Saturday, October 14, 2006

Say Goodnight Gracie

Yesterday was a sad day for Susan and me. We had to put out cat Gracie to sleep. She had been sick for about three months, and we were treating her symptoms the best we could. But she wouldn't eat, and by the end she weighed just 4.2 pounds, close to half from her normal healthy weight of just over 7 pounds.

Gracie was a good cat. She never became a lap kitty, but she would snuggle up next to Susan in her chair, and she slept every night on her head. We kidded that Susan had a "cat hat" at night. She was our only cat for a long time, and then we added Murphy, a small white kitten when we took him in. Gracie tolerated him, but it took her awhile to adjust. And she still hissed at him whenever he would sneak up and attack her playfully. She was not a playful cat, and almost never showed any interest in the bell balls or the other cat toys we bought.

Like a child, though, she had a great fondness for boxes. She had to jump in every box she ran across. When Susan brought home a couple of clear plastic bins full of craft supplies, Gracie waited patiently, rubbing against the rims until Susan had cleaned out one of the boxes and sorted the contents. And then she jumped in. That box became her "home base" in the living room. We put it on the ottoman of Susan's chair, and Gracie would jump in, curl up, and stay in that box for hours. The second plastic container became her bed spot. We put it on the bed, and she would divide her time between sleeping in the box and sleeping on Susan's head. She would jump in any box that showed up in her home, sometimes to her detriment. She'd get in a tall box, and we'd have to help her out. But she never lost her curiosity about boxes. When we took her to the vet, she'd even stay in her cat carrier until she was pulled out. It was a comfortable box for her, just like any other.

We will miss Gracie tremendously. She was our first cat, and we will remember her the rest of our lives.

Goodnight, Gracie.