Our hearts were broken that we couldn’t keep “it”. “It” being a small, longhaired, gray kitten that had been scrounging in the trash cans behind my husband Gerry’s office. Thinking that the trash can mess Gerry found each day was created by a raccoon or opossum, he set a Havaheart trap with a tempting, strong smelling dish of tuna fish. Sure enough that attracted “it”.
We put forth a great effort to find the tiny kitten’s family but to no avail. True, we thought long and hard about adopting this little, homeless waif but sadly our own pet family was at maximum. Finally, it dawned on us that our friends Chuck and Lynn would be a perfect match. They had a huge farmhouse just made for exploring by an adventurous kitten. A quick phone call and “it” had found a home.
Chuck and Lynn’s first job was to name the kitten, who turned out to be a girl. So taking the physical characteristics she had, namely that of being a gray cat, they came up with “g-r-a” from gray and “c” from cat – added “ie” which then turned into “Gracie”. Gracie loved living with Chuck and Lynn along with their good natured Cocker Spaniel dog named Cherry. Life was good for all – but then . . . Buster got dropped off. He was a pitch black, huge, tomcat with a bullying disposition. Oh my, that changed everything for poor little Gracie. Bless her heart she took to living on top of the refrigerator – the only safe place Buster couldn’t reach her. He was too fat. Chuck and Lynn tried their best for coexistence for all but in the end, for Gracie’s sake, she had to leave. Tears were streaming down Lynn’s checks as she sadly brought Gracie to our home, after an earlier emotionally charged phone call, seeking a “safe” loving place for her beloved cat Gracie.
Gerry and I (Ruth Ann) welcomed this sweetest, dearest, longhaired gray cat into our home. By this time, all of our many other pets we had said good-bye to when the time had come to do so. Gracie moved in and took stock of the situation: big house for running pell mell around in, oodles of nooks and crannies to explore, two warm laps to occupy, three meticulous litter boxes, food aplenty, terrific assortment of cat toys (some with catnip), lots of sunny windows to snooze by, king size bed to share with you know who, but best of all NO BUSTER! It also didn’t take long for Gracie to realize she was the “Queen Bee” aka “Queen Cat” of the whole house. Her purring motor seemed to be working overtime as she settled in. However, much to our horror, Gracie snuck down in our basement a few times and dispatched multiple mice. I guess this was a good thing since we didn’t know we had mice but it never had crossed our minds that our mild mannered, sweet Gracie was a “mouser”.
As our “mouser” got comfortable in her surroundings (basement and all) she had a few things to educate us as to her preferences and needs – newspapers, newspapers, and newspapers. She just adored (and still does) sitting, sleeping and eating on top of (you guessed it) newspapers. Laps, beds, furniture, and carriers – you name it – newspapers (still today) need to be in place for happiness to reign in Gracie’s world.
Well, life for several years was peaceful, calm, and quiet until one day . . . we inherited a Siamese cat. More accurately, he was thrust upon us and once his true nature was forthcoming his name of Andy no longer fit. In searching our minds for a more suitable designation, we stumbled upon the perfect one – Trouble. Yup, it fit fine. One could almost hear Gracie’s thoughts saying, “Oh no! Not again!” Bless Gracie’s heart (once more), she was by this time a very mature cat who was not going to take any guff from this young whipper-snapper of a cat. She got very good at whapping Trouble with her front paw or hissing with gusto at him. He would back right away! Gracie did find one good thing about Trouble – “Hallway Speed Chasing!” You could hear them come thundering down our extra long hall one in hot pursuit of the other and tearing on into the front room. Two seconds later back they came – 100 mph having switched places as to whom was being chased. This usually lasted for another round and a half then off they went minding their own business, until the next go round.
Trouble and Gracie “tolerated” each other for several years until Trouble’s health deteriorated. Gracie respectfully and with dignity once again resumed her place in the house as “the one and only”.
In the past year Gracie has had dental and kidney issues. It took us awhile to find the specialized cat veterinarians Gracie needed to address these concerns. We were very fortunate to have found the experienced and qualified vets at Cat Clinic North. They have treated her with genuine caring, respect, and skill. As Gerry, Gracie, and I go through our golden years together we celebrate each day as a special gift, always thankful that unknown forces and circumstances brought us together.