I was about 15 years old when my dad walked into the restaurant my parents owned at the time and placed this cat carrier on the bar. My dad was never the decision maker in our house - all major decisions were deferred to my mom. So, for him to have randomly decided to go to the humane society and look at cats all on his own was quite a weird occurrence. The little box opened and out wandered what was - and still is - one of the most handsome, adorable cats the world has ever seen - Charlie. His unusual markings and super soft fur made everyone just swoon that day...and on every other day someone new met him.
Charlie went down the same long, winding road as I did. He enjoyed the prosperous years my folks were in the food and beverage business. He was there when my mom was there one day and then, suddenly, didn't come back. He laid on the back of the sofa every day with my dad as he went through the ordeal of lung cancer and all that goes with it. Charlie surely noticed when Dad didn't come home, either. He was so resilient and strong through a move and coming into a new home that, ironically, ended up being my new home, too. We went through it all together. He was my constant companion and a wonderful sous chef.
We lost Charlie this past Wednesday - a growth in his tummy took control of his otherwise buoyant personality. We couldn't bear to see him suffer anymore so the decision was made to let him go. He was ready - he looked at me and I could tell - and he had a remarkable run. It's been a heart-wrenching time for me - I've lost the last member of the family I had...and it's tough. So please excuse the silence here as we move into this new year. I'm cooking, crying a bit and healing my wounds - all while trying to do it with the grace and pawsitude that Charlie had.