Nine and a half year ago I saw a three and a half week old kitten who stole my heart within ten seconds of meeting her. The little kitten looked straight in my eyes and meowed as if to say, “take me home. I belong with you.” Nothing in the last nine and half years ever changed my opinion of her. Gracie is my kitten. My little girl.
About a week ago she went out at night, which is not unusual for her. But she has not come home in seven days, and I have to admit, as much as I hate every part of it, that she is gone. I found some fur on the front lawn and have to believe that Gracie tangled with something, as she is want to do, and this time, got the worst end of it. I am still checking the back door when I get home, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked under the bed for her in the last week, but I know – somewhere in my heart of hearts – that she is gone.
Parents sometimes say, “I hope you have a child just like you one day” as a curse upon their children. Gracie was me in cat form. She demanded attention when it was most inconvenient – such as on the phone, or going to the bathroom. She was smart, but not so smart that it was intimidating. She did her own thing and really, really didn’t care what anyone thought. She was her own cat, and I love her for that.
Jessie’s passing took a lot out of me, but I knew that she had a peaceful death and the time was right. I was there for her, as I was there for Patches, and if I couldn’t prevent their deaths, at least I could be with them and let them know they were loved right up until the end. I can’t do that for Gracie and that is the hardest part of loosing her. It wasn’t necessarily the best thing for her, I wasn’t there to love her; a small part of me will always wonder if just maybe, I could have done something differently. I know the answer and I know she probably died as she lived – on her terms, doing her own thing and doing it her way. That doesn’t make it any easier.
Leia and Tigger have started to notice that she is not here, that something is different. They don’t care all that much, but they do notice, and need some comfort – generally at 3 am which is not ideal. Arthas did’t get the chance to know Gracie – the loving, sweet kitty that she was – but he knows mommy is sad and he tries to help.
Goodnight, Gracie girl. You are loved and missed. Every day.