The only tortoise shell in a litter of single colors Gracie selected me. Just seventeen years ago she entered our lives in San Diego. We tried to make sure our current cat, Sophie, (only 2 years her senior) would accept her when we moved into the new house. We hoped it would be neutral territory, but it didn’t take long for our scrappy new kitty to claim boss lady.
Although we hoped for a more snuggly cat duo to adore each other, we settled into the new routine of chasing up and down stairs. They didn’t exactly dislike each other as I have plenty of photos of them sitting awkwardly together around the house. And its possible Gracie did piss on Sophie’s grave as soon as the ground was covered. But I knew that Gracie felt the loss as well given how frequently she licked her side to handle the anxiety.
As a Tortie, she wasn’t shy or neurotic around other people. But she was never hesitant to take a swipe if the mood struck her or if I walked by the bed too many times. And age wasn’t a deterrent to drawing blood. I believe little Matej and Helenka will never forget the scratch she gave them when they decided to interrupt her dinner.
Gracie wasn’t a talker. In fact I don’t think she found her voice until Sophie passed away. I’m guessing she realized she would have to communicate to get what Sophie had trained us to do. At first her voice sounded strange. Just a yell. It was enough to get me up and trying to figure out what she needed. She didn’t need to carry on like some cats.
Gracie was full of tortitude! Even at bedtime when she had plenty of space she frequently chose to sleep near Michal’s feet. Often I was awoken by hisses and growls due to Michal’s restless legs kicking her. I’m sure she bit him but fortunately he couldn’t feel his feet and would just continue kicking. Both of them were too stubborn to change their habits and it continued for years until she realised she preferred a soft cat bed next to my head.
We are profoundly saddened by our catless home. The little fur ball even filled the entire villa (neighbors flat and our basement) with her presence. She got me through the worst of covid isolation by keeping me company in all my spaces for zoom and avoiding Michal’s loud work calls. She made no apologies for interrupting my meditation, sitting on my yoga mat, or sipping out of my water cup. But I would share all of that all over again and more just to have her back with me
Being a cat mom for almost 20 years has been a pleasure and an honor. It will take some time not to not walk in the door and want to cuddle with a cat.
We are forever grateful to the numbers of friends that cared for the cats while we gallivanted around the globe. Starting with our kids, Ali, George, Marketa, then to our dear Czech friends, Petr, Kata, to other random San Diego Czechs and over here to Prague where Birdie, Angeliki, Barry, Bonnie, Mike, Dixie, Sam, Jennifer, Ivo and Marian kept her happy. THANK YOU!
We would also like to thank the very professional veterinarian that came into our home within a couple of hours to assist us in our time of need. She was kind and soft spoken from the minute she came into our house. She carefully described each step of the procedure with full compassion. I can highly recommend Pet Medic in Prague http://pet-medic.cz/index.html.