Love and Tolerance
One of our neighbors had a litter of Himalayan kittens. My mother got one.
We got her when I was 7, maybe 8 years old. She was a little grey furball with a white stomach. We took her to the vet and got her spayed. She didn't stay little for long. Poof. Within a year, went from a little furry kitten to a little grey tiger. So fat her belly drug the ground when she walked. We named her Gracie. She pawed her way into my room almost every night to sleep in my bed. At an early age, she developed some sort of post-nasal drip issue. Waking up to cat snot running somewhere down my arm or chest was one thing, learning at an early age that even fat cats land on their feet was another. She would come right back though. I was glad she did.
We took her to the vet, and they recommended putting her to sleep. We declined.
She was very woman cat-like in that she kept an attitude and "please pet me" meant getting bit, sometimes in the face. When walking through the house she would come sliding in and latch her paws around you ankle and dig in. Confusing, that is. My brother and I played many sports and in doing so we usually had several friends and teammates at the house. Some were intimidated by her, even to the point of not coming inside. Whatever.
When she wanted out, she stood up on our sliding glass door and pawed wildly. Amongst the mirrors and reflections, plus due to her size, she was noticed pretty quickly. She like to play crouching fat cat, hidden dragon games in the grass. I'm not sure she ever got up enough speed to actually catch anything, but she looked cool doing it. Bluebirds played games with her.
Winter nights in Alabama get fairly cold. Gracie usually didn't stay out long, but from time to time she would get stranded outside afterhours. I usually got up kinda early and if she wasn't at the foot of my bed or laying on my face I knew she was outside. Sure enough, she would be desperately swiping our sliding glass door or taking a break from the last round of swiping. Exercise wasn't her strong suit. I would let her in, then look for the remote and make my way to the couch. Being a big one, she ate alot. We kept the cat food on the counter and she would jump up on the counter and paw it off into the floor. Boom. This happened multiple times a day, and night. After being out all night you would expect her to go straight to the counter and start bowling, but she wouldn't. She wouldn't wander through the house and investigate. She never jumped on the kitchen table and sprawled out like a tiger. She wanted something different. So I would let her in and she immediately would put her body against my leg. If I moved, so did she. She would follow me to the coffee table then almost beat me to the couch, purring the entire time. It's was her language of the heart. She would crawl in my lap, get as close to me as possible and move only when I did.
I've been fortunate enough in this lifetime to have many brilliant minded souls to look up to for advice and direction. That being said, my most valuable life lesson came from our fat cat, Gracie. If anyone or anything comes to the door whether they be cold, lonely, wild eyed, maybe even a leaf stuck to their tail; to be loved and tolerated is all they want and very likely it's all they've ever needed. In doing so, I've learned to see the world through diamond eyes.....just like her.
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