Somehow she knew what my need was and Sweet Pea brought her own special gift of love that helped me through a difficult time.
(photo of Sweet Pea - she was a short-haired tortoiseshell)
Losing her fueled an ambition to pay back cats in kind and I opened my home to foster cats. At the same time, I visited the local Animal Care & Control to see about getting a cat for myself. It was a very difficult thing to do, seeing all these cats in cages. All of them begging to come home with me. There were so many cats there and they were ALL very nice.
When I arrived I wasn't thinking of getting a kitten. I had a more mature, but fun aged cat in mind, say a cat around 2 or 3 years old.
The little gray kitten sat in her cage watching us. She was completely quiet and unmoving.
She wasn't afraid, I could tell from looking at her that she was just curious. The other cats were jumping around and very excited and they had drawn my attention first.
But when her eyes met mine it's like something happened. She was beautiful with gray fur and once I took her out of the cage I could feel how plush and thick her coat was. She felt like a GUND stuffed toy, soft and huggable.
(photo - baby Gracie with Tigger)
I named her Gracie.
Gracie - Gray because of her colour, Grace because of grace's importance in our lives, Grace because it's my niece's middle name and "ie" because that includes part of my nephew Codie's name too.
We brought her home and let her tour the living room. She snooped into everything and then later settled to my bedroom (under the bed).
I let her stay under the bed and moved some of her food and litter close by. I knew she'd need to den for a few days to adjust from the stress.
She'd been at Animal Control for five days, which isn't very long but it must have been a stressful eternity to her.
(How I wish people would realize how important it is to spay and neuter their animals to prevent the overcrowding at humane societies).
The next day I woke up and went into the kitchen. I took her little dish and put a small amount of dry kibble in along with some warm water. This would make a mash that kittens like to eat.
A little while later I came back to the kitchen and looked down at her dish. I couldn't believe what I saw.
(See the photo - I have recreated what I saw because at the time I didn't take a picture, I only sketched what I had seen):
Happy Valentines everyone :)