was worried about the fate of the kittens but had so many other things going on in my own life.
The morning after we arrived back home from our honeymoon my husband said he was going to stop at the store to grab some laundry detergent. He was gone for over an hour. I was busy unpacking but started to get worried about what had happened to him when he came in the door, my friend with him, carrying a box with the two kittens inside!
After a trip to the vets they were given a clean bill of health, no fleas or illness or disease! They have very different markings, Indie is a male, short haired Tabby and Charlie is a female, long haired Calico but both have the exact same markings on their face and the same, beautiful big eyes.
Adjusting to Indoors
It took about a week for Charlie and Indie to become comfortable with us. Even now Indie hates being picked up. At first, they hid all of the time. We designated a room for them with lots of toys so they would feel more comfortable but it took a while before they started to play. Once we got them going though, they were little trouble makers! They loved pulling down our curtains in our bedroom and playing with them. We had them jumping four feet in the air to get their cat dancer, not to mention all of the time they spent stalking, chasing and pouncing on one another.
I have found though that even now, 7 years later, Indie runs when you open a door. He’s terrified of going outside. I think it just reminds him of being scared, hungry and alone. Charlie on the other hand, will follow me out but likes to just lay on the deck or walk around the back yard. Either way I don’t encourage them much to come out because I don’t want them to be outdoor cats.
It took a while for Indie to realize that he didn’t need to scarf down his meal in fear that it could be days before he’d eat again. Charlie has become a full out Princess. If you call her name or so much as look at her, she’s already purring. She loves to be pet and snuggled and sleeps curled up beside me on the bed. Indie’s getting there. He’s still very skittish and although he loves his chin rubbed, he has a hard time approaching us for a cuddle. He’s a big talker too! If you wake up a little too early in the morning you have to be so careful turning over, otherwise he’s in your face ‘meowing’ at you as if he’s asking ‘Are You Up?’.
Both Charlie and Indie have been fixed but we chose not to get them declawed. When we had problems with them scratching up the side of our couch, we put a scratching post in front of it and they directed their scratching to that. Once they got in the habit of using the post, we could move it wherever we wanted. I think declawing is convenient but an unnecessary surgery to put your cat through. It’s like you getting all of your nails ripped out!
Cats are so different from dogs. Everything is on their terms – when they want a good cuddle they’ll come to you! Someone told me this quote once, ‘Dogs have owners, Cats have staff’!