Over our 20 years at Farmhouse, we’ve had so many incredible team members come and go, many are still with us today, some have gone on to bigger and better places, and we’ve lost a few along the way. This spring, we lost one of the best, an absolute all-star, Charlotte, our black house cat. In remembrance, I thought this would be a good opportunity to retell the story of how Charlotte came to be our house cat and remember some of our greatest Charlotte moments over her 12 years of service to Farmhouse.
Rewind to 2009 and we are just wrapping up our first major expansion project, the back barn building. We had an old scrappy white(ish) very feral cat, affectionately referred to as “Elvis.” He was our resident mouser and largely unnoticed by our guests, and that’s the way we liked it! Sometime during the construction project, the poor old guy passed and it wasn’t long before our gardener was screaming that the gopher and vole populations were out of control and our gardens were being devastated. So what to do? Get another Elvis of course. How do you do that? Well call our local animal shelter and request the most unadoptable cat next in line to be euthanized. At first I think they thought we were up to no good but, after we explained the situation they said that they had a cat that would be perfect for us, her name was Charlotte. Remember, we said “unadoptable” over and over again (and in retrospect I am not sure why we thought something named “Charlotte” would fit the bill?). We were so concerned that we might be swayed to pick a second cat that we arranged to meet them in the parking lot and a box was unceremoniously presented and we drove it back to Farmhouse.
I still remember opening the top and kicking the box over with my foot because I was sure something ferocious was about to jump out. But instead, this unadoptable-next-to-be-euthanized cat strutted out into the sun with her glistening black fur and looked the team up and down as if to say “this will do.” We clearly had a diva on our hands.
No dumb kitty
House rules are house rules and cats are not allowed in the rooms. But Charlotte never had much of an appetite for rules. I can’t tell you the number of guests that over the years shared a near identical story with me. It always begins with a chance encounter on the property, maybe by the pool or on the pathway, a scratch behind the ears or a quick pet (she always plays hard to get). Later that evening, a meowing at the door and always the same question, “how did she know which room we were in?” Inevitably, Charlotte would perch in front of the refrigerator and patiently wait for the realization “isn’t there milk in the fridge?” As she meows on the bathroom counter, you can’t help but notice that the soap dish makes a perfect saucer. And, with a full belly, it’s snuggle time and you’re none the wiser that you just got played.
Emotional support animals
Charlotte was always independent and always doing her own thing so no one thought twice if we didn’t see her for a few days. However, after several days had gone by we were nervous something might have happened. Simultaneously, we had booked a very long reservation to a women staying by herself. This was a highly unusual reservation to take as the majority of our guests are couples traveling for three or four days at the most. This woman had declined housekeeping services the entire time she was with us and clearly was processing something difficult so we gave her a lot of space. After several days, the woman let us know she was going to be off property for a few hours and asked housekeeping to refresh her amenities. In the room, they found a litter box, cat food, cat bowls, cat toys and several cat beds dotted throughout the room, it had been transformed into a cat paradise! Charlotte, had found a friend who much needed some kitty love and she was all too happy to oblige. We never said anything to the guest nor did she say anything to us. The following week things were back to normal, with miss Charlotte traipsing around the property as if she owned the place.
However, I do think for a very long time, guests of room 22 were often surprised to find a cat meowing outside their door.
There are so many more Charlotte stories. There’s the time she dropped a live lizard on the front desk during a busy Friday check in, the time we had a Charlotte imposter for a week, or the time we were doing a photoshoot and didn’t even realize until a year later that she had photobombed all of the pictures in the spa. She really was such a character and such an important part of the Farmhouse family. We won’t be the same place without her and we will cherish all the memories. That sweet black cat brought so much joy to so many guests and employees alike – thank you Charlotte for all of your service, you made Farmhouse a better place and we will miss you forever.
Have a great Charlotte story or a photo? Please share it with us, we’d love hear!