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Adopting Charcoal

The starving street kitten who turned into a chubby stay-at-home cuddler

By Sabine Lucile ScottPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Charcoal, wearing a necklace and enjoying the view.

My parents run a business in another city and it has a backyard which is partially paved and partially overgrown with plants. My dad noticed a little black cat that came by a couple times and he gave her some milk and whatever treats that he could find. This kitty made a few visits over the course of a year. I had heard about her, but still hadn't met her yet. One day I was working on location and my dad was approached by the cat again. I went outside and walked slowly up to the kitty. She immediately took to me and I picked her up and held her. She was skin and bones, so hungry and lonely. She clearly didn't have a home and I think that she could tell that I loved to feed cats. I already had a cat at home. My first cat is a pretty black polydactyl cat that loves to roam the neighborhood all day and night. Her name is Millipede and I adopted her from the humane society where I got my childhood dog, who passed away several years ago. My grandmother gave me some cash for my birthday three years ago and I borrowed my mom's car and went to the humane society to look at cats. I got in a lot of trouble for bringing Millipede home, but by the time that I met Charcoal in the yard of my parent's business, Millipede was already a settled down outdoor cat, and fully accepted as a member of the family.

Charcoal, peeking over the top of the bookshelf.

I had a dream about running with a cat and that called itself Charcoal, and I already had a cat named Millipede, so I couldn't name her that. I secretly called Millipede "Charcoal" in my head, long before I met Charcoal. On the day that I adopted Charcoal, she was so thin and hungry, I skipped a bit of work and decided to take her home and feed her immediately. The kitten was very dirty, since she had been living on the street for a long time, probably sleeping in dumpsters. I took her home in my car and she seemed pretty content with my rescue effort and actually seemed to enjoy the ride in the car. I let Charcoal into my room and put Millipede in too, hoping that they would be able to get along. Unfortunately, they did not get along and spent some time yowling at one another and by the time I came back from work again, I found that they were both hiding from each other in opposite parts of my room.

Charcoal, avoiding the laundry mess by sitting in a box.

I let Millipede continue her outdoor lifestyle and continued to feed her either in the kitchen or outside on the porch. I gave Charcoal her first bath, which wasn't very satisfying because she still seemed pretty dirty even after I washed her. That was the moment when Charcoal and I had our first bonding moment of kitty mommy and kitty bonding. I was drying her with a towel, she was dripping wet and very unhappy and I was holding her like a baby all wrapped up in the towel. I really emphasized with her over being a lonely and abandoned street kitten and held her really close.

Me, drying Charcoal off after a bath.

Since that day when I wrapped my wet kitten in her towel and felt a huge oxytocin release just loving my little street kitten, Charcoal and I have been very close. She likes to sit on my laptop keyboard. She also like to sit on anything else that I interact with like books, notebooks and paints. Just the other day, she knocked my ceramic piggy bank off the my bookshelf, dumping tons of coins on the floor. I still haven't picked them all up, since some of them are under my bicycle and hard to reach. Charcoal loves to gently knock things off shelves, even pushing over a photo of my recently-deceased grandmother. She never wants to drink water, unless it's straight from the fishtank. She likes to perch on top of my beta's tank and dip her paw in through the feeding hole in the lid. I think she can smell the slight fish smell inside the tank and likes to taste the flavor. She sticks her paw in through the hole and then licks the fishy water off of her paw. I have noticed that on occasion, Charcoal will even pick up her cat food with her paw and eat it off her paw!

Charcoal, taking a minute to rest on some old National Geographics.

Charcoal keeps me company while I struggle with my homework and while I watch tv and while I sleep. Sometimes she lays on my stomach while I am napping and her weight pushes my hips down, helping to straighten my back over the course of the nap. She also tries to wake me up in the morning if her food dish has become empty. Her method of waking me up used to consist of sitting on top of me or next to me and then poking me in the torso really hard with her paw. It's surprisingly painful, she holds her paw muscles tight and jabs me pretty hard. I lectured her a ton about doing this, so she came up with a more painful method recently, which consists of just pushing all of the nails of her front paws deep into my body, which feels a lot like being stabbed by a cactus.


About the Creator

Sabine Lucile Scott

Hi! I am a twenty-nine year old college student at San Francisco State University majoring in Mathematics for Advanced Studies. I plan to continue onto graduate school in Mathematics once I am finished the plethora of courses which remain.

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