**I've been trying all day to upload a couple of pics, but either I'm an idiot or blogger doesn't like Gracie. Alas, no pics of her at this point in time.**
It has been said that cats don't have owners, they have staff. Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to Gracie.
August 17, 2000
I was at an all-time low emotionally. In an effort to lift both our spirits, The Hub took me to the pet store and bought me a kitten. She was such a tiny little calico furball with HUGE ears. She made me laugh, and we joked that she was narcoleptic b/c she'd fall asleep sitting up and fall over. She went for days without a name because I couldn't decide on anything that "fit" her. She was this clumsy, goofy, skinny little thing that made me laugh all the time. One night I was sitting on the couch watching "Will & Grace" when it hit me. GRACE! GRACIE!!! Debra Messing's character was like this kitten! Clumsy...check. Goofy...check. Makes me laugh...check. That's how our Gracie got her name.
When she was about 6 months old, I took her to the vet to have her spayed and declawed. One more trip up my curtains and one of us wouldn't have survived, and I cannot live with a cat in heat. So anyway, she had her surgery that morning, and I went to see her that afternoon. The vet and techs were concerned b/c she wouldn't clean her paws. Apparently that's one of those things like "You have to poop before you can be discharged from the hospital." One of the techs said, "I just don't get it. When I walk into the room where the kennels are, she'll sit up on her hind legs, shake her paws, and meow at me." I started to laugh, which made the tech look at me like I'd sprouted another head. I told her, "She wants you to fix it! When something's wrong, she knows that *Mommy* will fix it, and she expects you to do the same." They ended up putting her in a tub with a couple of inches of warm water to force her to clean her paws so she could come home. Even back then, she was a drama queen.
Over the past six years, she's become so much more than a pet. Well, she never was a PET. She's our Moo-Shoo kitty, and she's become such an important part of our lives. She's gone from a tiny thing that would fit in the palm of your hand to 16 pounds of sass. She's learned some tricks over the years and has her routines. Talk about disgruntled if you stray from HER routine! When we go out of town, we entrust one of a select few friends to check in on her every day. This checking in involves making sure she has fresh food and water, give her treats, play with her, and pet her for a little while, and clean her litterbox.
The Hub tells me all the time that she's so spoiled because of me. Don't let him fool you, though. That's his baby. She's got both of us wrapped tightly around those furry little paws.
Some of her quirks and cool attributes...
~She has hearts on her fur
~She LOVES warm blueberry muffins (not cold), olives, Keebler Club crackers, popcorn, and cheese.
~HAS to sniff Daddy's coffee in the mornings
~Has her own furniture and blankets and there's hell to pay if you sit in her rocker or on her barstool
~HAS to have her "Mommy snuggle time" during the morning news
~When she wants a treat, if you tell her to remember her manners, she sits up on her hind legs, reaches with one front paw, and meows.
~Will flop over and roll back and forth and look at you upside down if you tell her to be cute
~Jumps into my arms like a dog.
~HAS to snuggle under the top blanket for a few minutes every night at bedtime
~HAS to drink from the tub if you're taking a bath. Doesn't matter that the water is hot and soapy. She likes "human soup".
~CANNOT STAND to be shut out of a room you're in. She'll paw at the door, reach under with her paw, and meow incessantly until you either come out or let her in.
~Camera shy! No matter what she's doing, if she hears that camera turn on, she's gone. I can't tell you how many blurry pictures have been taken over the years.
~Can be an anti-social little witch. HATES other animals, and isn't fond of small kids, either. Adults are a case-by-case basis.
~Instinctively knows when something's wrong and will snuggle with you to try to make you feel better.
~Understands a lot of what we say. Some may argue with this, but I *know* Gracie understands us.
~Reaches up and her meow sounds like "Mama" when she wants attention
~Tracks and corners a bug until we come to kill it. She learned her lesson about eating them.
We DO have rules and limits, though. She is NOT allowed on the counters, tables, etc. She isn't allowed in the laundry room, either. She doesn't ever go outside. Outside to her means one of two things...vet or new house. No canned or poor quality food for her. She gets brushed whether she likes it or not. She gets annual vet visits.
We love our GracieBelle, and nothing is too good for her. She even gets her own plate at Thanksgiving! Okay, it's a saucer with turkey on it. She gets Christmas presents. Her birthday is celebrated every year.
I can't imagine what life would be like if we hadn't gone to the pet store that day.