I’ve been tormenting Rich for months about getting another cat since I feel he’s unduly influenced the cats who now refer to me as “the pesky person who leaves in the morning and returns at night.” Because Rich works from home, he has a monopoly on the cats’ affections (and demands).

While I wanted another cat, I knew it was unrealistic with our already having six sets of beady yellow, green and blue eyes. Nevertheless, I’m always on the lookout for a cat (or kitten) in need. Last Saturday, we went to the PetSmart in Burlington (next to Mount Vernon) to purchase bird food. S.P.O.T. (Saving Pets One at a Time) was having an adoption event.

In one of the cages was a small Russian Blue cat. I’d had a Russian Blue as a child whose name was Celina so I recognized the breed immediately. The cat that was up for adoption was exquisite with deep blue-gray fur, silver muzzle, round golden eyes, slender body, and angular face.

I trotted over to Rich to “test” the idea of getting another cat and he was surprisingly amenable. His first comment was, “It’s so gray.”

“And,” I probed.

An older man – Dick Willson — was eager to answer our questions about the cat because he and his wife were its foster parents. They’d named the cat Sassy. She was one of four kittens that were dropped off by the owner. According to Dick, the kittens were very feisty and he had to handle them with welder gloves. Under his care, they became very loving animals. 

After we both held Sassy, we decided to adopt her! Rich, however, decided to rename her Gracie because “she’s so gray.”

Her first few days have been a bit traumatic. First, she had to be in the car from Mount Vernon to Kirkland; also in the car was Zephyra and Jujube who we took to Mount Vernon on Friday night. And once home, Gracie met the rest of the pride: Pu’Yi, Lunetta, Ariel Anne, and Goldakevtch.

Saturday morning, we decided to lock her downstairs in the family and laundry room with Pu’Yi and Goldakevtch so she could explore without Jujube pestering her. We went downstairs a few hours later and she was nowhere to be found, but I’d heard shuffling sounds from behind the bar refrigerator. We pulled it out and there was a small hole in the wall…

Happily, Rich was able to use a small saw to quickly cut a hole in the drywall to extract her. While he patched up the wall, I put her in a Papasan chair with Pu’Yi, who softly hissed then consented to snuggling with her. Pu’Yi likes young women!

It’s going to take another week or so until Gracie is comfortable around all of the cats. Fortunately, the old ladies – Ariel Anne and Goldakevtch – and Pu’Yi are used to other cats. Zephyra is very mellow. Lunetta is afraid of her own shadow so she’ll snarl at anything that even looks at her. And Jujube… half the time he’s scared of Gracie and other half he thinks she’s a play toy.