Thursday, February 07, 2008

About Gracie UPDATED

UPDATE: I have heard from Gracies new ownee (as Gracie is of course the owner) and she tells me that Gracie is happily co-existing with two red-footed tortioses and a godson.

Some people have been asking about Gracie, Andee's cat. Until now I did not have good news or really any news . I do now have good news to tell you. But first I need to tell you the full story of why I did not have any news.

When ever I look at my cat (Putty) I think about Gracie. I knew there was noway I could have gotten her home. It was just too overwhelming. It was selfish of me but I had made the decision going in that I was going to try to take care of the people and that Gracie was going to lose. While I was there Tom and I feed Gracie the food that Andee have left and a couple of can of tune that we had picked up on the way up from PVR. We both knew that things were probably going to get bad for her and our unspoken goal was to fatten her up as much as we could. The morning that we left I did something that I felt bad bad about doing but it was all that I could do for Gracie at that point. I put the bag of food at in front of the of the American that had come at Andee's call for help and gotten her to the hospital. She had already done so much for Andee and here I was asking her to do more. I really felt bad about doing that but it was all I could do for Gracie. My little pathetic excuses were that Gracie did not like men very much and would only grudgingly come near me when I was there down there in October and that my cat hates the very concept of other cats existing.

This weekend I got a message from this person with news about Gracie and I want to share it. I am going to quote it here.

A few days after you left to return home, two women moved in next door to me at my room in Aurora's. They were from Denver. I told them all about Andee, her transition, and of course introduced them to Gracie. We were going to walk to town together. "Okay," I said. "But I need to feed Gracie first. Come with me. You cn see where she lives. I only feed her back at her house because I hope it gives her some measure of comfort that at least one thing hasn't changed. She cries every night for Andee." As we walked over to Andee's to feed Gracie, we talked. The women said that they were from Denver. So am I! What a coincidence. Well, now that you have met Gracie, if I could make all the arrangements, would you be willing to take Gracie with you on the plane and deliver her to the woman who runs the Cat Care Society?

"Sure," they said. "The woman who runs it lives down the block from us." Okay, you're it! How long are you here? "We leave Chacala in two days, back to the states in three."

"From Vallarta? What airlines?"


"I'll find you," I said.

I had to spend that night in a different town. I left the women a note on the bag of cat food and said, "Would you please feed Gracie tonight and tomorrow morning?"

When I got back the next afternoon, the women had left me a note of good-bye with the name of the hotel they would be at in Vallarta.

I looked up the policy online for Frontier Airlines - traveling with a pet. They also addressed bringing home a pet from a foreign country. Airline approved pet carrier, health certificate and rabies certificate from a vet, ticket to ride.

I drove to La Penita and found a carrier at a vet's office but he explained that he was not certified to issue a certificate of health. Probably in Vallarta, he said. The day was getting away from me. The women would be flying from Vallarta the next day. Time was getting short.

God bless the internet. It took a few hours but I actually found a woman down in Los Ayalas who does animal rescue. I emailed her, beginning with, "I need help and FAST!" Of the many emails I sent out, she was the only person who responded with, "I can help. Call me ASAP. She called a vet she works with in Bucerias, 12 miles north of Vallarta, who agreed to see Gracie and me at 10 am the next morning, normally his day off. The women's flight was at 3, check in at 1pm.

Gracie had been my constant companion all week so I wasn't worried about catching her. Getting her into the carrier was more challenging.

At 8 the next morning, after two failed attempts at getting her into the carrier, I thought, "I need a strategy."

I walked down to the market and bought a can of tuna. I got Gracie to come into my bathroom in my room at Aurora's with the tuna and a little bowl of milk. I sat on the floor and talked to her and stayed close to her while she ate the tuna and drank her milk. Then I let her walk back outside, purposely ignoring her. I was hoping she would pee and poop. My target time to leave was 9am.

About 5 mins of 9, Gracie wandered back into my room and into the bathroom to see if I had given her any more tuna. Bless you, Gracie, I thought. I shut the bathroom door, picked up Gracie and the carrier. Facing her away from the carrier so she couldn't see it coming, I gently backed her into it as I set it down on the floor. I'll never know if it was the tuna, the milk, facing backwards instead of forward march or just the vibe that this is it, Gracie, your one big shot at a new home so don't blow it, but Gracie was calm and cooperative about being inserted into the carrier. Off we went in the truck to el veterinario in Bucerias.

A half hour of examination, one rabies shot, a little collar with a bell and one leash later, Gracie and I were on our way to the airport. I had not been in contact with the women since they had left Chacala but I had their flight information. When they arrived at the Frontier check-in counter, I was waiting. I held up the carrier with Gracie, who was curled up safely inside, her eyes wide as she watched all the commotion around her in the airport.

"I knew you'd be here," one of the women said.

"You bet," I said, "I brought your cat!"

The women then said that they had talked about it and had decided NOT to take Gracie to the Cat Care Society and my heart just broke. Instead, they explained that they had fallen in love with her during their time at Aurora's and they were SO GLAD I had found them at the airport because they had decided that if I showed up with Gracie, it was meant to be and they would take her home to live with them. I waited in line with them, bought Gracie a ticket to her new home and said, "Bye, sweet Gracie. Andee is very happy for you." I drove back to Chacala and cried when I saw Gracie's little dish on my bathroom floor.

I just thought you'd want to know. Gracie got a good home.



This took a huge load of mind that I had not fully realized was there. I had made plans for what to do with Andee's things when this time came but I just did not know what to do with the Gracie. So I hoped that as with a lot of other things that happened in this process that the universe would provide and something good would happen. This is not my normal way of dealing with things but it was all that I could do.

Gracie had one batch of kitten before Andee got her altered. She was very proud to have found homes for all the kittens. I just want to reach out and rub there little bellies.

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