This is a story about my friend Charity. She always has time to talk and she really listens. She is there when I feel defeated and full of despair. Sometimes we sit together without a word between us. Her all knowing eyes let me know that she understands and she cares. At this writing she is just 13, but that is kind of old for a cat.
Charity, in my office
When I first met Charity she had been born under my son Keith’s bed. She and her siblings was all tabby colored so they sort of looked like a shag rug on a bare pine floor. But we didn’t have a rug like that so I took a better look and realized my daughter was right. It was baby kittens. Their mom I had named Clarence after my brother-in-law.
Our Clarence was black with a few white marks under her neck. I never knew their father as Clarence was mostly an outdoor feline. Clarence was mostly my pet. Her namesake was terrified of her as per his strong superstition about black cats. If one darted out when I answered the door he would feverishly start licking his fingers and marking an invisible X on his forehead. Often spurting out his spit/slobber on who ever answered the door.
I was busy doing mom stuff most of the time. I unselfishly cared for my sick husband Darren. I spent a lot of time caring for my mentally ill son. I also made time helping and caring for my mom and step dad who were elderly. I also had a daughter (Ashley) who pretty much had to raise herself.
I spent time with her but looking back, I see where I made many wrong decisions where it concerned Keith. I foolishly let my husband govern what I did most of the time. Often after my son would have an outburst, even though it was time for me to spend time with my daughter, I listened to my husband and took my son for a ride! I should have left him. It was her time, and yet she watched helplessly as I took her brother. It seemed to her that he had been rewarded for his bad behavior. In actuality it was true, he was. I was breaking the tension for a little while for everyone but myself.
My daughter was drawn to the kittens as a child would be. She quickly made friends and named them all. There were two boys and three girls. Actually at first she thought one she named Hercules was a boy, it was a very tough, and a cunningly strong fighter. She later realized that it was a girl kitty and thus she was renamed Charity. Charity had two sisters; Harmony and Sheba. The two boys were the first we lost from the litter. Sheba was the one I picked as my favorite. She would let me hug her as she relaxed completely in my arm. I liked holding her as her head rested comfortably on my shoulder.
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