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I didn't. Not exactly. Soon after Anya passed away, the opportunity to adopt a couple of dogs who needed to be re-homed presented itself. I wanted to. Even despite all the reasons why it would not be a good idea, particularly that I was grieving. Not only had I lost my beloved cat, but also my best friend and dog, Riley, in such a short amount of time. Their absence left a hole in my heart that I did not know how to fill, and yet I so desperately wanted to. My husband and a couple of good friends talked me down from making a decision that was much too big to make at a time in my life when I wasn't thinking rationally. I took a step back, and realized they were right. Besides, it wasn't just me who was hurting. I had to think of my husband, daughter, and my cat Parker. The old adage that you should not make big decisions while you are grieving is a wise one. At least in my case.
Recently it seemed like everyone has a kitten he or she is trying to find a home for. I started turning the idea over in my head. My husband and I talked about it. We still weren't sure. We are still grieving.
My darling cat Parker has been having a rough time. He lost both of his best friends within months of each other. I read up on cat behavior to see if bringing another cat into the home was a good idea. Wait six months, most of the research said. And so I was prepared to wait and give us all more time to heal.
Only, there was Gracie. When I took Parker in for a check up this past Friday, as I began to describe my concerns about Parker's health and behavior, the veterinarian and her technician were quick to ask me if I had considered taking in another cat. Cats are loners by nature, but sometimes they do well with other cats. A lot has to do with personality. Like humans, cats can be picky about who they like and don't like, other cats included. I hesitated. They offered me an opportunity to meet Gracie, and then, if I wanted, perhaps to consider a trial visit.
Gracie was abandoned outside the cat hospital, along with her siblings. She was the biggest of the litter. Her siblings had been adopted, and she was all that was left. She had been living at the cat hospital since July. Another kitten and she had bonded during that time, but the other kitten was adopted out, leaving Gracie alone again. She was lonely and in need of a forever home.
I called my husband. I honestly wasn't sure what to do. A part of me wanted to give it a try and another part of me was afraid. I was afraid Parker really didn't want a new companion and afraid I wasn't ready. My husband gave the thumbs up and so, instead of coming home with just one cat, I came home with two.
I think everyone in our house knew Gracie would be coming home to stay, that the trial visit was just a formality. She's fitting in well already. Mouse adores her and Gracie seems to have taken to Mouse as well. They play together (although we're still teaching Mouse exactly what playing with a cat entails), and give each other kisses. Gracie is just as affectionate as the staff described: she loves to climb on my chest and nuzzle my ear, hair and face. She likes to take long naps on my husband.
I had forgotten how playful a kitten can be. She's ever so curious and into everything. She even knocked several books off one of the bookshelves the other day.
It's taking awhile for Parker and she to warm up to each other, which we expected. It took Parker four months to fully accept Anya when she first came to live with us. I want so much for Gracie and Parker to grow close, but I know it will take time, and it could be they end up tolerating each other more than loving each other. Only time will tell.
Gracie is six months old. The hospital staff had named her Graycie because of her gray coloring. Neither my husband nor I were a big fan of the spelling, so we dropped the "y". Her formal name is Grace, but we still call her Gracie.
© 2013, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
Oh, I am so happy for you! She is beautiful. A good friend of mine just called me last Sunday saying they found three kittens under their bushes...their mother had abandoned them. So I took them home with me for a day and furiously worked to find a place that would find them homes. But I was SO TEMPTED. Still we have six cats, we can't take any more. When I put down my college cat Hope, I actually went to the shelter that very day and got Casper, the cat on my blog header. Don't know if that was wise, but I needed a replacement or I was going to lose it. I think you just know. However, it has been 9 years since we lost our dog and still haven't replaced her. I am still waiting for a dog to find us.ReplyDelete
Sandy - Thank you! She's fitting in so well.Delete
I don't blame you for getting those kittens out as soon as you could. I think I'd be tempted to keep them too!
If I hadn't already had Parker, I think I would have done the same thing you did after Hope died, and gone out immediately to get another cat. The house just felt so empty even with just the one cat and three humans. I can't imagine not having any animals around.
I would like to adopt another dog someday, but right now doesn't seem like the right time. Our HOA has a two animal limit, so there is that to consider (not that it stopped us from bringing our three with us when we moved in). Like you, I think it will be a matter of us waiting for the right dog to find us.
