Gracie is a somewhat peculiar cat: mis-sexed by the Vet at the start of his life, he got stuck with his somewhat feminine name before it was feasible to change it. He nevertheless went on to growl, scratch and bite with the best of them. It took him a long time (and the example of my other cat) to learn how to purr, but he’s been pretty good at it for several years now. He’s now playful, likes to stare you out as you’re enjoying dinner (so that he can get the scraps you feel guiltily obliged to share with him) and takes great pleasure in head-butting you when you’re least expecting it.
At one time he acquired the nickname ‘Adolph’, because he’d walk into a new home and immediately take it over, as though he’d lived there all his life. Let us politely call his a ‘dominant feline personality’!
He’s seldom in the garden (he likes his comfy chair too much for that), but has been seen on more than one occasion to let birds walk over him: the effort to do anything but watch them was clearly beyond his energy budget that day. He’s also been known to run up tree trunks and onto the underside of branches, before the law of gravity exerted itself and made him fall out. He is, possibly, the only cat that routinely landed on his head in such circumstances.
And for all those reasons and more, we shall miss him after Saturday, when he takes his final trip to the vet. He had two strokes last year and has been a bit wobbly on his legs ever since. This week, he’s just had two more, and although he seems as cheerful as ever, he’s struggling to get around in a straight line and he’s getting thin. We’ve decided we have to make the call for him, since he’s not in a position to do so.
I am not looking forward to Saturday.