Saturday, March 17, 2018

The saga of Grace

Well! It has been quite the week... 

So back at the end of December,  I took in a shy but lovely foster kitty named Grace.

At first, she was very timid, hiding up in a tire on the cat-room wall. But with patience and love, she came around, with the help of sardines and some extra TLC from my cat-whisperer friend Sharron. Grace started to purr when we pet her, giving us a glimpse of her sweet personality.  It wasn't long before Grace was offered a fur-ever home.  I was thrilled when my friend's mom-in-law and husband adopted Grace. They are seniors, and it would be a quiet, loving home for Grace. And my friend, who was smitten with this grey girl, but whose own hubby is allergic to cats, would get to see Grace regularly!

So this former denizen of the Miss Hawkesbury restaurant parking lot went off to live in her beautiful new home.  My friend's son (Grace's owners grandson) built Grace a wonderful big scratching post. They bought Grace an amazing cat tree and put it by the kitchen windows, and she perched there as she dreamed of assassinating the fat mourning doves and twitching Chickadees that came and went form the feeders just beyond the glass. Grace's new cat-parents absolutely doted on her.

Then just over a week ago, the front door was accidentally left ajar. Grace saw her chance, and scooted out in search of adventure.

And didn't come back!

Search parties were arranged. Posters were stuck to poles. "LOST CAT" posts flooded the internet.Veterinary clinics and the OSPCA were called, and everyone in the village that Grace lives in was alerted to her absence. Sharron and I went down to look for her one day, and then Sharron kindly went back on her own a few more times to search for Grace in the snow. Grace's owners also continued to call out to and look for her. They put her bed and litter box outside, hoping that her own scent would show her the way home.

Then they heard reports of a new grey cat hanging out at the feed mill down the street. So they borrowed a live trap from me, and set out to catch this cat. Which they did, last Saturday.

Grace took the lure of tuna and went straight into the trap. Her owners picked up the trap and noted that Grace was, well, a bit wild, but what cat wouldn't be spooked by such an experience? Trapping is hard on cats. Grace had been trapped before when Operation Spay + Neuter in Hawkesbury rescued her from a restaurant parking lot. So Grace's humans put the cage in the trunk and drove home,. They brought the cage inside, and let Grace out.

Grace freaked out a bit, which really wasn't like her, but still, it had been a traumatic experience. She bolted from the cage and made a beeline for the TV cabinet. Then she left there and booted it for the bedroom., where she again promptly hid.  Her owners put a litter box and food nearby. The box was used, the food disappeared, but still Grace continued to hide. And then, just a soupçon of doubt... Grace's hu-mom emailed me:

It may be Grace. I'm still not sure.

Grace continued to hide. Suspicion continued to grow.

It may be Grace. I still can't see her whole body.

The village Grace lives in isn't very big. Really,  how many new stray grey cats could be showing up there the same weekend that Grace disappeared? But something wasn't right. Grace's hu-mom emailed me again:

I still can't get a good look at her. Bedroom smells "feedmill". I'm not sure if a cat can pick up the scent of where it has been or if this cat has lived there for a while.

We all wanted this cat to be Grace. Everyone was devastated by her disappearance, and just wanted Grace back in her cozy bed. But instead, Grace was hiding out under the bed and refusing to interact with her humans. There was no growling, hissing, or spitting, but there was no purring either. When her hu-mom reached under the bed to stroke Grace's back, she closed her eyes and cowered. They could touch Grace, but she made no effort to move towards them. Another email arrived...

1:30 on Monday.Grace (if it is her)continues to be elusive.

  You can see where this is going. At this point,  I was pretty sure we were dealing with:

Then, another message:

I don't think this cat is Grace.

Yeah, me neither. Much as I wanted it to be Grace, much as we all did, unless she had had a lobotomy, this cat was not Grace. But then, a glimmer of hope! Another email arrrived:

There is another grey cat that comes toward the house every evening , sometimes goes under the deck. It looks more like "Grace" size-wise but I have not been able to catch it or get really close to it.

Whaaaaat!? That HAD to be REAL GRACE! Once again, Sharron went over to help. She suggested that Grace's owners set the live trap next to the deck where cat footprints had been seen. The trap was baited with delicious, stinky tuna. At 9:30 last Thursday night, a week after Grace had disappeared, I got a call from her hu-mom.:

I caught a grey cat! I'm SURE it's Grace. When I stick my fingers in the trap, she meows and comes over to me.

Jubilation! Grace was home! My friend Sharron, who had by this point lost hope, woke up at 11 pm to read to my joyful  text message: 

She got Grace in the trap! And if it's not Grace, we will soon have caught every grey cat in the village!

 We all slept well for the first time in a week.