I'm so glad Gracie found a home with you. I have a feeling she and Parker will be fast friends.ReplyDelete
Kathy - I am too. :-) She and Parker are warming up to each other. From the looks of it, I think he really was lonely without a companion. I don't know if he wanted a kitten with much more energy than he has, but my hope is they'll find a good balance between the two of them.Delete
Aww sweet story and sweet kitty. I love her fluffy look and emerald eyes :)ReplyDelete
Julie - Thank you. She feels so small when I hold her, but she looks much bigger with all that fur.Delete
She is so cute, Wendy. I am so glad you have given her a forever home and that she is fitting in so nicely. :)ReplyDelete
Nicole - Thanks! I am glad she is fitting in too. Whew! Last night she decided to curl up on my head and sleep. Trying to fall asleep to a purring cat on my head was interesting. She had her paws and little arms around my head, in a hug-like position too--which made it all the more funny.Delete
Gracie is adorable and beautiful! It's so hard when you lose furry family members to know what to do. But it sounds like Grace fits in with your family well. The photo of Grace and Parker on the cat tree together looks promising, too. It's really great that she took to you, your husband and daughter so quickly. Some cats, even kittens take a while to warm up. Have fun with Grace.ReplyDelete
Amy - Thank you! I went home for lunch today and Gracie was trying to play with Parker. Parker was trying to figure out a way to reach Gracie so he could groom her. It was the cutest thing. He managed to lick her arms, but couldn't get more grooming in because she was swatting at him. They are getting along much faster than I thought they would.Delete
Gracie is beautiful! Much happiness to all of you!ReplyDelete
Yvonne - Thank you! She's so sweet.Delete
She's cute! Hope Parker accepts her and they get on well, I suppose he has the advantage of being about to be the 'boss' if he wants, as the one who was here first.ReplyDelete
Charlie - The two cats seem to be getting along overall these days--so definitely a good sign that Gracie will fit right in.Delete
Wonderful news :D Welcome to the family Gracie!ReplyDelete
Jennifer - Thanks! She's so much fun.Delete
She's beautiful!! I'm so happy that she joined your family. Clearly it was meant to be.ReplyDelete
SuziQ - I think so too. Gracie came into our lives at the right time.Delete
Such a truly moving post. Though it has been several years since we lost our last cat part of me would love another one and yet part of me recognises that it isn't a new companion I want but the love of the cats who have long since gone which wouldn't be fair on a new addition to our family even though as with you I know we would come to love them.ReplyDelete
Tracy - Thank you. It's so hard losing our fur friends. And then knowing when to take a new one in . . . Gracie can never replace my Anya--or even my dog Riley. I admit I wasn't sure about taking Gracie in at first, wondering if it was still too soon, but now I feel confidant it was the right decision for our family. Plus, it's helped me with my grief in a way I couldn't imagine.Delete
She was just meant for your family. The time was obviously right for all of you. She's just darling.ReplyDelete
Kate - You know, I truly believe that. She is fitting into your family as if she's always been there--and we just love her to pieces.Delete
I'm so sorry to hear about Riley and Anya. I felt the same way as you six years ago when Alice came into our lives. We had lost our beloved Ethan and I just wasn't sure if I was ready to take the leap again so soon. But the chance to get Alice, a full black cat, which I had been wanting, came up and I couldn't say no. I so glad I didn't.ReplyDelete
Grace is beautiful. I hope her and Parker become friends very soon.
Welcome back to Cat Thursday!
Michelle - Thank you. It really did work out for the best. I don't know if I believe in signs necessarily, but there were several that made our decision seem like the right one. Besides how well she's fitting into our family, her name being Gracie (if I'd had another daughter, her middle name would have been Grace), and her gray coloring (I had initially thought I was getting a gray cat when Anya came to live with us).Delete
Gracie is a beauty! It was nice for you that the staff had been around her long enough to get a good feel for her personality so they could give you an honest opinion of her personality. So important when you have a young child and another pet.ReplyDelete
Lisa - Thank you! Yes, I think it was definitely a benefit to have an idea of the kitten's personality before she came to live with us. I was considering looking into rescues initially because I knew they'd most likely have a better feel for a cat's temperament in terms of dealing with children and other cats.Delete
Good for you for taking a chance on Gracie. Sometimes it's best to jump in when you are grieving for a pet. You are so loving and Mouse is so lucky to have you for a mom :)ReplyDelete
Stacy - Every day that she is with us, I know even more in my heart it was the right decision to take her in. She really has brightened our lives.Delete
You are too kind. I feel like the lucky one. :-)