Charley Girl having some major DOG vibes at the vet's office | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl having some major DOG vibes at the vet's office | Jane Boursaw Photo
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(The continuing adventures of Charley, the little black cat that Tim sent me the day after he passed. Read all about her shenanigans here. -jb)

This week involved a trip to Oakwood Veterinary Hospital for my little black cat. If you’ve been following along with the story of Charley since Tim sent her to me after he passed in 2022, you know that any and all trips to the vet are traumatic for everyone involved. This time was no different.

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First of all, she’s fine. Earlier this year, we were at the vet’s office getting her yearly check-up and shots. All good.

But here’s the thing. Charley is an indoor cat. And she’s always been fine with that, especially since she spent the first months of her life fending for herself out by the lighthouse.

Last year, however, she somehow managed to escape to the Great Outdoors – not once, but twice. It’s not like she’s always waiting at the door looking for any opportunity to take a walk-about. Then I might have to re-think my indoor-cat strategy.

But the fact of the matter is that she DID get outside twice (I haven’t written about it yet – still too traumatized – but here’s a teaser: “The meowing is coming from inside the wood pile!”).

And along with all the usual suspects lurking around outside – coyotes and raccoons and eagles, oh my! – there are also neighborhood cats out there. And by neighborhood cats, I mean the well-fed and neutered Daddy Spot, his wife Midnight, and their kids.

Daddy Spot, in particular, likes to wander up to the house and stare at Charley through the window. What started as a contentious relationship between the two has softened into a sort-of friendship. In fact, he was just there a few minutes ago meowing for her, and she went over and they did their usual “stare at each other” through the window thing.

Charley, having a stare-down with the local neighborhood cat, Daddy Spot | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley, having a stare-down with the local neighborhood cat, Daddy Spot | Jane Boursaw Photo

Sometimes, she gets a little playful, at which point Daddy Spot just sits there and stares at her and then at me.

Charley, having a fit over the local neighborhood cat, Daddy Spot | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley, having a fit over the local neighborhood cat, Daddy Spot | Jane Boursaw Photo

All of this is why I decided that even though Charley is an indoor cat (so far), I would go ahead and have the Oakwood docs give her the vaccinations for feline leukemia, which I’ve heard is somewhat common among strays and outdoor cats. This week was her second booster shot for that, so we’re good for a while.

My son, Will, and I have (what we thought was) an airtight strategy for getting her into her cat carrier. He picks her up — which he does throughout the year to get her used to it — and brings her over to the carrier, where I quickly open the lid and we pop her inside and close the lid. This time, however, my timing was off on the lid. She kept popping her head out and the more we tried to pop it back inside, the worse things got.

Anyway, it took a few tries and a Benny Hill-like chase upstairs to get her safely secured into the carrier. (Hat-tip to my pals Joe Beyer and Beth Milligan for the Benny Hill reference). Will also suffered a bit of collateral damage, requiring a trip to the pharmacy to stock up on Neosporin and Hydrogen Peroxide.

I had sprayed a little of the cat pheromone inside the carrier, but she was still pretty vocal all the way to town. To make matters worse, there was a big DOG in the waiting area at the vet’s. She really enjoyed that.

Charley Girl having some major DOG vibes at the vet's office | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl having some major DOG concerns at the vet’s office | Jane Boursaw Photo

It took about two minutes for them to give her the shot, then we were back in the car and away from that DOG. Back home, she went upstairs for a couple minutes, then came back down and was fine.

Update on the wheatgrass, food and throwing-up situation: I continue to buy fresh wheatgrass for her at Oryana West (they don’t seem to have it as often at the main store), and she likes chomping on that. Between that and feeding her Hill’s Science Diet food (Indoor, Adult, 1-6), her throwing-up thing seems to have resolved itself for now, thank goodness.

In other news, remember a couple years ago when she had that stare-down with the Flicker who kept pecking at the window all the live long day? Here’s a reminder.

Charley faces off with a Flicker through the window | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley faces off with a Flicker through the window | Jane Boursaw Photo

Well, I don’t know if it’s that same bird or a different one, but a Flicker has been pecking at the woodstove chimney on the roof, causing Charley to lose her mind. She can hear it — we all can — but she doesn’t know what it is and can’t get at it.

Flicker pecking at Jane's woodstove chimney | Jane Boursaw Photo
Flicker pecking at Jane’s woodstove chimney | Jane Boursaw Photo

Anyway, the Flicker seems to have calmed down, so hopefully he’s gotten that knock-knock-knocking on Heaven’s door out of his system. And Charley doesn’t seem the worse for wear.

Charley Girl | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl | Jane Boursaw Photo

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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