But now what to do about FAKE GRACE camped out in real Grace's home? Sharron did manage to get a photo of him/her, hiding under the bed...

Fake Grace

Real Grace

Well, I messaged my friend Elizabeth at Operation Spay + Neuter, who had originally trapped Grace. She came down with me on a mission to catch the imposter. 

Elizabeth is very experienced with catching cats: ferals, scared kitties, you name it. She's a pro. She came with me down to Grace's place, and quickly sized up the situation. The kitty under the bed was scared. not feral. Kitty also had a substantial set of testicles! And within ten minutes, Liz had gently scruffed him and put him in the cat carrier. 

And he is now in a room in my barn, awaiting a vet visit and neutering. What comes after that, I'm not sure, but we named him Grayson, and he is now safe. Still hiding, but safe. No doubt Sharron will soon be working her sardine magic on him.

And Grace has her home back to herself...

I don't think she is the least bit sorry for the worry she caused! But her family is so happy to have her back. Her hu-mom called it the week from hell.  I am just so relieved this sweet girl is back where she belongs. She really does have the best family. And the front door that was left ajar is being repaired so that it closes properly.

Maybe a week on the run in the snow will convince Grace that the outdoor life is no longer for her! And things are looking better for Grayson, too, now that he's off the streets, and the credit have rolled on this feline version of Trading Places.

Grayson doesn't look sorry either.

In other news, check out this pic of my former foster kitty George, aka Pirate Kitty, who was adopted by Sharron...

Isn't he magnificent?

And next Saturday, March 24th, I am holding another fundraiser to raise money for the veterinary care for my foster kitties...

If you would like to attend, let me know! Contact info is the flyer. We are an hour east of Ottawa and an hour west of Montreal.

And as you can see, cat rescue is not for the faint of heart! Many thanks for all the supportive comments on my previous post. I am going to keep doing this crazy foster cat thing! Have a great weekend.


  1. Quite an adventure! So glad this sweetie is back in her home and her impostor Grayson is safe and will be neutered.

  2. Grace escaped for a reason. The universe told her that her doppelganger needed rescuing too. So she put the wheels in motion to help him the only way she could.
    Either that, or there was one helluva glitch in the matrix.
    Lucky Grayson..his stars have aligned #Rescued & #Loved🐱

  3. Grace and Grayson are both very pretty kitties. Glad the real Grace is home and Grayson will soon be a much better boy with his bits gone. You do great work with these cats! Hugs!

  4. Fun and cute story! I'm glad both grey cats (the real one and fake one :) are safe!

  5. They may have had the same parents! Good job, all of you.

  6. Oh phew, Natalie. I can finally let out a sigh of relief. This post kept me spellbound. Being a cat person and involved with rescue cats even now I'm widowed, I also thought the Grace who was spooked and dashed under the bed, was not the real Grace. But thank goodness Grayson has landed with his paws in the butter at your wonderful home.

  7. I like Lori's comment; perhaps there the cosmic powers that be/fates/whatever had a paw in arranging all of this. I'm glad Grace is home safe and sound and that Greyson, whatever happens, will be neutered and well-cared for.

    And yes, George is, indeed, magnificent!

  8. What a story! Grey cats are really hard to tell apart!
    Glad Grace is home, and I hope Grayson realizes how good he has it now.

  9. What an adventure , hope that there will be no more like this one Grace! Hope the new boy finds a good home. Love the photo of George, he is so handsome!

  10. Oh my gosh what a worry for the owners and adventures for both cats . I am glad all worked out well for all in the end and that all kitties in waiting find nice fur ever homes ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend !

  11. I am glad Grace was found and this cutie was rescued too.

  12. The whole time I was reading this I had the sound track for "Mission Impossible" running through my head. You can't make this stuff up! So glad there was a happy ending. :)

  13. Sweet photos :)

  14. I loved the comment, " we will soon have caught every grey cat in the village!". What a good idea! (Perhaps Grace has more siblings out there...) But so happy that the original Grace was found and her look alike now has an opportunity to find a good home.

  15. What a funny Grace story! Sounded like something from a comedy show. So glad it all worked out for both cats. Glad you are going to continue your cat rescue. So many cats will have good homes as a result. Thank you for all you do for the animals and all you share with your readers!

  16. you can't make this stuff up! So glad that both kitties are ok and that YOUR Grace is home! catchatwithcarenandcody

  17. Oh my, this so made me laugh,--you told the saga excellently. And the fact that Real Grace is safe and Fake Grace is going to come out good on this too, just made it all the better. Thank you for all you do!

  18. Excellent storytelling!!

  19. Great story. Glad both kitties are doing great. I am very glad everything worked out. Happy Respect Your Cat Day!!
    World of Animals


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!