It just annoyed me so much that Charlie takes more than three months to walk out of what was supposed to be a fungus infection and mange, which any of other cats will get over in two or three weeks.

It just baffles me so much that even after Charlie eventually walked out of his skin’s irritations (pun intended) there is still this one patch left on the base of his tail that stuck the peskiest presence.

And although I know Persians, especially locally bred Persians in Bandung, usually have nose problems (they are so easy to catch URI) and eye problems (they always have dirty eyes), it piques my curiosity so much because I happen to know the solution, yet, he just keeps coming back with new sneeze and new runny eyes, and new blocked stuffed nose, and the slightest of antibiotics will give him his nasty skin irritation back.

So, in a rare opportunity, when the donation reach a wee bit more than what we should cover, I asked for a blood test.

It returns nothing but a slightly odd blood count, though it crinkled my vet’s eyebrow enough, she asked for second test.

This time that rare opportunity wouldn’t come the second time, so we spend extra, above all other extras, and do the second blood test, a few weeks later.

And another a few weeks after that.

Meanwhile, as I keep trying to return Charlie to his best condition, once and for all, instead of his usual slippery health situation.

He grows back all his fur, he grows them as thick as the best rug in the world. They are not shiny, not glowing. They are not jet black, but black enough to obscure his ugly flat face I always love to pinch and kiss. Charlie is fluffy and jealous. He is chubby and possessive; he wears his pride and arrogance just as much as much as his playfulness, his quirks.

And above all else, his big heart.

He doesn’t like others to borrow the warmth and luxury of his coat, especially the kittens, and he doesn’t mind swatting them off a few feet away if they try. Of many things that I tolerate, he does not have my sympathy when he hurt others.

I do not expect him to change, still. That’s how Persian is, and so that’s how Charlie would be.

But in one of those rare days when he would never have me because there are others who gravely need my attention or die, he learned that lending himself to others, means a little bit less of loneliness as he lay there in longing.

So Charlie opens his heart, with several blushes, and find that kittens are not that bad. Kittens are not heavy and their game is not hard to play, compared to other adults. He can always win, and he loves winning, though he of course, share the joy he gets from playing with them through small, short term grooming.

When the last blood test result comes, from other lab, needing other bribes, and many lots of requests, that rough patch of fungus on the base of his tail had not heal. It’s still half bald.

But unlike that curious patch, the test convinced beyond doubt that Charlie had blood parasite.

It’s just that, due to the lack of technology we have, we’d never know which one; not fast enough.

Meanwhile, Charlie’s demon had come back to him, and he had started his game of thrones all over again. My guilt was that, I cannot be there for him fully, though I stand with him all the way. I have Big Sister and her own battle. I have sick kittens under pressure by the bad weather. I have been torn by the necessity to provide income, and at the same time, the obligation to stay online to keep our existence in the world wide web.

My pride is, when Charlie ended his race due to various complications with a resistant URI this morning, I know full well that he had run a good race; with all his might, with all his gut. He had raised from a neglected, then abandoned kitty mill stud, overrun with parasites, to a prince like any other, inside and out, that when he went back to see his creator, he wore all the dignity of a pure bred royalty. He had turned rags into riches.

Though ashes will come back to ashes, and dust to dust, Charlie was dust of dirt when he came to us, but dust of diamonds when he left us.

As I walk through the hill to send him off today, there is this yearning to fight that proud fight again, with the cats that come after him. There are these wishes, and surely effort, that all of our guardian angels from all over the world will continue to be our legion, so that the legacy of depravity that he had to endure should end, and his legacy of virtue may be passed on and be gloriously defended, with Charlie himself now wearing his deserving halo, at the helm of our holy battle.

~ Josie

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Josie And The Whiskers' Syndicate

The first and only cat refuge in Bandung (West Java - Indonesia) a capital breeder of a nation without animal welfare law. We care for Bandung's unwanted animals, operate a TNR as much as our budget allows, and continue to educate people about compassion to animals

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