They were found abandoned in a sealed box at a campsite when they were just a few days old, together with their three siblings. As the hot weather increased, the tiny newborn kittens had no way to get away from it. Thankfully, they were discovered before it was too late by a woman who brought them to a local foster home after finding no sign of their mother.
After being bottle-fed 24 hours a day, the kittens eventually began to develop and gain strength, despite a difficult start in life. Each child was placed with a permanent family as soon as they were old enough – except for Charlie.
Seeing that no one was interested in adopting Charlie, the foster mother asked her daughter if she wanted to adopt him. In response to his proposal of marriage, she accepted and they have been together ever since.
According to Charlie’s mother Chandler Alteri, Charlie is the most loving, trustworthy and affectionate cat she’s ever met. Whenever I arrive home from work, he runs to the door and waits for me to take him up and give him a big hug. Being hugged and cuddled is one of his favorite pastimes. When it comes to children, pets and strangers, he’s the best.”
Just like her mother, Alteri made the decision to foster a child since it was something she’d always wanted to do. Her first foster kittens were Bitsy and Jitterbug, which she obtained from the ASPCA. She kept the kittens in the bathroom at first since she wasn’t sure how Charlie would respond to their sharing his home. It turned out, however, that she had nothing to be concerned about.
They were desperate to see him,” Alteri stated. “As soon as I let him into the bathroom, he started washing the kittens instantly. As I watched him take care of them and assist pull them out of their shell for weeks, I was amazed at what he was doing. Nothing like it had ever occurred to me before to this.
When Bitsy and Jitterbug were reunited with Charlie, Alteri understood that she and Charlie had discovered their vocation together. Charlie has adored and cared for each and every one of them as if they were his own pups. They have now fostered about 25 different kittens.
As Alteri explains, “Charlie loves to give the kittens baths and cuddle with them”. In fact, he even lets them pretend to be nurses. He enjoys playing hide-and-seek with them as well as other games. His strategy is to go hide in the apartment, meow at his prey, and then when he hears them approaching, he dashes out of his hiding position and leaps over them! It’s a joy!”
Despite the fact that Charlie is a male cat, his paternal instincts kick in whenever he sees another foster kitten in need of love and attention. He becomes the finest adoptive dad anybody has ever seen. Charlie is a tremendous benefit to the foster kittens because he helps them learn and grow, and he makes them more adoptable.
This type of social support and connection can’t be provided by humans, especially at a time when people are still very terrifying,” Adi Hovav, ASPCA Adoption Center’s Senior Behavior Counselor, told The Dodo. Because of his affinity for cats, Charlie serves as a bridge between the two species. With or without the presence of a helping cat, kitten socialization is greatly facilitated by having Charlie around.
The fact that Charlie had a difficult start in life might explain his desire to help and care for the foster kittens. Every day, he dedicates himself to returning the favor.
As Alteri put it, “He’s really protective of our foster children”. Occasionally, he’ll view them from atop my dresser or bathroom sink. Charlie once rescued a foster child whose toy got caught beneath the ottoman.
His mum, who is so pleased to have met such a kind and understanding buddy, says Charlie makes each foster cat he encounters happy and full of love.
Alteri remarked, “He’s an amazing jewel, and I don’t believe there’s another cat in the world as precious as he is.”