Sometimes it’s hard to be funny, and this is one of those times. We had to make the difficult decision to say good-bye to our 13-year-old cat Gracie.
She was quite a character and very strong-willed. If she got it in her head to do something, mostly what she wasn’t supposed to do, she would find a way to get it done. Usually if you can get a cat distracted for a minute or two, she’ll forget all about what she was doing before. Not Gracie. As long as an hour later, I’d find her still trying to get into a cabinet or gleefully chasing one of my lost blood pressure pills around the kitchen.
Once I came home from work and found her sitting on the oven hood. But it was all right because she was on her way to the top of the refrigerator. At least that’s what her look told me.
Gracie also liked to sit on the back of the computer screen (before the advent of flat screens, of course). Probably her favorite spot was on the back of David’s recliner or on the arm of David’s recliner or in David’s lap.
Gracie was definitely David’s cat.
It didn’t start out that way 13 years ago when our daughter Alice found Gracie in the backyard of the house we were moving from. She called me at the house we were moving to and told me about this pitiful kitten that “we” just had to keep. I knew that the “we” meant “me” because she was in college and working and didn’t have time for a kitten. I didn’t either, but when I saw this little ball of fluff, I caved, just as Alice knew I would.
David and I have always had cats throughout our 45-year marriage. That’s not exactly right, though. David has tolerated cats throughout our marriage. He left all the care to me and the kids. He occasionally had burial duty, but that was about it. I took care of feeding, litter, vet visits, and love.
So when Gracie picked David to bond with, it was a real shocker for the rest of us. They seemed to be on the same wave length. Gracie would respond to him, showing that nobody else mattered.
This surprising bond didn’t happen immediately. Gracie came to us in 2002. In 2006, David was found to have a chronic, life-threatening illness and had to stop working immediately with no hope of ever working again. He had to sit at home with nothing to do.
During this time, David and Gracie spent a lot of time together. He would sit on the front porch with her in his lap. She loved it.
But mostly, she just loved being with David. She hated being separated from him. If he went outside and she could see him, she had a certain, loud “meow” she would use until he moved out of her line of sight or he came in the house.
Some people believe that we will see our pets again in heaven. Other people believe just the opposite. As I understand it, in heaven we will be completely fulfilled, completely happy, praising God and serving Him. In my earthly understanding, I would need my pets to be completely happy and fulfilled.
So if I can be completely happy and fulfilled without Twiggy, Misty, Nip, Charlie, Georgie, Hope, Samuel, Hobbes, and now Gracie – well, that’s going to take a miracle from God Almighty Himself. I’ll leave it to Him.