Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

A Quieting World


This is Charles Wallace.  He’s named after the little boy in "A Wrinkle in Time" and was one of a litter born to a stray cat behind a house in Orlando 13 or 14 years ago. When Jenn & I first adopted him, he whined incessantly, climbed almost to the ceiling on the window screens and would run into your ankles full-bore trying to escape the house when you came in the front door.

He got so crazy that we figured he was miserable, so we set him free.

His mother (We called her "Brian." Because she was a Stray Cat, that’s why.) dragged him back to the front porch and wouldn’t leave until we’d taken him back inside. She gave us a look that said, "Uh-uh. You touched him last."

Charles Wallace has also been known to go by Chaz Waz or Cheez Whiz or Chuck, or various nicknames implying that his mental capabilities made his actual moniker ironic.

As I said, we’ve had him more than a dozen years now. He’s a big guy – muscled, not chubby – and he’s getting up there, cat-wise, but he’s always kept his kittenish face, so even as he got larger and older, he still looked a lot like his small, younger self.

Until recently. He started acting funny. Not sick or anything, just … odd. Wouldn’t come to dinner, didn’t eat enthusiastically when we put food in front of him, had a kind of dazed look. Jenn started feeding him baby food by syringe, and he drank water normally, and didn’t seem to be in pain or anything when you petted him or picked him up. Never got angry the way he does when he’s nursing a sore leg from a rasslin’ match with one of the other cats, or when he’s just had enough of your shit and doesn’t want touched, thankyouverymuch.

Then we noticed his pupils were different sizes, and his left eye seemed strangely drooped. Vet time.
No sign of a stroke, they said, no feline leukemia (whew!).

He’s gone deaf. Or is going deaf – he seems to have some slight hearing left. On one hand, this is a relief, because other than that, he’s fine. He doesn’t go outside anymore anyway, and the other cats aren’t picking on him.

But almost overnight, he’s lost that kittenish face, and it’s strange and sad to see him walking through the house more slowly, knowing that his world is different than it was a week ago.

September 4, 2008 - Posted by | Ohio


  1. You know how much I love animals, so I totally understand how it can feel when a pet is not feeling as well as you would have hoped, and the feeling of helplessness when there is nothing you can do.
    Having just gone through the loss of our precious wonder-pup, I can only say this: savor your time with the little ones. You can get other pets, sure, but it’s never the same.
    All my best to Chuck, and I hope he remains in good health.

    Comment by Kink | September 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks, K. ChazWaz seems to at least be in better spirits – he’s on some medicine to get his appetite back, and he’s been eating on his own again, so that’s good.

    Comment by JohnRBooth | September 5, 2008 | Reply

  3. He seems really grumpy today, which I think is a good sign. I fed him some baby cereal and he hated it and fought hard, so he’s getting some attitude back.

    Comment by The Irish Car Bomb | September 6, 2008 | Reply

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