Sarabeth and Simon's legacy: Charlotte

Did the recent vet visit give her a clean bill of health?

She is feeling like she is going to stay here forever, I think.  We are coming up to the 6th month mark.  I sometimes think that cats, more than dogs, are wary about putting down roots. I had a house guest last weekend, and Charlotte was sociable and sweet, although a little reserved.  But she hung out with us in the evenings, but she was right by my side, or on my lap---staking a claim, I guess.

Today was the first day I ever heard her chatter at the birds.  She and Gracie still have a few things to work out. Charlotte can be pretty bratty, and as soft and patient as my dog is, I am afraid it will get them both in trouble one day.  Because of Sarabeth and Simon, Gracie knows to respect cats, but she also can tell when Charlotte is taking advantage of her good nature.

I hope Charlotte gets a clue about how far she can push Gracie without harm coming to her. But I'm glad she is settling down.  rolleyes 

One should never say never, but Gracie has such a stable temperament, it would be highly unusual if she were to do something to Charlotte (besides bark!) Nevertheless, I always monitor their interactions.  That is pretty easy since they both are usually where I am, and if I am not at home, Charlotte is behind a closed door.

 Yesterday, I was at a Community Garden Conference at Duke Farms.  I left at 7:45 am and got home a little after 5:00pm.  When I let Charlotte out of her room---she greeted me like a dog! jumping up, weaving around my feet----but I think she may have been hungry.

She sounds like a cat of great character. I love those.  rolleyes 

Charlotte and I celebrated our 6th month anniversary on the 17th (and Gracie celebrated, to a lesser degree.) She is doing very well.  She is becoming more silly and happy and is willing to play much more than she did originally.   I still separate her from Gracie when I go out, and I am  likely to continue to do that, although they continue to grow much closer than I ever expected I would see.  They will both nap within about 2 feet of each other now, both completely relaxed.  She is so affectionate with me, holds my hand as I fall asleep, and just like a true Maine Conn, she follows me around, like a puppy.  She is a VERY smart cat--- I clicker trained her to get down from the kitchen counter, and if she forgets herself every once in a while, all I have to say is "Charlotte, OFF!" boom, she hits the floor.  When I want her to go to her room. I ask her to go to her spot---she runs into her room and sits for a treat.  

I still miss Sarabeth and Simon, terribly, but Charlotte is a good cat to follow in their footsteps. I don't think she will tolerate another cat in the house, especially after her experience with Timmy.  I do miss having a pair of cats, but I have a feeling that Gracie and Charlotte will be my very last pets (and I hope that is not for a good while)

Here is a before and after of Charlotte.  The first was in the meeting room at PetSmart, and the second id her hogging my spot on the couch!

She is really looking good, enjoy!

What a beauty.  rolleyes 

Thanks, she is also looking much happier---when she first came home with me, I was calling her Grizabella because she was so sad---and had a long memory.  I hope those memories are fading and being replaced with new ones

the "before" photo does look very concerned. Poor girl. But she has landed on her feet now.  grin 

Baby steps---not sure they will ever be bosom buddies, but they are much more comfortable with one another.  I'd love to put cartoon bubbles over their heads!

Charlotte looks so content and clearly feels safe.  She is beautiful.  Gracie must be a very tolerant and patient dog.  Perhaps you can have a caption contest like the New Yorker!

EB--- my Gracie is an extraordinary dog---I feel confident saying that, because I have had very little  to do with it---she is just a beautiful soul with whom I am privileged to share my life. Charlotte, while she does still have a bit of an edge, is smart as a whip and very generous with her head butts and cuddles. They hang out together, but don't really interact much. 

Funny, when I posted this photo on Facebook, I wrote "Caption this!"  Have a go!

Okay, so where's the toy? 

ETA...adorable picture.

"I specifically requested catnip be included in this order. I see no catnip. We are not amused at the level of service in this establishment."

Charlotte is proving herself to be a fine successor to Sarabeth and Simon,embodying certain of the best qualities of each---with one exception. Charlotte seems to have a real affinity for Gracie---and Gracie loves her. Gracie loved her cats, but the feelings were not always returned. Simon always remained cautious around Gracie, and Sarabeth, while more tolerant , made it clear that she had her limits--- if she wanted to play, she initiated it, if she wanted to groom Gracie, it was at her pleasure. Charlotte will initiate play with Gracie, but, if Gracie asks nicely, Charlotte will play, most of the time.

Charlotte has really made herself at home (finally) she knows I am her mom, she listens, comes when she is called (mostly) and is very engaging. The scratching, hissing and biting is almost non-existent. She was good as gold when my vet tech friend came to the house to clip her nails. I admit to being shocked.

