Written and photographed by Mandy Freeman Photography
Chuck (previously known as “The Tiny”) boy was found in Blikkiesdorp – tossed away like rubbish in a bush. Just a little kitten, he was rescued by Tin Can Town, but when they discovered he wasn’t drinking, they took him to Paulette Bousfield at PlumPets Animal Shelter. He was diagnosed with a broken jaw and also had several other fractures over his body. That was five years ago.
I happened to meet him at PlumPets and immediately fell in love with this tiny black and white kitten. I’d been trying to get the attention of the most beautiful little girl in the cattery, but she wasn’t interested. Instead, this little guy saw me and made a beeline for my lap, where he curled up and went to sleep, purring. After spending time with him, I realised something was wrong with his mouth and started to ask questions.
I knew it might be a struggle for him to find his forever home because he was perfectly imperfect – but in my eyes, he was simply perfect. I couldn’t leave without him, and so I headed home to start negotiating with my husband as to why we needed a third cat – why we needed this boy, particularly! (Since then, we’ve added many more furbabies, and our family has grown!)
Needless to say, Chuck came home with us and grew into the most handsome and loving boy.
I remember he had a bit of a cold too, so there was a time when he was snotty-nosed and sneezing. Every time he sneezed on us, he’d cover us in snot. We loved him despite that!
Chuck fills our hearts (and home) with absolute joy and always reminds us that yes, life is hard, but it’s what you make of it. Every single day I look at him, our handsome boy with the biggest heart, and say a quiet thank you that someone picked him up and gave him a second chance. There’s not a mean bone in his body, and he’s been known to bring friends home (over the years, we’ve met a Miss Watson and Frodo, and even a few birds that were completely unharmed).
Although he struggles at times, he finds a way around his difference (we don’t use “disability”, because that’s such a negative word). We eventually found a rubber mat that stops his bowl from travelling – and he’s only broken one bowl (because we forgot to put his mat down and it travelled across the kitchen counter and onto the floor...). His tongue often hangs out of his mouth, but that, in my completely unbiased opinion, makes him the most handsome tuxedo boy out there.
Chuck has taught me so much about life and how it’s okay to be different.
You can follow his adventures on Instagram – chuckles_with_chuck
We also have a ginger girl, Harley, who also had a broken jaw. She joined us as a foster, but she never left. She and Chuck are inseparable. I have a very soft spot for the different ones. And, of course, there’s Freddie-three-legs; he was the latest baby to join our family in February 2019. Life is mad, but we love it!