Charis joined our tribe in 2005. I was in North Florida, out in the country, at night, driving along a field, during a rainstorm… kind of the like the start to a scary story. My headlights caught this little white ball of fur on the side of the road. I quickly pulled over and walked up to this scared, soaking wet little white kitten. I bent down and put out my hand, expecting the kitten to get scared and run off, but to my surprise she literally jumped right up into my hands. So, I carried her back to my car and she bravely curled up behind the back of my neck, between my head and the car seat, and sat their and purred the entire way back to our apartment.
I was a church youth leader at that time, and Charis was named after the kids camp I was on my way back from visiting that fateful night that I found her. She is smart. Very smart. Scary smart. Like… escaped from a government laboratory smart.
While most cats have one or two noises they make when they meow, Charis has an entire range of sounds she makes. You’d swear she was making entire sentences in some foreign language.
We learned in her early years that she loves to play fetch. She will bring a ball or toy over to you, drop it off at your feet, and wait for you to throw it. When you do, she leaps into action with big crazy eyes, and chases down her prey, only to bring it back and drop it off again, waiting for you to throw one more time.
Charis loves to chew on things. One winter, she decided to climb up in our indoor tree and bite on one of the strings of lights – right on a crunchy lightbulb. Well, she got a mouthful full of crushed glass and the shock of her life. Nobody had noticed her slinking around and getting up into the tree, but almost everyone in the apartment building heard her when she bit down into the lightbulb! Thankfully, she was only scared and not injured.
You’d think that would have cured her chewing habits, but, no. She still loves to chew on things… toys, clothing, my fingers. Thankfully, when she’s chewing on my appendages she doesn’t do it too hard. Rarely does she break my skin, but rather, she usually just tenderizes me and leaves me covered in slobber.
I believe her chewing (and now licking) fetishes are a side effect of her medical issues. Charis was diagnosed with eosinophilic granuloma, otherwise known as feline rodent ulcers, which behaves a lot like very bad allergies or a facial cold. The ulcers form around her mouth, creating itchy, puffy lesions that (at their worst) calcify her skin, which then brings on a lot of drooling and rubbing. In addition, her sinuses are horrible (runny nose, snotty sneezes and watery eyes), causing her to lose a lot of her sense of smell. This is why I believe she makes up for the loss of smell by using her mouth to investigate things.
Thankfully, her condition is treatable, but at a pricey cost. Our vet prescribed feline Atopica for her – she gets a few drops every morning from a very small bottle that costs about $200 per ounce! But the price is totally worth it as the results are amazing – the swelling in her lips goes away and her drooling and sinus issues almost completely disappear. No more snot projectile sneezes – hooray!! I believe her sense of smell is still gone, but short of that her face looks (and feels) more like a regular cat’s face… and she is obviously not as miserable, which is what really matters.
And, like our other senior cats, Charis has had some bouts with feline arthritis. But, good ol’ Cosequin for Cats manages to solve those painful issues and allows Charis to run around and enjoy life, just like she did as an energetic kitten!
Charis is definitely a daddy’s girl. She gets along great with my wife and most other people, but she loves being with me (and absolutely adores her grammy… my wife’s mom). She loves me to hold her, and she loves sleeping on me. She is an incredible blessing to my life.
Cosequin for Cats
We have been using this supplement for our senior cats for years. It makes a major difference in their lives, alleviating many of the symptoms of feline arthritis and other joint issues.
When we adopted Abbie, a senior cat of at least 13 years, she could barely move about the house. After we started giving her a capsule of Cosequin at breakfast, and another at dinner, she was literally jumping up an down off the couch and pouncing around the house like a spring chicken!
We highly recommend this product for senior cats!