In Memory of Charlotte, one year later

Beautiful Charlotte

Below is the tribute I posted for Charlotte on Facebook, exactly one year ago, when our dear girl passed. At the time, I couldn’t bring myself to announce her death on this blog. But I’m quite sure she’d want her story told on here eventually as well, and I’m finally feeling ready to.

As I promised she would be back then, Charlotte is still “always in my heart and forever on my drawing table,” still showing up in my doodles for Dad here and there, sometimes with my departed mom, sometimes with Blackie, enjoying life on the other side, and occasionally butting her pink nose into domestic affairs back here as well. (I’ll post some of these one day, maybe even soon.)

In the days leading up to her passing last year, she spent countless hours parked on my drawing table, while I doodled New Years cards — I think about 80 in all — for friends and family, all featuring Her Eternal Loveliness in frolicsome poses. (I’ll post more of these one day, too, though a few can meanwhile be seen over on Instagram.)

Charlotte New Years 2016

Back then, I never imagined we would ever replace Charlotte, of course, and we haven’t. —Though a sweet little gray and white cat, Chloe, unexpectedly joined our family this past November, and has been carving out a new place for herself in our lives and our hearts — and occasionally in my cat doodles, too (though she’s still a bit shy, and reluctant to assume a speaking role). I had spied Chloe (then being called Stormy, in reference to the storm drain where she’d been spotted) at our vet’s office, when taking our boy Max (who’s alive and well and says hello!) in for some routine care. A client had brought her in, and our vet & staff was kindly providing her with love & care & room & board until she could be restored to good health and adopted out.

As well tended as she was, I could tell she was sad, and offered to foster her here at our home, to help speed her healing. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Sweet Chloe

Interestingly, after “the new girl” had been renamed Chloe by us, in response to a request she herself made on her first day here, via our go-to animal communicator, Kate Solisti, I remembered that back here in Doodleland, Charlotte had had a cousin named Chloe as well. So, perhaps this was all meant to be…or was Charlotte Approved, at any rate?

Without further digression…

In Memory of Charlotte 1999? – January 2016

In the end, the end came fairly suddenly, just 2 days after I first noticed changes in her eating and breathing patterns. But fortunately there was still ample time to do the important things: set up a same day appointment with her friends over at Barrington Animal Hospital and afterwards with Kate Solisti, our go-to & godsent animal communicator, to explain to Charlotte (and to us) what was going on, discuss options and timing. We also were able to set up an appointment with Dr. Michelle of Lap of Love, for in-home euthanasia the next morning (which was yesterday, and Charlotte’s own preference, versus leaving us any sooner).

Charlotte told us (through Kate) that she “was not afraid of going to the other side,” as she “had been there before,” and knew “there’s a lot of love waiting for me there.” She considered herself “a very lucky cat,” had enjoyed being here and having a body, but “knew bodies just wear out.” She said she loved us very much, and was very grateful for our love. She thanked us “for our patience about the food” — a reference to the 101 different brands and flavors that were opened and discarded partially eaten over the past year, in hopes of finding healthy choices she would like. She said she would come around to visit us after she left, “as Blackie has done.” — Which was news to me, though my beloved cat Blackie, who left us 2 years ago this very week, is often in mind. Charlotte also pledged she’d be with me whenever I made my cat doodles, as she always has been when she was here (whether just inside my head, or right next to or on top of the paper I was drawing on).

It was such a peaceful & gentle way to go in the end, which takes an enormous edge off the grieving process. We all miss her terribly already, of course — even our cat Max, whom Charlotte never really warmed up to (to state it mildly). But it was an exit exactly like Her Majesty wanted. She left on her own terms, knowing she was supported, utterly cherished and adored, both by those she left behind, and those waiting for her in the Light — which I suspect includes both my mom & Blackie, among others. Short of wishing our sweet animal companions could live with us in perfect health forever, what more could anyone wish for, really?

Rest in peace, dearest Charlotte: Always in my heart and forever on my drawing table. Thank you again, Kate, for being with us on every step of Charlotte’s journey these last several years. And thank you, friends, for all your kind interest in our girl (and my doodles of her). Much appreciated, by her and me both.

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Pink Pussy Hat Power

In solidarity with and appreciation of all those who marched yesterday, across the U.S. and across the globe. And here’s to the army of knitters who made pink pussy hats, not only for themselves but for complete strangers, to make a strong collective visual statement, while keeping noggins warm, via The Pussy Hat Project. We thank you and salute you!

pink pussy hat cartoon

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Charlotte, Femme Fatale

Our beautiful girl in the patio this afternoon.Charlotte, Femme Fatale
Waiting, waiting…but no takers, alas.

Just teasing, y’all. Rest assured, Charlotte only gets to go outside under strict supervision. We have a zero tolerance policy in place regarding nailing chippies, whom we also love.

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Happy New Year’s Eve

It’s just after 8 AM here, and 2 degrees. My studio is warm & cozy though, and Flora Mouse is here, keeping me company. Thinking ahead to January, its flower (carnation) and to good things in the coming year. Hopefully you are as well! (Happy Almost 2015!)Happy Almost January

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Envelope Doodles

Or, how to disguise the fact that you are giving family members cash/gift certificates for the holidays. (Actually, these are being given out by my dad, but he asked if I wouldn’t mind “dressing them up a bit.” Sure thing, Daddio!)

My brother-in-law’s love of postage stamps suggested the theme here. Remember these pretty love stamps? Chopped off a letter I sent to my folks from NYC many moons ago. (Though the ones Gary loves and collects are much older and more beautiful, I have a hunch.)

Card for Gary

This next one is for my sister…and a good opportunity for our cat Charlotte to remind her that it’s time to come down here for some quality girl time.

Card for Carol

Niece Hannah is a gifted cartographer, among (many) other things. Creative, smart, perceptive and kind. (Love you, sweet girl!)

Card for Hannah

Niece Rachel is at U of I studying aerospace engineering. Her aptitude for flying became evident while she was still at Hogwarts, playing Quidditch for Ravenclaw. Go, Rachel!

Card for Rachel

OK, envelope doodles done. Next up, 12 batches of microwave peanut brittle. Wish me luck? (Note: If you make this recipe, definitely read the reviews first and try a test batch. With more powerful microwaves the timing may be more like 6 minutes, then 1 minute + 20 seconds…Or so say my own trial-and-error notes from last year.)

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Back to the Vet

Back to the Vet

Charlotte loves Dr. Kirkwood and the other vets and staff at Barrington Animal Hospital…just wishes they could all meet up for lunch sometime, instead, off premises.

10 AM appointment today to check up on our girl. She’s got some chronic issues, alas, but is also on new meds and having a lot of good days. Hoping for a good report!

Meanwhile, many thanks to our friends at Barrington Animal Hospital for the warm welcome, great care & TLC we get every time we come through the door.

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Oklahoma Dreaming

for Martha and Chani

A Christmas wish for my Tulsa friend Martha — and real-life BHS buddy from a long time back — a few of her favorite things, with best regards!

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Gnome for the Holidays

Gnome Sweet Gnome

For a Facebook friend who likes mushrooms, big snowflakes and cello music. Happy Holidays, Lisa!

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Flight of the Elves

I Love Christmas

Inspired by an email exchange today with my BFF, who observed that I was likely mired in seasonal elf-work. Prompting me to reflect that the reason elves wear those pointy little shoes is so that they can’t run screaming into the night.

(Just kidding…I love Christmas!) 😉

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Dear Santa

Halloween’s over. It’s freezing outside. ’Tis the season…I guess!
Dear Santa

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