Wednesday, June 18, 2008

gracie under fire

Moving in together was possibly the best thing Jesse and I could've done in order to get ready for a future together. The second best thing was adopting the fur babies.

I've said it before and I have to say it again, having these kitties is a lot like having children (the young, helpless, dependent kind). You have to feed them, bathe them, and watch over them to make sure they don't do anything to hurt themselves. The biggest challenge Jesse and I have faced in raising kitties is Gracie.

mmm...cat nip
Sure, she looks all sweet and curious in this picture, but you should see the plant now.

Don't let the cuteness fool you, peeps. She is quite the troublemaker. Little Gracie firmly believes that she can get by on her looks and cute, chirpy meows, and constant rubbing up your leg. But I'm beginning to think her whole purpose in life is to cause trouble and to make Nicky her accomplice.

Gracie was really good with the word "No" when we first got her. Now she thinks NO! is a common reaction to whatever she does so it's lost all meaning.

gracie close up
the calm before the storm of trouble making

I know what all you experienced cat parents are thinking--it's time for the spray bottle. Well, Gracie likes water, so that didn't really work. And I don't have the heart to use the canned air on her. The last thing I want is for her to hate us. In trying to figure out ways to get her to stop, Jesse and I have differed greatly. He is totally the disciplinarian. He is angry and firm and very protective of Nicky (our first kitty who is the perfect angel compared to Gracie and sometimes goes hungry because Gracie eats his food). On the other hand, I follow up my loud "No!"s with hugs and cuddles and kisses. I'm a sucker for the seemingly contrite look in her eyes after I've yelled at her. Then I start to feel guilty for yelling at her in the first place. This is then followed by Gracie doing whatever it was I yelled at her for a few minutes earlier.

Clearly, my method isn't working.

treats?
perhaps plotting world domination?

A perfect example of bad mothering happened a few weeks ago. Jesse had left out a frozen pack of pork chops on the kitchen counter to thaw while we were at work (we don't have a microwave, which I'm told helps shorten the thawing process). Jesse and I returned home to find a bloody bone at the front door.

Apparently, Gracie had jumped up on the kitchen counter (Nicky is not capable of doing this, so we know it had to be Gracie), bit into the vacuum pack of pork chops, and somehow managed to pull a pork chop out of the tiny hole she made in the plastic (bones and all) and then she and Nicky proceeded to eat the raw piece of meat.

Jesse and I stood at the front door in complete shock upon seeing the bloody bone. Naturally, Jesse seemed angry at the kitties and at Gracie in particular for being the instigator. Upon inspecting the bone, I noticed that all the meat was gone, but the fat remained on the bone. Oddly enough, this made me very happy. Like an optimist looking for the silver lining, I said to Jesse, "Look, they left the fat on the bone! That means they're healthy kitties! Yay!" To the fur babies, I said, "Good kitties!"

Jesse was briefly impressed yet was still angry and was trying to think of what we were going to do for dinner. On the other hand, I was still in awe of the kitties for avoiding the fat on the pork chop. Sure, they could've been picky. But I'd like to think they were making a health conscious choice.

So, you see? My parenting skills need work.

3 comments:

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

Gracie has to be related to my Nermal - they look alike and act alike.

Nermal loves water, has gone swimming for fun in the toilet on numerous occassions. If you sit pizza on a plate and leave it there, she will take it go under the bed and eat it haha. Actually she will eat anything.

I gave up on her - she eventually settled down except for the pizza nabbing.

Anonymous said...

I always want to run out and adopt a kitty after I read one of your posts. I'm still not ready though-my last cat, Ophelia, died on Feb 1. It doesn't feel right yet. Her brother, Ignatius, who is a total ringer for Gracie died two years before her and I am swear I can see him out of the corner of my eye sometimes. ~erika

lizzie said...

CH 20210--HA! they are totally alike. gracie thinks all food is for her, including human food. if any of us are eating something, she has to have some of it (jesse and i won't give her human food). she'll even give you a pleading look. nicky was like this too at first, but he got over it quickly. gracie still thinks we'll give her scraps. AND her favorite room in the condo is the kitchen.

erika--i'm sorry about your kitties. :( having just lost a pet, i know what you're going through. while i'm happy that my posts make you wanna adopt a fur baby of your own, you should do so when you're ready. and when you are, i can recommend some awesome rescues. :)