So, while she refused to wear a costume for Hallowe'en (I didn't even try---she has too much dignity for such frivolity) here she is doing a creditable impression of a spooky pumpkin patch!

Love this picture, so sweet!

Thanks, emmie! She really is quite a lovely cat, and while not a "Walmart Greeter" like Sarabeth, she is fairly sociable.

love how she's do obviously Holding Court in that pumpkin patch!!


Edited to correct spelling

In honor of Gracie's "Got'cha Day" I am posting her story, and my very favorite photo of her, the first time she ever saw snow. My puppy will be 10 at the end of January. She is healthy, and happy, but slowing down. Her hips are stiff, and while she will go down stairs, she will not go up (which can present problems) "The Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2007 was Gracie's "Got'cha" Day. I
think the actual date was November 24, but we always celebrate on this
day. I thought I would recount a little about how we came together. In
September 2007, my home was invaded early on a Saturday morning, as I
was taking a shower. The man was a stranger, a contractor I did not
employ, specifically because I got a creepy vibe from him. Without
going into all the gory details, I was not harmed physically (although I
still bear some emotional scars) Everyone who loves me said: "You had
better get an alarm system!" I said "The heck with that! I'm getting a
I hadn't had a dog in over 20 years, but I was dedicated to
Rescue. So it began: "The Great Dog Search of 2007." I had 2 cats, so I
knew that although I wanted a Shepherd mix, I had to find a very
special dog. I began pouring over Petfinder, contacting rescue groups (
GardenState GermanShepherd Rescue rejected me because I was "too old")
The Seeing Eye,and visiting shelters.
I was becoming very
disheartened. Then I remembered a page I bookmarked when, months
earlier, I read an article about a Cub Scout in Colorado,who was lost in
the mountains, and found by a Search & Rescue dog who was a Shiloh
Shepherd. I sort of pride myself on my dog breed knowledge, but I had
never heard of Shiloh Shepherds. I started researching, and among the
things I learned, was that Shiloh Shepherds and American King Shepherds
started out as one and the same breed, and then there was a schism.

When researching King Shepherds, my breath was taken away by a photo of
the most magnificent dog I had ever seen. His name was Kipling. I
clicked on the link under his name,and went to the breeder's page. They
could have been anywhere in the world, but they were in Matawan, New
Jersey (about 30 miles down the road)! I sent an e-mail, explaining my
situation, and asking if they had any retired show dogs, a special needs
dog, or an older puppy or young adult,who was returned to them. I
received a lovely e-mail from her breeder,telling me that theirs was a rare breed and it was a very close
community, their dogs were family. She also sent me a puppy application
for a future litter. I filled it out, but began to fret about how I
could raise a puppy with my schedule. So I sent it off on a Friday.
That Sunday, Ann called, and started the conversation with: "I believe
everything happens for a reason..." The pick of their January litter
was coming back to them. When I asked why, knowing her as I do now, she
tried very hard to retain a neutral tone when she said "One of her ears
doesn't stand up." I made arrangements to go to the specialty Club show
in Monmouth County, to get my hands on and see these dogs in action.
The puppy was supposed to show up so I could meet her---but the trainer
never showed. I went home having met Ann and Peter, Laura and John,
and some wonderful, gorgeous dogs! I was feeling a mixture of
anticipation and anxiety. What if he decided to keep the pup? Would I
have to start my search all over again?

At this point, she was 9 months old, and was kept in a groomer/training facility, not in the home
of the quasi- famous actor who bought her. After the initial call from
Ann, there was some ambivalence on the part of the actor about whether
or not he was going to keep her. My friends were cautioning me not to
put all my eggs in one basket, as it were. But I was convinced that this
dog was meant to be mine. Over the 7 weeks (which felt like an
eternity) I stayed in constant touch with Ann and Laura. Finally, at
the end of November,after the puppy had gone back to Ann and Peter, and
her ear was standing on its own, I got the call I was dreading. "Bella"
as she was then known, was going back to Long Island. Even after I knew
this, I had dreams about a dark Shepherd walking by my side
I knew in my heart that she was MY dog, so, as disappointed as I was, I
was not devastated. Then, Ann called on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
She asked if I was still interested in the puppy, because they were
going to get her. I burst into tears, but managed to croak out a "YES!"

When I calmed down sufficiently to form coherent sentences, I said, "I
have never even asked what she looks like"--my dream dog had a dark face
and a classic Long Haired Shepherd coat. Ann didn't know this. She said
"Well, she looks a lot like her Grand-Sire Kipling." That magnificent
dog, Gracie's grandfather,was the dog who started it all.

my favorite Gracie shot. rolleyes

rolleyes Finally got a chance to read Gracie's story. Everything does happen for a reason.

In order to add a comment – you must Join this community – Click here to do so.