Sunday, April 18, 2010

8 More Lives

CHICAGO – No one knows how a tabby cat named Charles traveled the 1,300 miles from his New Mexico home to Chicago, but he's set for a complimentary flight home on American Airlines in a carrier donated by an Albuquerque business.

Charles disappeared about eight months ago while his owner was out of town and a friend was caring for him.

"Oh, I was crushed, and I found out while I was away volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and I was so upset because I was in New Orleans so there was nothing I could do," said Robin Alex, of Albuquerque.

Then earlier this week, Alex received a call telling her Chicago Animal Care and Control had picked up her wandering cat as a stray. Staffers reached out to Alex after finding that Charles had a tracking microchip embedded between his shoulder blades, said the agency's executive director, Cherie Travis.

But Alex said she could not afford the round-trip ticket to Chicago to bring Charles home, so she was afraid he might be euthanized.

Enter fellow Albuquerque resident Lucien Sims. Sims said he has a tabby cat who strongly resembles Charles, and was moved when his mother sent him an online story about Alex and her pet.

Most importantly, Sims was on his way to Chicago on Thursday for a wedding, so he said he would go to the shelter, pick up Charles and bring him back to New Mexico.

Sims has made all the arrangements for Charles' return, including getting a company to donate a cat carrier and American Airlines to waive the cat's travel fee.

Travis said Charles is definitely ready for his next adventure.

"He's in good condition," she said. "He needs a good brushing. He's got a little bit of a cold — a little bit of an upper respiratory infection — but otherwise he's in great condition."

It does seem a bit strange that a cat would turn up 1,300 miles from home. I'm betting an alien (space type, not illegal) picked him up and dropped him off at their next stop. The odd thing to me is that the owner couldn't afford a plane ticket. Seriously.. I don't get that.

Some people seem to prefer dogs, or cats, but I'm the type that likes both.. although I think at this point I'm probably more allergic to cats than dogs. My dog allergy seems to be getting a bit better on it's own as long as I'm taking Zyrtec.

Reilly is doing really well, and growing like mad. He's also got those needle-like puppy teeth now. It's difficult getting him house broken, because the two other dogs are senior citizens and they just go whenever and wherever they want to. He definitely does not have good role models.

He seems to be developing a very good personality, and it's ridiculously cute how he plays with the dog toys. I could probably video him for a while.. edit it down to some Disney like movie, throw on some cute music, and get a million hits on youtube. I can tell already he's going to be a very cool dog as an adult.

Oh.. and never, ever, let a cat near an infant.. especially not alone. It is a proven fact that cats can suck the soul out of a baby, and will do so even just to amuse itself.

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