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Ever since I can remember as a child, I had a love for animals. My mother never seemed to show her frustration when I would bring home a newly wounded bird or a tiny squirrel who had fallen from their nest. Sometimes I would revive life back into them and send them reluctantly on their way, and other times Mother Nature would run her course and take that small life from me. It seemed I could never hold back the tears in either instance.
I remember once the pigeon I found, that was many years ago and I don't recall what damage was done to the bird and why it needed care, but this one stuck around for a while. More than the average wild creature, or so it seemed to me at the time. I eventually made it a small perch from a couple of sticks in the yard and mounted them T Shaped onto a small platform, probably plywood or something. The pigeon would actually sit on his perch on our front porch and watch the neighborhood kids play football in the front yard or play hide and seek.

Finally one day out of the blue (after a few weeks) he finally took flight and flew across the street and landed on top of one of one of the electrical wires strung between the power poles. He stayed there for quite some time and all my coaxing did little to sway him to join me again on his homemade throne. I tried everything I could (I didn't speak pigeon at the time and don't think I have mastered it to this day) but to my dismay, he flew away, after everything I did! I was devastated. Mom had to soothe my broken heart, she always had a way of making me feel better when my stray animals either decided they were healthy enough to fend for themselves or they went to Animal Heaven( I believe there is such a place).
One time I found an entire litter of kittens(7 ,or so I remember that number for some reason) abandoned in a field and they were all of 1-2 days old. I scoured the field in search of mother but never found her. In my youth I could never understand why a mother would abandon her young in such a manner.
I ran to the Tasty Freeze that sat in front of the field and the owner gave me a small box to place the kittens into. I gently picked up each of them and placed them in the box. I remember walking really fast to get home so I could show Mom my new found treasure! I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out what she was thinking when I arrived with an enthusiastic "Look what I found, Mom!"
At just a few days old, and just by the sheer number of them, they were going to need more care than the average impaired creature. I think Mom always kept a spare syringe or two around and possibly a baby bottle to help with the feedings. And they needed a lot of feedings.
I recall at least one or maybe a couple of these poor kittens didn't make it past the first few nights, But the ones that did were becoming stronger by the day. We watched as their eyes opened and got their first glimpse of the world.
Weeks passed and it was time to give away the kittens, we had no problem finding good homes for most of them. But we kept 1, and why wouldn't we? We named him Charlie.
Charlie didn't have the first idea of what it meant to be a cat. The only "cat presence" in his life were his siblings since his natural mother had abandoned him. I certainly didn't have any cat lifestyle influence myself.
Since our family had a love of animals, we always had dogs. And of course, the dogs grew to love Charlie and Charlie grew to love the dogs. As it turns out , Charlie accepted the fact that he himself, was a dog. He didn't realize he was lowering his standards to become a dog, he didn't have any barometer , or rule of measure nor did he realize he was breaking the cat code of ethics, being a dog seemed as normal as it got.
Charlie turned out to be a nice addition to the family. He did the usual dog tricks just like the other dogs, (surely he didn't want to feel out of place and be dog shunned). He also played out in the yard with the kids, you know, the kind of playing a dog and his boy do, he wanted to be right in the mix of things.
One day Charlie developed a lump on his head, it was a small lump to begin with but grew larger and larger over the course of a few months and with an examination by our family veterinarian, it was diagnosed that Charlie had a brain tumor. We soon discovered that a few of the other kittens (the ones we knew of) had produced a strikingly similar lump.
Charlie eventually passed away due to the brain tumor as did the rest of the litter, and I finally realized why their mother had abandoned them. Although they were but just a day or two old, she knew there was something wrong with her offspring. Animals have that instinct about them.
When I visit Mom now, I don't bring stray or wounded animals with me but we still reminisce about Charlie every once in awhile. I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart, "Charlie the cat was an amazing dog"
 

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Oh my, I nearly missed this story.
I am so glad to have revisited it, and read it closely. It made for a wonderful lunchbreak read, very well told. I wish I could see Charlie the cat just being dog. That is really sweet.
One of my cats fetches like a dog, but he taught himself that (as in, he realized that if he brings me a toy and drops it near me, I will throw it, and chasing thrown toys is fun, so he brings it back).
Thanks for the really good read.
What sort of things did Charlie do that seemed 'just like a dog'?
 
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