Saturday, December 23, 2006

Family is gathering

The other night, for the first time ever, all of our furry children (remember there are 7,yes I said 7) were in the living room with us at the same time. TGF and I were on the couch with Grace, Atticus, Saana, and Marcel. Wyatt was on the floor, Joia on one of the orange chairs that compliments her calico coat beautifully, and Gemma on another chair. TGF noted this and said, "That may be the best gift of all." I have to agree.

We moved into this house with just Grace, TGF's cat who made the long car trip from Ohio. As the baby of her previous household this was Gracie's first time to be an only child and I think she liked it. For three weeks. Yes, that was as long as I could contain TGF's desire for a dog. (For TGF's take on these early days go here.) The search for the dog that Saturday was quite successful resulting in a rambunctious addition to our previously sedate almost zen like home. In addition we, okay, TGF volunteered us (without consulting me) to foster a mama cat and two kittens. That day our family went from three to seven in a blink of an eye. Three weeks later in the course of another weekend six more foster kittens were added. Some of these amazing creatures are still with us (suckers? I have no idea what you are talking about). We continued to foster a small array of critters for a few months with the number of four footed creatures varying between six and eleven.

With the arrival of Wyatt and the first felines, Gracie started to rebel by separating herself from all of us, rarely coming into the house proper. She roamed in the backyard (okay the area is smaller most master bathrooms by half but it is yard-ish and in the back of the house so it counts). Lolled in the garage. Occasionally sat on the back counter or window sill in the kitchen.

Joia, the mama cat we took in early became a permanent member of our house by TGF's decree (seeing a pattern here?) but once she finally cut Gemma (okay that one was my choice to adopt) off nursing, she also retreated a bit and had a limited range in which see deigned permissible for her presence. Slowly Joia started showing up in a few additional places, though she has not returned to sleeping on our bed, even during the day. Starting in maybe late spring, early summer she started hanging out in the living room more regularly which was delightful.

Grace still stood her ground though was friendlier from her perches in the kitchen, rubbing against Wyatt, trilling to us to stroke her. In September, Grace started attempting entry into the living room, going to TGF, sitting next to her. We were stunned but happy by the change. A few weeks later it was clear to me that Grace the Empath knew TGF needed some extra care since Elliott was dying and TGF was quite sad. Losing Elliott has been hard but the silver lining has been a precious gift to us.

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