Charlie MC passed away peacefully at Blue Bell on February 3 after a long fight with cancer.
Charlie came to the Blue Bell with Tigger in June 2006 after their owner passed away. We had two other Charlies at the time, so to differentiate, I started calling him Charlie Maine Coon, which was soon shortened to Charlie MC.
They started out in a Lower House enclosure and after they settled in for a month or so, we moved them to the Upper House. Charlie was always the more outgoing of the two - openly asking for affection from humans but hissing at any cat who might try and share your attention.
In March of last year I felt a small lump along his jawline. Dr. Alcala examined him and scheduled surgery right away as she thought it was cancer. The biopsy showed that it was in fact a very aggressive form of cancer and had metastasized. We did not know how long he would have, but Charlie was not ready to go anywhere anytime soon.
He had his good days and bad, but mostly they were good..... following me around the patio at feeding time,Charlie and buddy, Tigger snuggling on my chest with his arm hooked over my shoulder while I relaxed at the front patio table and begging for pieces of lunch meat and melted cheese from my lunch. He looooooved catnip but would not like the little piles I would sprinkle around the patio, oh no... he would stick his entire face in the catnip jar and eat right out of there. He also loved it when you would sing to him.
Although he never exhibited any signs he was in pain, the cancer was visibly spreading and his body could no longer fight the infection, so we decided it was time to let him be at peace.
His last day was a beautiful one with lots of sunshine. After work I went to visit him. He ate a half jar of baby food, wandered around the patios and enjoyed a last swig of catnip out of the jar. He even walked over to Tigger and headbutted him and they sat together on a catnip covered piece of carpet on the patio. Then he settled into his favorite blanket-lined fruit bowl on the middle patio table. He stayed there until Dr. Alcala arrived and we brought him inside and placed him on the window ledge, still in his fruit bowl. Donna came to kiss him good bye. Dr. Alcala kneeled in front of him, Sarah stroked his fur and he rested his head in my heads and looked into my eyes as if to say "thank you - it's ok, don't worry, I'll be fine."
One of the volunteers said she pictures him chasing rainbows now, and that vision gives me great comfort as I am sure he is doing just that - with an occasional hiss at the other cats.
Charlie Maine, I miss you so much and I can't wait to see you again one day! I'll be sure and bring the catnip jar!