Six and a half years ago, my roommate, Marie, called me at work and said she would be going to get a cat and if I wanted a say in things, I’d need to meet her at the Humane Society.
Not being one to trust Marie’s cat-selecting skills or ability to resist getting two (as it turned out, I think she was the one who stood firm on one-cat-only-policy), I took a long lunch and went down there. We came away with little black, medium hair kitten which we not-so-promptly named Gracie.
Here is what Gracie was like:
- She bit butts. You know when you sit in a ladder-back chair, if you’re the least bit ample, a little flesh might press against the opening at the bottom? Well, Gracie bit that.
- Gracie attacked legs. She attacked with a big bear-type hug, complete with claws, and then scampered off.
- Gracie liked the shower. At first, I just thought “geesh. voyeur,” but then when I got an opaque shower curtain, she would sit between the inner and outer curtains throughout showers. And if you baited her by poking the curtain, she went nuts.
- Gracie liked bath-time — not her own bath-time, no. But the boys’ bath-time. She usually perched on the edge of the tub, like a sentinel, dipping the tip of her tail in the water without knowing it, then flouncing off at some point, sprinkling water everywhere.
- Gracie liked to climb trees. Once after I trimmed her claws, I watched her try to climb down a tree. It was more like a slither and it was so pitiful, I could never trim her claws again.
- Gracie ate grass, which explains why I planted and re-planted ornamental grasses at the corner of the planter bed.
- Gracie also loved corn husks and carrot tops. And fennel stalks. I would find bits of these around the house anytime I’d brought them home and prepped them for dinner. She would even pull them out of the trash.
- Gracie never roamed far or wanted to stay outside long. Once she was gone for three days and I posted signs all over and thought for sure she’d fallen into the creek, which was swollen at the time. She returned the next day. I like to think it was her once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
- Gracie climbed my first Christmas tree. This past year, she eyed and mouthed the popcorn strings, but had learned to leave it alone on the whole.
- Gracie was very dominated by my other cat. Her only territory was the bathroom, and she sat in there a lot. It sure amplified her meowing.
- Gracie terrified my son, H. He wouldn’t walk around her if she was lying across the hallway. I think she scratched him once only, but that was apparently enough. By all indications, H hated Gracie, but he was pretty broken up today.
- Gracie liked to sleep right-next-to my feet and to stand right-next-to my shins.
- Gracie was a naughty little cat.
- Gracie got really sick about five years ago right after her feline leukemia shot. Then a little over a year ago she developed stomatitis, an immune disorder (yes, I suspect they are related). We’ve been treating it since then, but we sort of ran out of options and nothing was working anymore.
- Today after a brief vet visit we came home and I let Gracie do all the things she liked that we haven’t let her do for fear of allergens — go outside, chew plants, mouth carrot tops. Then we went back this evening. I’m not all super broken up about it; it’s been a long time coming. But when you get down to the brass tacks of euthanasia, it’s more emotional than I thought it would be.
Have a rest now, little butt biter. Here’s hoping the next round is a little easier for you.