Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Gracie Girl...

It was the night before Thanksgiving 1993 and the doorbell rang.  One of Reid's high school friends was standing there with a kitten.  As he approached our front porch he had noticed a kitten sleeping on the lap of a scarecrow that I had sitting on a bale of hay.  He brought the kitten inside and she never left.  She had found her forever home.

We went around the neighborhood trying to determine if she belonged to anyone.  A couple of people told us she belonged to someone on the next block, but they were away for Thanksgiving.  When they came home we were told that she was a stray that had been hanging around and they had fed her once in a while, but weren't interested in keeping her.  So, we became her people and named her Grace.  After all, Grace always comes before Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday, Grace's time on earth came to an end.  She would have been 21 years old this summer.  We figured she was 3 to 4 months old that November evening, so she was probably born in July or August of 1993.

In recent years she had become thinner, but never really acted like and old cat until the last couple of weeks.  I noticed she was drinking more water and the Veterinarian said it was probably to compensate as her kidneys slowly started to fail.  She stopped eating a week ago and we tried everything to get her to eat, but it was all in vain.  It was her time.

I'm afraid I was lulled into thinking that she'd go on forever.  She had been doing so well as an old cat and I had hoped she'd set some kind of longevity record.

She was such a sweet cat and never a bit of trouble.  She loved our dogs and would spend time grooming them.  They loved it.  Here she is with Shelby.
After Shelby died she did the same thing with Sophie.  In fact, as recently as a couple of weeks ago she was grooming Sophie.

She never really liked being held, but she loved  to be pet.  She would hit my leg or arm with her paw to let me know.  As she grew older I always stopped what I was doing to pet her.  The night before she died she slowly walked over to me and I sat on the bedroom floor and pet her for about a half an hour. Then she decided it was enough and went back to her bed.  By morning her condition had really deteriorated and I brought her to the Veterinarian for the last time.  It was the least I could do for my good old friend.

I've been looking through old pictures and I can't find any photographs from 1993.  I know they must be in a box somewhere.  It was long before we moved to digital.  I'm sure I'll find some pictures of her as a kitten one of these days.

I do have some of my favorites saved though.
  For a while she liked sitting in the warm dryer.  She was a very young cat here.

Here she is watching some Peregrine Falcons on a webcam.  This might have been around 2000.

Checking out some of my doll stuff.

Sleeping with Zoom - 2010.

I'm going to really miss her, but I like to think she's with Jim now.  He used to like to tell me that he had one dog and I had the cats.  One year I gave him a plaque that said, "Heaven's the place where all the dogs you've ever loved come to greet you."  He took it into the office.  After he died the people at work packed up his office.  In one of the boxes I found the plaque. He had taken a piece of paper and written the words "and cats" and taped it to the plaque so it now read, "Heavens the place where all the dogs and cats you've every loved come to greet you."  He loved the cats just as much as the dogs.  He never had me fooled.

I'll miss my Gracie Girl (that was my pet name for her), but I know she's in good hands.


  1. Oh, Betty, I'm so sorry for your loss, but I have no doubt she is with Jim. That's one thing I'm sure of. Jim, Gracie Girl and Shelby, all together, with those that have gone before us and wait for us to join them.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about Gracie Girl. Our pets are our family so, Betty, please know that Gracie is with Jim and they are happy in heaven.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  4. Betty, Jim has Gracie now...and that's a good thing. Sad and filled with tears, I send you hugs, hoping they give you comfort, my friend....:)JP

  5. May I say you had me crying - that was such a sweet sweet sweet story. I am sad for your loss. She lived a long time didn't she? She must have been very happy. I am glad you were with her at the end.

  6. Ah, she was lovely and you have written a beautiful tribute to her. So sorry you have lost her but you gave her a wonderful life. TaKE CARE. XX

  7. Awwww, sweetie.

    I remember reading about her over the years! I think she is with Jim!

    But I'm sorry she's not by your side right now!

    Hugs and prayers!

  8. Betty I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a beloved cat! I still miss my cat Bo, that I lost a year ago.Your Grace lived to a long age and obviously was a very happy cat...I'm sure you'll always treasure your memories of her!

  9. It is hard losing our beloved furry friends. They are phamily to us and the loss hits us hard. I love the story of your husband and the plaque. My hubby is like that with all the pets since he lost his first love Spats! We have this kitten and let me tell you he is trouble with a capital T! But he has helped me coup with my Boots and the ache I still have for him although two years have passed since I lost him. Please accept my hug across a few state lines! Your Grace was a real beauty. Hugs, Anne


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