“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” When Harry Met Sally
When we took Gracie for her hyperthyroid treatment we were expecting Ernie to be upset. Ernie is a true herd cat. He needs friends and a pack to function. He would never make a good solo cat. He must have at least one cat friend. And indeed when we came back without Gracie, Ernie was upset. Someone was messing with his family unit. What we weren’t expecting was Burt’s reaction. Burt and Gracie are arch nemises. They constantly growl/hiss at each other and exchange swats at feeding time. Gracie will just walk up to Burt and hiss at him for no good reason. They’re two grumpy old guys that constantly bicker and hate each other, but it’s that bickering that keeps their minds sharp and the challenge of one uping the other. They’re Frank and Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond. They have hated each other for so long that the hatred has turned into some weird codependency and love.
The longer Gracie was missing, the more distraught Burt became. He looked in all her normal hiding and sleeping spots. He looked under the bed. He looked in her favorite sunbathing spot on the carpet. He looked in her favorite box with the thermal bed and catnip toys in the lounge. He looked in her favorite cat tower by the outdoor bird feeders. And he looked under the table in the kitchen where she would wait to pounce on him at feeding time. She was no where to be found.
It was heart wrenching to watch Burt soulfully meow and look all over the house for Gracie. We just were not expecting that response from him. Obviously, our family unit has become very dependent on each other. I take that as a good sign our kitties are happy. It also made me wonder if there was much research on cats grieving. Not much, but this article has some helpful tips.
Gracie Update: She’s started eating again with an appetite stimulant, but she refused to poop at FHTC. Can you blame her? There are some humans that can only poop at home. Her radiation level was low enough that we could bring her home! First thing home, Ernie hissed at her because she smells different, but Burt gave her a head bobble and kitty kiss. No hissing from Burt! She’s had anxiety medication this morning, and is having issues walking. It’s like she’s intoxicated. It will wear off. She’s had almost an entire tin of tuna. We had to give a little to Burt and Ernie too. She’s drank some water, had a poop and is having a good explore of the house.
For the next 14 days we have keep at least a foot away from Gracie to help limit our lifetime exposure to radiation. Each day her radiation levels will decrease. We also have to collect the litter for the next 14 days. Then store it for at least 80 days before we can safely dispose in our regular trash.
Our view home wasn’t the same, but it was equally stunning in a different way.
Stay safe, wear your mask and snuggle your pets/loved ones.