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About ten years ago, Dillsboro was overrun with stray cats. At the time, Leslie and I were active with our own non-profit group, S.M.A.R.T. (Smoky Mountain Animal Resource Team) We raised money to assist people with spaying/neutering of cats and dogs. We’re really proud that through our efforts, several hundred cats and dogs were altered who otherwise might not have been. Statistics have shown that in order for every stray cat and dog to have a home, every human would have to have 7 pets. Spay/neuter is absolutely the only humane way to control stray animal population.
I digress, this story is about the stray cats of Dillsboro and two in particular. One weekend we caught six cats in a humane trap. Two male adults, one young male cat, one female adult and two male kittens. We transported all six to the Humane Alliance in Asheville.
The female, “Wild Woman”, was too feral to be adopted out. She was crazy wild and dangerous to hold. She was released back into the streets of Dillsboro where she lived for a couple more years terrorizing squirrels and keeping field mice at bay. One male was sort of the ward of a shopkeeper, she continued to take care of him for many years. The two male kittens “Mango” and “Saffron” were sweet, friendly and gentle. As you can tell by their names they were orange and white, probably the offspring of the orange and white male and “Wild Woman”. We fostered them at our shop in Dillsboro and adopted them to a family from Winston-Salem.
Then there was Charlie..........
We think the remaining two were father and son. We kept them. “Charlie” Chaplin (pictured above) and his grey & white son, Little Monkey. For ten years they’ve lived in the guest house as happy as can be. Several years ago, Little Monkey developed a severe urinary tract blockage and infection. He almost died and had never been as robustly healthy as his father. A couple of years ago he also started having IBS, irritable bowel syndrome and has been on medication. It had gotten worse and we changed medication accordingly, thinking he was on the mend. Tragedy struck a week ago. I went into the guest house to feed and visit the boys, and found poor Monkey had died and Charlie was left alone, lonely and bewildered, as are we. Take IBS seriously, we never knew it was a disease that can result in death.
We were at odds as to what to do about Charlie. Obviously, he couldn't live at the guest house by himself. The few days he was there alone, he mourned and cried. His whole life had changed. Where was his life-long companion? What goes through our pets' minds when these things happen?
Our Lazerkitty had passed away at the end of the year, so we'd been cat-free in the main house for several months. She had an incredible cat condo to stay in while we were away from home, so we decided to try Charlie at the house...with the dogs. The first thing Charlie did was walk up to the Office Manager and nuzzle his face against hers. He then proceeded to do the same with the other three munchkins...Frosty, Sabrina and Zoe. He's actually the same weight, if not heavier than the three little dogs.
It's been an adjustment for all of us. Charlie is still lonely for Monkey and tells us this with his vast vocabulary of loud meowing. He's also still at loose ends, he's not sure yet that this is his home and if he belongs. Where's Monkey? And what the heck is a routine anyway? What do we mean that he can't be on the table, the counters, the chair? What are rules, meow, meow, meow.
Things are getting better. He slept through the night...no meowing once it was "lights out". He used the litter box. He alternates sitting behind me while I post his story with some restless pacing and you've got it...vocalizing. This will work out. Things don't get better overnight, we know this. He is sweet, affectionate and well-behaved...pretty much. Not destructive anyway. He's so different from Lazer. Lazer was older, more settled and ill towards the end of her life. Charlie is strong, buff, restless, athletic and still unsure of the turn his life has taken.
He does look at us like gods though and that's kind of nice on the ego. Gotta go, Charlie wants to talk.
Support low cost spay/neuter efforts! Obviously, Charlie’s been an Alley Cat and womanizer. Sure he had beautiful offspring, but if we hadn’t neutered him when we did, he could very well’ve been responsible for hundreds of additional cats. The math is overwhelming. Be part of the solution and stop the madness.
What job could possibly be better than bringing people together by sharing our common interests and learning new ones?
Here's my opportunity to introduce conversations and photos of the area I feel so passionate about...the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.
This is one way to give you some background about me and our MoonDancer Realty company to help you make an informed decision about hiring us as your next REALTOR. I hope you enjoy the content as much I enjoy sharing it.
I'm looking forward to reading your comments and hope to meet you soon.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.