The Space Needle is My Neighbor

"A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Friday, March 09, 2007


She's gone. Gracie went to sleep very peacefully this afternoon at 2 pm. Her x-rays showed a very large mass that had pushed her esophagus down almost into a v-shape and her lungs were full of what we can only assume was a very aggressive cancer that had metastasized throughout her respiratory system. Her eyes remained open right through to the end, which I felt was so characteristic of how she had lived her life- on the alert in an attempt to be ready for anything that might want to cause us harm. Slowly her forehead slumped down onto her paws and she was done.

One thing I had forgotten about was how once I started writing on this site, I would sit cross-legged as I am now, in front of my coffee table with the lap top at eye level and Gracie would get on the sofa behind me and stare over my shoulder at the screen for hours at a time as I tried to craft a sentence or two. Sometimes I would lean back and touch my head to hers so she would know I wasn't completely oblivious to her presence. She wasn't crazy about this move, but she always tolerated it. I would think of the Cone Heads on Saturday Night Live when I did it and it gave me a laugh. Of course it's hard to accept the fact that she's not sitting here behind me, especially since I've only now been finally able to start writing again, but it is because of her, in part, that I have found my voice again. It's strange to feel that there's no life other than mine in this apartment. It makes the quiet that much quieter. In the six years that she lived here, I never heard Gracie meow once. She was the original Stealth Kitty. Now that she's no longer here, this ocean of silence is so vast and so overwhelming that I could almost drown in it. It is so very still in this room.

As my friend David said, this hard part is how we take care of our pets, too, and just as important as what we do for them in life. She'll never have to struggle to take another breath. I won't have to force another pill into her. Her pain is over and now mine is just beginning. I'm going to promise myself that I will temper it with thoughts of all that I had, and not just dwell on what I am missing. Thank you all for being so supportive; my old friends as well as my new ones. You've helped. You truly have.


Anonymous pboss said...

so sorry, love

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Peri said...

Gracie is beautiful. I can see her character written all over her face. Very strong.

You were a good fit for each other. I'm sorry my friend.

8:51 PM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

She was a strong girl and would have gone on much longer if I had let her-she remained very present right through to the end. I agree, we were a good match and I'm missing her very much today.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

It has been a week since your sweet furry friend died, and I am just reading of it. Her beautiful eyes in your photo seem very wise. I am wishing you well through your grieving of her loss.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Davina Jaggard said...

I had no idea you had idea! I haven't checked this blog in awhile, until today. Fancypants, I'm so sorry. You write about her so beautifully, and I can't stop crying. I'm so sorry for your loss. ~Ninachild

11:44 PM  
Blogger suitep said...

I just stumbled onto your blog, and this post just about broke my heart. I'm sitting here, crying at my desk at work.
I'm going home tonight and giving my cat extra big hugs and love. She's 17, and looking very frail lately. The hardest part for me, is what you nailed so clearly. That huge echoing silence in my apartment, when she is gone. I can't even think about it.
Be well, and thank you for sharing something so painful.

1:02 PM  
Blogger FancyPants said...

Hard to believe it's been a month.
I'm getting ready to move, and of course I keep thinking I see her in the piles of clothes, or in a corner of the room, peeking around a stack of books. Thank you for stopping by, Suitep. I checked out your site-I'll be back to visit again soon.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm so sorry. We went through the same sad process with our Allegro last fall. And I know exactly what you mean when you talk of cats keeping you company when you blog!


8:03 AM  

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