Wednesday, April 04, 2012


This is a cat. Her name is Gracie.

Like all cats, Gracie is a unique collection of neuroses and baffling behaviors. If you pour ice into the sink, she will immediately jump onto the counter, sit down, and stare at the ice. For fifteen minutes. Never moving a muscle.

Gloria chews mint-flavored gum occasionally, and Gracie is wild about the smell. She will hop on Gloria's lap and smell her breath (from a distance of about 3 inches). She will also dig through Gloria's purse like a maniac if Gloria doesn't take the gum out. She's so little that she almost disappears entirely.

If Gracie's brother George goes to the garage for a few minutes, or goes to the Vet, Gracie acts like she's never seen him before. She will hiss at him for hours before things return to normal.

She is, in fact, both the smallest and the dumbest cat in the world. Every time she does something stupid, we say "N.T.B.," for the Not The Brightest.

She sleeps about 18 hours a day (always around us, never off on her own), which is high, even for a cat, and she gets no exercise, except for a two-minute period every week or so when she will sprint wildly up and down the stairs several times. We have no idea why she does it, and neither does she.

While Gracie might be incredibly lazy, though, sudden noises can make her jump three feet in the air. Literally. And if she's sitting near you, or on your lap, it can be dangerous. Just ask Gloria's nose, which Gracie almost broke one night.

Gracie's favorite hobby is knocking things off counters. Pens. Watches. Phones. Remote controls. Vases. Stacks of DVD cases. Her approach is meticulous, moving the selected item a fraction at a time with her paw, nearing the edge, until finally it goes over.

She's also the only cat I've ever seen who can morph into another animal. When she's playing, her face scrunches up, her incisors show, and she looks remarkably like a bat.

That picture at the top? We call that the "treat stool." Gloria started giving Gracie and George treats once a day, and if Gracie hasn't gotten her treats by early afternoon, she'll sit on that stool and stare at the pantry.

And wait.

Don't think you can outwait her. You can't.

She's also completely loving, especially to Eli:

That's her laying on Eli's arm. She likes to curl up with his arm around her and sleep.

As a bonus in that picture, look at Gloria's shoes.

She came in one day and said, "How do you like my new shoes?"

"What's up with the leash?" I asked. Please note that everything I said in this conversation was motivated by honest curiousity.


"That strap around your ankle," I said.

"It's supposed to be sexy," she said, miffed.

"Do you know how surfers keep their boards with them when they ride big waves?" I asked. "They put a leash on the board and attach it to their ankles with a strap like that. Are you anticipating any explosive moments that might blow your shoes off?"

"Arrrrggggghhhhhh," she said, in a remarkable Charlie Brown impersonation.

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