When a young kitten is adopted, it’s new family is tasked with raising that young, impressionable baby and even help form it’s growing personality. The family gets to see the kitty’s personality being created while the cat’s body grows. However, when an older cat is adopted, usually most of the cat’s attributes have already been formed. All experiences, good or bad, have affected his/her personality. It will sometimes take months for the new family to learn all that is hidden in their kitty’s furry psyche. Such as our case with Gracie, every day still holds a new surprise with my girl.
My sweet, white-calico/tabby Gracie has yet to celebrate her one-year “Gotcha” party with our family but with all that we’ve been through, it sometimes feels as if that “Gotcha” day has long passed. I certainly don’t mean that in a bad way, every moment with her is a joy and a treasure. Even now, ten months after I first brought her home, she looks at me with a face that says, “thank you for saving me, Mommy”.
I’m not trying to toot my own horn by saying that but when you have a connection with another living being, you know what even a simple smile and two sparkling eyes are speaking. I’ve had an incredible bond with @Lilly_The_Torti from the first night she arrived in our driveway and I also felt that same strength, that same pull to protect, when I saw Gracie at the PetSmart adoption center. Her eyes asked me to help her, to protect her and when I felt the large mass in her belly just barely twenty-four hours later, I knew why I was meant to be in PetSmart the night before, I knew I had correctly “heard” her plea.
I could feel the trust that Gracie had in me, she knew I would care for her during a long recovery after her difficult surgery. She never once fought the “lampshade” she had to wear for almost fourteen days and she never fought nor complained when I had to place her in a cat crate at the end of the evening, for the night’s sleep. She didn’t cry or scratch at the door to get out and she always had a purr and happy smile for me when I opened it the next morning.After the “lampshade” had been removed and Gracie was feeling better, we finally started seeing signs of the real Gracie. She became a very playful cat, not at all intimidated by her “big” brothers’ sizes — she would smack them around and get away with it! Gracie was also quite inquisitive, exploring and inspecting everything she encountered.
We also started learning some of Gracie’s fears — of which I’m sure developed from living on the streets and with her former humans. Loud and/or sudden sounds scare her the most. If I am sitting in my regular chair when she hears the noise, she runs and hides behind me, coming out only for Mommy’s reassuring voice. Unfortunately if I’m not in my chair, then she goes under the couch. No matter the hiding spot, a good dose of “Mommy Love” makes Gracie all better again.
In return, Gracie is one of the most loving cats I’ve ever adopted (tied with Lilly!). Every day she’ll curl-up on my lap and give me a smile and purr that says, “I love you, Mommy”. Like her sisfur Lilly, she also follows Mommy throughout the house, whereever I go. At night, she makes sure I’m safe in bed before she goes on her nightly “prowl”, running back to my side if she hears me get out of bed. When I finally turn off the light for sleep she appears once again, to curl-up for the night.
The next time you find yourself around rescue kitties or doggies, young or grown, and you hear a voice calling for help, listen to that voice, find it and take it home. You won’t regret it because, that voice will also say, “I love you”.
**October is national Adopt a Dog Month and June happens to be national Adopt a Cat Month but you can rescue a loving, furry child ANY day of the year. (I adopted Gracie in December!) If you can, please visit a rescue center, shelter or an adoption event and bring home a furry child calling for your help. Thank you.