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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.