My roommate and I were living in an apartment complex that allowed pets. Unfortunately, many people moved away and left their cats behind to fend for themselves. I began feeding the strays.
My little boy kitten so wanted to make friends with the strays but most were not friendly towards him. One day I heard this black and white cat just meowing and crying. That is how I came to refer to it as Chatty. I didn’t know if it was male or female.
I noticed the other strays were not very nice to Chatty. Chatty had a lot of scratches and looked like he was the loser in a number of cat fights. Chatty was receptive to my kitten’s attention. Chatty even allowed me to pet it. Eventually, I was able to see that Chatty was a male.
One day there was a party across the court yard and I heard the people commenting on the noisy cat, Chatty. I grew concerned that somebody would do something mean to him because of his crying. I left my apartment door open and Chatty (who I had begun calling Charley since I knew he was a him) would walk in, but as soon as I moved he would run away. Finally, I got the door closed. He was extremely upset and scared. My kitten showed him a good hiding place – under my bed.
After hiding there and being fed under the bed for a couple of weeks, I moved the food on to the dresser. He would sneak out to eat but remained under the bed. Then, one day I saw him getting down from the bed as I entered my room. It was long after that he began sleeping with me.
I already had two cats and a dog and was not looking to take in another cat. I contacted all of the local rescues, but they were all full. I placed an ad on Craigslist (I know, I know that was very dangerous). A young woman answered my ad. I went to visit and check out the home. She was very animal friendly, so I brought Charley to her. I told her if there were any problems to contact me and I would take him back.
After a couple of months I texted her to see how he was doing. She said he hadn’t moved from under her bed except to eat late at night. She asked me to take him back as he seemed just too scared. I went back and got him, fully intending to take him to the local humane society. He HID and was nowhere to be found. By the time he was found, caught and in the carrier, it was after 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday. I thought it was too late to get him to the humane society and assumed it would be closed on Sunday. I promised my roommate I would take him on Monday.
I worked odd hours and would nap during the day. When I woke up, Charley was laying in my arm looking as calm as I had ever seen him. My roommate came in to wake me up and saw this. She just laughed and said, “You know that cat’s not going anywhere.” I was crying and said, “So, it’s okay if I keep him.” She just laughed at me. She KNEW it would break my heart to give him up again.
Over time I began calling him Charley Beans because he had the stinkiest farts and poops. With regular, good food, that has greatly improved, but the name stuck.
I really tried to find a home for Charley Beans, but he decided he liked mine. I’ve had him now for six years. He’s come a long way from that scared cat. He is just the biggest lover boy, who enjoys my hugs and kisses on the head. It took months just to get him to leave my bedroom. It’s still his favorite room but he roams throughout the house and even comes out to love on my roommate occasionally.
The “kitten” now bullies Charley. My girl cat and Charley are friendly. Sometimes he’s a little too friendly. It’s not always smooth sailing but I’ve never regretted my first rescue and foster fail.
Story submitted by Jenny from Dupont, Washington.
Charley Beans’ story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!
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