A Buckeye with a cat on his head

I was puttering around this morning, thinking of our new friend from Ohio, Charlie, and how it might be fun to start a drinking club here for Ohio expats. This may come as a surprise to our Seattle friends, who don’t even know about our Ohio roots. But as one astute friend said, growing up in Columbus, Ohio inspires long-distance travel.

Just then, Barry came back to the boat with a piece of nicely-shaped teak in his hand. He’d been over at Charlie’s trailer, using the bandsaw to shape a new piece of toe rail.

“Remember the cat that was hanging around Charlie’s trailer last night?” he asked. “She had kittens … on Charlie’s bed.” I grabbed the camera and headed over to see.

Charlie, with his trailer, truck, and boat

Charlie, with his trailer, truck, and boat

Charlie showed up last weekend to do some work on his boat, and everything about his rig — truck and trailer — shouted “BUCKEYE!” There were the Ohio license plates, the Columbus address on his trailer, and the bright red folding chairs with “Ohio State” stenciled on them in white 4-inch letters.

Barry and I, on the other hand, own two Ohio State t-shirts that we only use for painting and epoxy work, because we’re embarrassed by them. No other OSU paraphernalia — we’re very reluctant alumni. Sure, it’s a good school, but some people take the team spirit thing too far. When I lived in Columbus, I worked with a woman who dressed in scarlet and gray on Fridays during football season. I remember that this included a jumper with one gray knee sock and one scarlet one, an OSU sweatshirt, and a giant necklace made of buckeyes. And she hadn’t even gone to Ohio State, nor did she have football tickets!

Despite my reluctance to advertise my Buckeye affiliation, I had to get to know Charlie. We spent a couple of evenings hanging out around his trailer and talking, and discovered that he’s really interesting, and easy to talk to. He’s got a gigantic steel boat that’s trying to rust faster than he can get it in the water. The boat was such a mess, he’d been sleeping in the trailer. But he’s gotten the boat cleaned up, and last night, he said that would be his last one sleeping in the trailer — he was planning to sleep in the boat tonight.

Flutterby's feral cats

Flutterby's feral cats

Charlie has a really central location, right by the Travelift. The first time we’d hung out at his trailer, there had been a strange, friendly dog hanging around. Last night, when we stopped to talk, it was a cat, instead. She was orange and white and incredibly thin. She was very snuggly, rubbing against our legs and pushing her head on our hands to be petted. Charlie fed her some tuna, and she followed us back to our boat and we gave her cat food. But Flutterby’s two feral cats made her unwelcome, and there was a bit of yowling and cat-fighting under the boat last night. When I got up this morning, she wasn’t around.

After Barry’s announcement, I found Charlie standing outside his trailer, smoking a cigarette and looking a bit dazed. “I’m a Daddy!” he said.

During the night, the little cat had come into his trailer and climbed up on his head. Charlie likes cats, and has a couple of them at home. But he wasn’t going to have this strange cat sleeping on his head. So he moved her down to his feet and went back to sleep. When he woke, she was still at his feet, nursing two tiny kittens.

Charlie’s got a bit of a dilemma — he and his trailer, and the kittens’ bed, are going back to Ohio next week. In the meantime, he’s going to be sleeping on the boat and wondering what to do with three cats that he didn’t have yesterday.

Tiny cat with tinier kittens

Tiny cat with tinier kittens

The kittens that were born on Charlie's bed

The kittens that were born on Charlie's bed

5 thoughts on “A Buckeye with a cat on his head

  1. Meps and Barry,

    You may find that Momma cat has her own ideas of where to live and raise her kittens. This may be a non issue if Momma cat takes said kittens and hides them. It sounds like Momma cat was someone’s pet who got preggers and was cast out by her human. Cats are not normally cuddly if they have not had friendly humans to associate with. We are all ready overly catted or I would offer to take them. Since Charlie is heading back to where Maggie and I are that would have been a workable solution. It is not as if Charlie would have been transporting young gulls across state lines for immortal porpoises.

    That last was a punch line of a bad joke I recalled.

    Best wishes in your feline and human matchmaking ventures.

    Dave Z.

  2. Okay you really know how to cheer up a hospital prisoner. Yes, I got a staph infection and my pacemaker and wires all had to come out and now I’m being pumped full of antibiotics. Went in the hospital May 28th and won’t get out until July 20 or so. The staph is being persistant and the temporary pacemaker is on my neck, it’s tenuous so I cna’t leave. THanks for all the great missives. They keep me entertained.


  3. Thank you so much for giving me an update on my husband and our new family. All I had to say was that they were adorable and he said No you cann’t keep them. He knows me too well. Hope to meet all of you some day soon. Charlie’s other half or as he puts it is bitter half. :)

  4. Cute website and blog. I’m famous! Kind’a. The Tail ot Two Kitties continues. Mom has moved one (1) of the kittens to an undisclosed location. (Dick Cheney may still be there) I have been watching her to see if she picks up and moves Kitty2 so can follow Mom to find Kitty1. It will be hard to to adopt out and or get fixed if I can’t find them. As I wait and watch; Mom just lays next to me watching me. Sadly, the work on the boat must continue. Maybe If I try watch from the boat, the move of Kitty2 will happen. I’ll keep you posted. Now I am in search of Kitty1 and my volt meter, both missing! Keep your fingers crossed.

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