It has been one year since Gracie appeared at our back door. She’s integrated into the household quite nicely and has become my second (or third) shadow. Since we moved into our new home, the cat hierarchy has settled down, and everyone gets along as reasonably possible for cats. She hasn’t gotten much bigger, just a wee bit more…voluptuous.
We can’t imagine life without her, but I’m not entirely convinced she’s actually a cat.
Sure, she looks like a cat. She eats like a cat. Possibly even uses the litter box like a cat. (Really, it’s hard to tell with 4 cats who’s doing what in the boxes.)
But she has the uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere without a sound. Sure, you can say cats are quiet and black cats especially are hard to spot. But we can certainly hear the other 3, and our other black cat Nora only really disappears into the black fur blanket on the couch. The only time you hear Gracie is when she chirp meows at you (it’s very distinctive) – and when she rearranges the furniture at night.
You can never see her do it, but we know it’s her. Mainly because the other 3 cats are on the bed with us, so it’s simply deduction. She’s completely relocated rugs, upset armchairs and sofas. She supposedly weighs 8 lbs, yet is able to move things many times her size. It’s almost poltergeist-like, but pretty sure it’s Grace.
Gracie truly embodies her name – she’s very delicate and elegant. But occasionally she passes through like she’s only recently come back into this body and forgot how to cat.
She’s impossibly soft. Like everyone comments on our soft our cats’ coats are. Nora always had the softest coat. But Gracie is like velvet on crack, designed to seduce your senses.
Then there was that strange business with her chip – how it kept vanishing, appearing, lacking any information, and disappearing again. We also found out while we were on tour last Fall that it seems like an army of black kittens descended upon Witch households and businesses across the country. Maybe they’re aliens plotting an invasion…or maybe they are a wave a spirits prepping for battle.
I’m not really worried about it, because we’re absolutely enchanted by her regardless, and we’re just fine with that. And Gracie knows it. (She also just chirped at me from the floor, she knows I’m writing about her.) Gracie knew she had us under her spell the first cold night we spent together. She crawled under the sheets purring, nestled against my thighs and deftly put all 4 tiny cold paws at once against the bare skin to warm them up. And I didn’t move a muscle (though I may have inwardly screamed.)
I’m pretty sure Gracie is a spirit in cat-form.
Or perhaps she’s the physical embodiment of Rainer Maria Rilke‘s poem, “Black Cat.”
A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:
just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.
She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once
as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.
Regardless of what she may be, besides a cat, I’m honored she’s spending her time with us. Happy One Year Gracie-Face!