He sits on my bookcase/nightstand, prepared to take on whatever evil comes my way. Except for snakes. He hates snakes.
Last night, though, Indy met a foe for which he was not prepared—a restless cat. I heard Gracie as she investigated the objects on the nightstand. Apparently she didn’t think it was time to go to bed, so first she knocked around an ink pen until it tumbled to the floor, then she tried to squeeze behind the books, causing them to tumble like dominoes.
After I straightened and reinforced the books, I noticed that Indy was in a perilous predicament—heels over head above a cavernous chasm!
Our new cat, Gracie, all but ignores her name. When I call her she flicks those outsized ears then turns her head away, determined not to answer to this construct of human language.
Studly Doright calls her Pretty Girl. She doesn’t answer to that either. After watching her make thirty-nine non-stop trips around the island in our kitchen, I began referring to her as Crazy Gracie. Still no reaction.
I wonder if she has a name she likes better? She meows conversationally all the time. Maybe she’s trying to tell me her real name.
Oh, occasionally she makes a sound that sounds very much like a bark. Studly thought I was imagining things until he heard it, too. Maybe she’s a German Shepherd trapped in a cat’s body. I could try calling her Heidi or perhaps Gretchen.
Until she provides additional information, she’ll just be Gracie. I know she calls me “Meow, meow?” I answer to it every time.
Gracie, our new kitty, is a hoot. It’s been many years since we’ve had such an active cat, and both Studly Doright and I are having to relearn the dangers of extra sharp claws and crazy cat antics.
Today, I watched Gracie launch herself halfway across the den, where she knocked over a couch cushion before hurtling herself underneath the television. She bonked her head on the wall, turned around and did the whole thing in reverse. Afterwards she flopped down in the middle of the room and fell asleep almost instantly.
We’re working on the appropriate use of claws. She gets a stern “no!” any time she scratches the couch. Treats are given when she uses the scratching post instead. Savvy readers should invest in companies that make cat treats. you’ll be rich. Rich, I tell you!
I’ve had to resort to drinking copious amounts of wine just to maintain my equilibrium. Fortunately, I really like wine. And cats.
Lately I’ve felt overwhelmed. Between our crazy political situation, the virus that never ends, being separated for way too long from my children and grandchildren, and the heartbreaking loss of our beloved kitty, Scout, I’ve been tempted to just go to bed and not get up until life feels worth living again.
Studly Doright has always been a “glass that’s more than half full” kind of guy, but he has been devastated by Scout’s death—so much so that he seriously considered dropping out of a golf tournament. That’s just unheard of, and he finally decided he’d go ahead and play.
Yesterday morning, before he left for the tournament he kissed me goodbye and said, “We really don’t want to live in a house without a cat, do we?”
I could only shake my head.
“Go find a cat who needs us,” he said.
And so I did. Meet Gracie:
This precious rescue kitty was languishing in a showcase at PetCo when we first met. When I spoke to her she stuck her nose through one of the holes and said “hi!”
Now, she’s keeping me company on the sofa.
Gracie is just over a year old and came to a local shelter as a pregnant feral cat. After her kittens were weaned, each one found a home, leaving Gracie on her own in the shelter.
She’d been adopted twice, and returned both times. The first family discovered that their child was allergic to cats, the other family had a dog who felt threatened by her. We’re her lucky third chance.
Gracie is doing well here at Doright Manor, but we can tell she’s a bit reluctant to go all in. And who could blame her? She really likes our screened-in back porch, and spent much of the evening perched on the cat tree Studly made for Scout.
When we turned in for the night she sat at the foot of the bed watching us for a long time. Studly tried to coax her to come closer, but she snubbed his efforts. I thought maybe in a week or so she’d feel comfortable enough to snuggle with us.
But I woke up around one a.m. and her sweet little face was just inches from mine. She’d curled up next to my head and was so deeply asleep that she didn’t even twitch when I extricated myself from the covers to make a trip to the bathroom. When I returned and slid back into bed she opened one eye as if to say, “Make up your mind, lady.”
I must admit to feeling like we rushed into adopting a new cat so soon after losing Scout. There was a moment of panic after I’d paid the adoption fee and realized I was now in a committed relationship with this little girl. But, Studly was right. I really don’t want to live in a house without a cat. And magically, I feel like I have a reason to get out of bed again.
We are missing our Scout, but my blogging friend at Savoring Sixty and Beyond savoringsixty.com reminded me of this A.A. Milne quote.
We really were so lucky to have known this special cat who never met a stranger. If you were a guest in our home, you were a recipient of her affections.
She enjoyed playing endless games of fetch. Her favorite activity was “helping” me make the bed, making that activity last at least twice as long as was necessary.
She felt she needed to be present when either David or I took a shower, and she loved being wrapped up in a towel. She danced with me and gave me kitty kisses. For much of her life she thought my left ear was something to suckle on. Even after she’d outgrown that need to nurse, every now and then she’d nudge my earlobe as if to say, “Remember, Mommy?” She loved to lay across my neck and massage my shoulders. Her purrs were epic.
Studly Doright was the recipient of many head butts (aka, kitty kisses). Scout had to help him any time his computer was being used. She often made him choose between her and work. He always chose her. During Hurricane Michael, when I was in Texas, she kept Studly company. The two of them patrolled the grounds, watching trees fall and hunkering down like good Floridians. She slept beside him while I was gone.
She adored her stuffed toys: mice, birds, candy canes, small bears, catnip pillows. But her favorite toy was a stick with feathers on the end. She loved “feathers” as we called it at one time. Over the years, the feathers fell out. Then we called it “feather” until finally, when every feather was gone, we just called it “stick”. She still loved it and up until her last couple of weeks of life Scout would bring “stick” to us for play time.
The day before she died she insisted on going out on the screened-in porch. She’d refused food for more than 24 hours, and could barely walk, but still she wanted to go out one last time to enjoy her favorite place. I’m certain she was remembering all of the lizards she’d chased in her lifetime.
And her last morning on earth, she found the strength to join Studly as he finished his shower. “See, Daddy, I remembered.”
We will miss this sweet kitty for the rest of our lives, but we were so lucky to have known her.
This morning we said our final goodbyes to our beloved cat, Scout. She had been struggling for several days, and after many tears we decided to let her go. I’m a mess, so that’s all for now. Peace, people.
She’s nearing the age of 17, this old cat. Until recently she was as playful as a kitten, sure-footed, and ready to attack any rebellious stuffed mouse that came her way.
Nowadays, her steps are halting. She stumbles now and then and her toys are neglected. The saddest thing is, she doesn’t enjoy snuggling much anymore, preferring the cool tile of the bathtub surround to our warm laps. Sometimes I think she’s ready to move on, and selfishly I keep her here.
She’s still my baby, this old cat. I give her whatever she asks for no matter when she asks for it. She wants to eat six times a day? Fine. She wants to eat at three a.m.? No problem. Anything for my Scout.