The new year has arrived and with it came a new responsibility for Eddie and me. It is time for us to follow Gracey’s paw prints caring about all cats big and small. Even though we are still kittens, we have grown a bit and learned a lot from Lazy Leopard and Bad Kitty. They have been guiding us and with their help we feel we can begin. After all, small paws united can make a big difference.
I am going to let Eddie go first.
We want to tell you a story…
Just a few short months ago, I was waiting for my forever home in a cage with Eddie at the Grayson County Humane Society. Donna and her team took really great care of us. They made sure we were loved, received snuggles and attention so we would be socialized and ready for adoption. The Grayson team makes sure they capture the best photo of all cats and dogs at the shelter so that when the photos are shared, people from all over will see their faces with the hope that someone will fall in love and adopt them.
Thank you so much!
You did it! The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club is a finalist for Best Blog Post in the 2013 Petties. We are proud to be a finalist for our blog post Since You’ve Been Gone Our Message to Gracey. This post is very important to me as we work through our grief from losing Gracey.
We have been honored for the past four years, since the Petties began. We were thrilled to win the Pettie for Best Blog Post in 2012 for our Cat Obituary, Farewell Eastern Cougar, I wanted the post to be a voice for the big cats and the trouble they are having surviving in human dominated landscapes. Winning the Pettie helped amplify that voice.
In 2010 we were a finalist for Best Cause Related Blog, in 2011 for Best Cat blog, in 2012 we won for best blog post and in 2013 we are a finalist for best blog post.
Who Will Provide a Home for your Cat?
Do you have a plan in place in case something happens and you are no longer able to provide for your cats? We became Maggie’s godparents for Marie and we took that promise to heart. Even though we had hoped Maggie and Marie would live many more years together it was not to be. We had just adopted Annie and Eddie so adding Maggie presented a slight challenge but one that we were prepared to meet.
Our Message to Gracey
Since you’ve been gone we are doing our best to pick up and carry on but to be honest it hasn’t been easy. Coming back to our home without you was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Putting the key into the door and not seeing your happy face running towards me made my heart sink and tears stream down my face.
Stepping inside, I saw your water fountain unplugged and stagnant. I made it to the kitchen, put down my bags and stood still. Not hearing your voice telling me about your day, not being able to scoop you up and bury my face in your neck and not being able to carry you out into the sun room to look out over the yard, was more than I could take. Lazy Leopard looks so lonely. I sat down and had a good cry. The kind of cry where you can’t breathe for a few moments and you think you can’t go on. But we do go on, just on a different journey.
I thought I would fill the bird feeders and take Bossy Back Yard Blue Jay his peanuts. I procrastinated coming home, stopping by the store to load up on food for your friends. I made it to the garage and lifted the hatch on the Jeep but that was as far as I made it that day. I felt so weak and vulnerable. I thought I couldn’t fill the feeders without being able to see your face supervising my every move from your windows in the sun room. I wouldn’t be able to touch your pink nose through the glass on my way back inside.
I cleaned out the refrigerator of all the different types of food we had for you. Each lid turned with the hope that you would eat. We didn’t know you were so sick Gracey or we wouldn’t have tried so hard to make you eat. You were such a good girl and so patient with us. I washed up your bowls and syringes and packed up your little tiger rug.
I tried to be strong when your dad came home because I know how much he is hurting too. But when I saw his face, I fell apart instead. He wrapped his arms around me and said, “Let’s go for a ride. That’s what the old folks do.” And this made me laugh. We went for that ride to postpone being alone in the house without you. Our home feels so empty. Your parents are lost without you.
We lost our little Gracey yesterday morning. She passed peacefully in my arms.
Gracey was in multiple organ failure from complications of diabetes and pancreatitis that she had been living with for a little over 4 years. We were able to mange her diabetes with two injections of ProZinc per day and she was happy and healthy until this past week. Her doctors are wonderful and worked super hard doing everything possible to see if we could get her strength up and she could recover but it was not to be.
Paul and I needed yesterday to grieve and to gather the strength to begin the process of celebrating her wonderful life with us. We are so grateful that Gracey chose to share her life with us and she will live on in our efforts here on her The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club.
When Gracey won the Bissell MVP Contest in 2010 we were thrilled to donate the $10,000 to PurrEver Ranch Sanctuary. Rita works so hard to rescue older cats and cats with special needs, just like our Gracey. When I told Rita about Gracey she said:
PurrEver Ranch Sanctuary’s cat flap remains open. Our doors would have closed and the purrs would have ended without Gracey. That pretty little girl’s heart is responsible for so many homeless unwanted cats who’s hearts would have stopped beating without her help. Life simply is better because of Gracey. We live because she did. Thank you our darling Guardian Angel. We always knew she had wings.
The world didn’t get darker when she passed for her little bright light shines in all of us. I love you. And I love Gracey.
Gracey was an amazing little cat. From the time we rescued her from the dog pound she showed her sweet and mischievous personality. She was the inspiration for the book The Tiniest Tiger and for us taking the journey to complete a Master of Zoology to learn more about how we could help all cats big and small. Her community has grown to over 50,000 members and she would want us to continue helping her cousins in need.
We are heartbroken. Gracey was with us every moment of our days in our home. Paul designed the sun room windows to be the perfect height for her to look out over the back yard where she spent her days visiting with Bossy Backyard Blue Jay in the company of Lazy Leopard. When I was in the office, she was with me keeping me company and inspiring me.
We know that Gracey would not want us to stop the work she inspired us to begin. Leaving the hospital, a local rescue group was in the lobby talking about how they hoped their fundraiser would make enough money to buy food for the cats in their care over the weekend. As it turned out, my Jeep was full of cat food, toys and other items that I was planning to take to a shelter but hadn’t made it yet. We like to think Gracey was working her magic by us being in the right place at the right time.
When I came home and was washing up a few dishes, Bossy Backyard Blue Jay came and sat on the perch outside the kitchen window. He had not done this before. I chatted with him and he tilted his head and looked at me as if he understood. Then he flew around the yard and settled in the apple tree.
There is so much we would like to say, but the sadness is too much for us right now. Gracey was and is the light of our lives. Thank you for being a part of The Tiniest Tiger community and for loving our little girl too. I hope you will join us in celebrating Gracey’s life and continue on the journey to care for all cats big and small.
Joanne and Paul
Love at First Purr!
You Had Me At Meow! by our good friend and artist Missy Johnson caught my eye and it was love at first purr. Missy is the creative force behind Dogs for the Paws; art making a difference for animals. Even though the name is Dogs for the Paws, Missy cares deeply for cats too. In fact, just like us, she loves all animals. When I saw her You Had Me at Meow! I became super excited because I thought you would love it too!
Missy Johnson, Artist and Creator of Dogs for the Paws
Tiger cubs romping in the snow are super cute. And these Amur tiger cubs living at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are no exception. The cubs are six months old and weigh about ninety pounds and as you can see in the zoo’s video, they are happy as can be frolicking together around their habitat.
Amur Tiger Cubs Snow Adventure at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Watching my young big cat cousins inspired me. While in my heated thinking circle today, I thought perhaps I should feed my inner Amur tiger and venture out to frolic in the snow. After all, it is winter here in Ohio and my backyard is completely covered in white fluffy snow. The neighbor children are all suited up and sledding down the hills and they seem to be enjoying themselves. So I thought, why not brave the cold and pounce around a bit in the snow. So I left the comfort and warmth of my heated thinking circle and I went into the wild.