|Don't let the cute face fool you|
Other than my college roommate's cat LuLu, I have never really lived with a pet full time before. I have lived with roommates who had pets including my sister and her family but taking care of the pet was never my full time responsibility. I never really had the chance to learn much about animal behavior or demeanor. In the past year, I have learned a lot about having a pet from our dear Gracie.
|Gracie as a kitten circa 2001|
Let me give you a little background on how Gracie came to live with Kris and now us. Gracie was a Christmas/birthday gift from his sister Hannah. He almost did not want to take her home until I convinced him he had to bring her home. He was living in an apartment that did not allow pets and was soon moving. He did not want to take her and pay extra fees to keep her. But it was too late. I was so in love with her. I kept was playing with her and trying to think of a name. My first thought was Kasey because his initials -- KCK but the name did not seem to fit her. I tried to think of names to fit her feisty personality but none of those seemed to fit her either. Then it hit. She was a cute little gray kitten. Gray-cie. Gracie. The name was perfect. He looked at me and then back at her, and he knew he had to take her home. He made some arrangements with Hannah to keep her until he found a new place and could bring her home. After about 3 months or so, Gracie came home to live with Kris.
|Gracie was a very playful kitten|
It was not soon after she came home that he fell in love with her, too. How could you resist her? She was cute and playful. And she kept him company at night. Since we were only dating, I had an apartment of my own. At night Kris would come home to his apartment and she would be there waiting for him. I came over as often as I could to see her and play with her. She was just too cute that I could not stay away.
|Kris and Gracie reading the Sunday comics|
|Gracie's curiosity has always gotten the best of her|
|She found her way to places she was not supposed to be|
Fast forward ten years, Gracie is now a ten-year old cat. It has been just Gracie and Kris all these years. They have lived in many different places but she has been his only roommate. He has been her only housemate, too. They have taken care of one another. She has grown pretty attached to Kris and was not looking forward to anyone moving in on her territory. Little did she know that the once frequent visitor would soon become a permanent resident in her home. This was quite an adjustment for both of us. I had never had the pleasures of experiencing her daily routine with Kris. After only a few weeks, I was introduced to her daily rituals.
|Gracie on our dining room chair then...|
|Now...ten years later|
Gracie has a very particular nighttime ritual. Just when things are perfectly quiet and we are all ready for bed Gracie is ready to start her routine. She will parade all through the house with her "mouse" and meow as if to show off her find for the night. Her parade ends back in our bedroom (where it began of course) to announce her find. After receiving adequate praise she will finally jump into bed to settle in for the night. This routine usually does not start until it is completely silent. Sometimes I am just about to fall asleep when I start to hear her meows from outside our door. The meows do not cease until she has been given praise from both of us and a proper invitation to bed. This ritual can last anywhere from five to ten minutes without stopping. Rarely we just have to ignore her until she finally decides to settle in for the night.
I'm not as dumb as I look
I have learned in just the last twelve months that pets are not as dumb as they look or even pretend to be. They do cute things just to get your attention and you look at them. They look so cute and innocent but they really have something else up their sleeve. She knows who to nuzzle up to (kiss up) to get what she wants. No matter how high up or out of reach I put something she will find her way to it. She knows where to hide or how far under the bed to sit so just barely touch her. She can tell you just how mad she is when we have been gone to long. She just have to give you that "look" and whatever she wants is hers. Sometimes I wonder if she really is a cat or just a small child hidden under all that fur.
Despite all Gracie's silly antics and annoying behaviors, we love her to death. She always has been OUR little girl. She is the best kitty and I am so happy that Kris decided to take her home with him. I know that he is, too!