Three snack packs of Whoppers, two flat leopard print mousies, one teddy bear mouse, one cloth mousie, one fur mousie, one drinking straw, a pen, a milk ring, a ball and a rose from the palm tree wall thing I bought in Savannah when I just knew we were going to buy this house when I got back. That’s what came out from under the couch last night from just one swipe of the magic toy making stick. And, of course, there was also enough cat hair to knit another kitten.
We really ought to hurry up and open that kitten knitting factory. Every time we throw away a wad of hair we lose money. Oliver says we can charge double for grey ones – they’re softer and so much more handsome.
"So many toys, so little attention span...hey, that actually works out okay!"
For Thunder Thursday, I present my parents’ other cat, Gracie. Gracie made sure we knew exactly how happy she was to welcome us into her home this week.
"Why haven't you caught on fire yet? I really need to get my laser eyes checked out."
This is Gracie’s crabby look. I didn’t get a picture of her wide-eyed glare of death. There is not a doubt in my mind that she’s thinking flammable thoughts at us.
I feel obligated to tell you my mother says Gracie gets a bad rap. She supposedly snuggles and is nice to people as long as “people” is my parents. Possibly my niece and nephew.
And now, why Gracie hates me more than any of the others: Poco.
My parents built their house when I was in Junior High. Poco was always and adventurous cat and she loved car rides so she went to the house several times while it was under construction. When we moved in she already knew the layout and wasn’t afraid at all. By the time Stasha and Stoney ventured out of the bed they hid under for two weeks, Poco was the queen. And when we got our malamute, Heidi, Poco was the queen of her too.
Then Po and I went away to college.
While we were away, Gracie was adopted. Gracie is a dilute tortie but she is all attitude. She and our huge dog became best buddies. And Gracie took her place as queen of the house.
Then I graduated. And moved home while I looked for a job.
So here’s Queen Gracie: seven pounds, tiny, BIG attitude. Also, her voice box has been permanently damaged since birth so her meow is a wispy puff of air. And then there’s Queen Poco: 18 pounds, huge, BIGGER attitude. While we lived in Idaho, Poco had beaten up the cats of every landlord I had. And two dogs. Her thug-iness is part of why I have strictly indoor cats now.
The thing is this. I think Poco would have been fine just dividing the kingdom and staying upstairs in our room for the most part. But the upstairs belongs to Gracie. And every night when the people went to bed, she’d come sneaking up to spy on Poco and try to take back some of her territory.
One night, as I was laying in bed, I heard the cry of a cat downstairs. Not Stoney. Not Poco. I raced to the stairwell and threw the lights on so I could see over the rail into the living room below. My parents came from their side of the house. There in the living room was Poco. She was pressing so hard on Gracie’s throat that an actual meow was coming out. And her first cry was most definitely a cry for help.
Of course we broke up the fight. Of course Gracie came back for more the next night. And the night after that. Luckily, Poco and I move out and Gracie is back to being the queen.
All hail, Queen Gracie. Long may she rage, er, reign.