My mother-in-law has a cat called Charlie.  He is some kind of crazy long-haired white/brown/black kind of thing which means he manages to shed noticeably on both dark- and light-coloured clothing.  When my in-laws go away, we are usually asked to take care of Charlie to which I usually say “Oh, I’ll take care of him, alright.”

He didn’t start off named Charlie.  He was originally called something that sounded like Shadow but was not, but was hard to pronounce, so he became Shadow.  At some point, Rhonda read something about cats being more likely to come when called something ending in an ‘eee’ sound so he became “Charlie".  My take is that a cat is pretty unlikely to come when called anything at all  (He’s actually on my shoulder right now, watching as I type this so I had better watch what I say, particularly as he’s pretty close to eating my left ear).

For the first few weeks that he lived here, he lived in the downstairs bathroom and more specifically under the sink.  He wouldn’t come out when anybody was moving around and so, based on his location, colouration and habits, I called him ‘Toilet Brush’ for a while.  After he got over his fear of everything that moves, he started to put me in mind of Dwight from the American version of The Office (his face is sort of similarly shaped and he makes the same kinds of poor decisions).

There is a whole series of instructions that come along with taking care of the cat.  Cats evidently do not like pooping on the same pile of poop to which they have already contributed (weird, I know) so I need to scoop out his leavings.  In order to continue to live he needs some kind of nourishment so his food bowl must be replenished daily.  He is not allowed in the front room as he views the living room furniture as a collection of scratching posts so the doors must be firmly shut.  He apparently needs to have treats hidden around the house in order to keep himself entertained throughout the day.  My intent is to put the treats underneath my in-laws’ pillows.  This has two possible outcomes.  Either Dwight will make a little home of the under-pillow area OR they will come home and think that they have moved into a fancy hotel where there are mints on the pillows.  WHAT A SURPRISE THAT WILL BE.

watching for signs of life