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Large as life and twice as nice

Lightning may not strike in the same place twice, but Charlotte is no electric current, and this sweet cat found herself at the Dumb Friends League Leslie A. Malone Center on two occasions.

In 2009, Charlotte, who was a kitten at the time, was left in the League’s night kennels. (Night kennels are available if someone finds a lost animal after hours and needs a safe place to take them.) The tiny ball of fur was at the League for just a few days before she was adopted, and, from all accounts, she lived happily with her family.

Fast forward 10 years, when Charlotte made an encore appearance at the shelter.

Charlotte’s human faced medical issues that left her unable to care for the 10-year-old calico, but during the intake process, staff learned quite a bit about the feline. The patron said Charlotte would do best in a quiet home and that while she was loving and affectionate, it took time for her to warm up to people. The adorable kitty had never been around kids, but she lived with a small dog that she tolerated. We learned Charlotte was litter box trained and showed no destructive or escape-like tendencies.

During Charlotte’s evaluation, we found out she was declawed and had severe dental disease along with a skin condition. The affectionate kitty was also on the full side (and that’s the kind way of saying she was obese). To address Charlotte’s medical needs, make her more comfortable and get her ready for adoption, several of her teeth were removed, and her diet was changed to address her weight and underlying allergy, which caused her skin issues.

When the cat who loved chin scratches, soft beds and sweet talk was ready, it didn’t take long for her to find her new home and family.

Margaret and her husband supported the League financially, and over breakfast one morning, the couple talked about adopting a kitten. The conversation was more general, but since Margaret happened to be in the area that day, she decided to stop by and see the kitties.

Charlotte was curled up into a tight ball in one of the shelter’s get-acquainted rooms when Margaret came across her. When Margaret pet her, Charlotte began to purr and then peeked one beautiful green eye out from under her paw, and that was all it took. Margaret was smitten, and Charlotte had a new family.

As expected with any pet and a new environment, Charlotte hid for a few hours, and Margaret patiently waited for her to feel comfortable and approach her. “When Charlotte did come to me, she hesitantly sat on my lap,” recalled Margaret. “As I stroked her fur and scratched her head, she turned around and wrapped her paws around my neck and tucked her head under my chin. I’m fairly certain she was saying, ‘I’m scared, but it’s been so long since I’ve cuddled. I trust you. Thank you.’”

Charlotte also had to learn to share a home with her two new canine brothers—or they had to learn to live with Charlotte, depending on how you look at it.

“The reason we initially wanted a kitten was because of Abe, our clumsy and loud Labrador/hound mix,” said Margaret. “We thought that a kitten would adjust better. Honestly, we weren’t sure if Abe would be good with cats, and I think there’s something to be said for experience. It dawned on me that maybe an adult cat with experience with dogs would know better than to run and start a game of chase.” Ginger, a Chihuahua mix, completes the household, and Margaret took time introducing the trio, which was just the right approach. “It took about a month before we were comfortable leaving Charlotte alone in the house with Abe,” said Margaret. “It took another month before Charlotte chose to be in the same room with Abe. Today, Charlotte and Abe are almost friends. Almost. Ginger and Charlotte compete for comfortable resources and stare each other down while sharing the same blanket, but mostly decide to leave each other alone.”

Previously, Margaret worked for a veterinarian diagnostic company and knew about pet allergies and the care Charlotte needed to thrive. At almost exactly six months, Charlotte’s veterinarian and new humans determined the right food, medication and schedule for the sweet kitty, and not only has Charlotte’s skin condition improved, but she’s also less anxious, and she’s lost five pounds! The affectionate cat is making progress on the road to being healthier.

Charlotte’s internal clock chimes for playtime at 9:00 p.m., and in case Margaret and her husband forget, Charlotte is there to remind the couple. Margaret knows that exercise is an excellent anxiety reducer and bonding opportunity. “Once we started regularly playing with Charlotte, she eased up on the excessive self-grooming and stopped howling and climbing on top of us in the middle of the night,” said Margaret. “Charlotte most definitely needed exercise as she was obese when we adopted her. Turns out she’s a very athletic cat. No one believes that she’s 10 when they see her flying across the room chasing after a plush mouse.”

It’s good to be Charlotte, surrounded by love, toys, beds, cat condos and a cat patio coming this spring. While this kitty has her humans wrapped around her cute little paw, her favorite place is nestled into a lap, and she’s not necessarily particular about whose lap. “If you’re sitting, she’s on your lap,” said Margaret. “I occasionally work from home, and Charlotte was all up in my business while I was trying to work. I decided to put a blanket behind the books on the bookshelf next to my desk. She loved it and now ominously stares down at me while I work. Occasionally reminding me that she’s watching with a little meow. Such a slave driver.”

Margaret shared the adopters should have patience with their new pets and take time letting them adjust. “They need time to trust you and adjust to your lifestyle,” said Margaret. “My husband and I can’t imagine our lives without Charlotte, and we are so happy that we found her.”

Visit our adoptions page or call 303.751.5772 to find pets in need of loving homes. All adoptions include spay or neuter surgeries, age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip ID, 30 days of pet insurance and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian.

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