Skip to main content

Gracie and the Raccoon


Gracie is my fat cat, and apparently, a super hero. She even has a tragic flaw like all good superheroes. Her previous owner named her Gracie because she is just not that graceful. Trapped in a studio apartment before I adopted her, she grew fat and desperate to get outside. Now she lives with us and spends her days moving from prime napping spot to prime napping spot. She naps in the sun. She naps in the shade. She naps under shrubbery. She naps on neighbors porches. Once in a while she will chase a squirrel (she usually can't be bothered), but stops quickly because she is tuckered out. The squirrels are not scarred. She talks a lot, too. Mostly she wants food, or to be petted, or for me to sit down so she can nap on me. My son and I often speculate about what the cats do during the day while we are gone. We joke that they only pretend to be lazy but as soon as we leave they are off to fight crime. Now I am beginning to wonder if that might be true.

Yesterday I was working from home at my desk in the basement. Gracie was fast asleep on the couch behind me when she suddenly jumped up and ran to the cat door. On the rare occasions when she does run, it is usually a hopping, flobbery kind of run, but this time she was running like a predator – hunkered down, fast, and silent. She ran to the cat door and gave a great swat and a hiss. A raccoon had been trying to come into the house (again) and she smacked it in the nose. Gracie. The fat one. I was as amazed as the raccoon who just stood there staring at us. I went to retrieve a raccoon dispatching device should it decide to come into the house, but I should not have bothered. When I got back downstairs I saw that Gracie had chased the raccoon across the yard and over the fence. She was sitting there on guard to make sure that it didn’t come back. I could not believe it. Even George, my hunter killer cat was shocked and ran back into the house with me.

I moved my live trap right next to the cat door and baited it with cat food and went back to work. A couple of hours later I brought my son home and he heard a meow as he went downstairs. It was just Gracie’s normal “hello” meow, but he spotted that she was stuck in the trap eating the food. Again. Sigh. Her tragic flaw. He opened the door so she could get out, but she didn’t want to leave the food. Eventually she backed out – too fat to turn around. She finished off the day with her usual series of naps in various sun beams, and even went next door to sit in my retired neighbors lap for a bit before returning to her naps – or perhaps her naps are just her way of maintain a constant state of readiness so she can leap to our aid should the need arise. I think it is the later one.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How To Make School Lunches More Nutritious: Re-Define Words

If you are a parent of a child who attends public school in Washington, and if you have even a vague recollection of the food pyramid , you probably will have noticed that the lunches that are served in school cafeterias are frequently at odds with the rules of good nutrition. The school is not wrong, however. They have just re-defined words and you are not keeping up. Pop quiz:  Cheese belongs to what food group? *bzzz* - wrong. You said that cheese was in the diary food group , right? No! Pbth! How boringly accurate of you. Cheese magically transforms into a protein when it is served on pizza or in a bread stick! I know that you may be dubious, but I contacted Wendy Barkley, RD,  who is the Acting Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs in the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and she assured me that it is so. To quote her email to me: " Pizza remains an option for schools for their menus.  The cheese on pizza is counted as a protein in t

Global Entry - The TSA Trusted Traveler Program - or - How to Go In The Short Line At The Airport Security

Ever since September 11th, 2001, flying has been a hassle. With each failed attempt to smuggle explosives on an airplane, the TSA makes us get more undressed at airport security. In fact, for really early morning flights, we should probably all just show up in our jammies and then get dressed once we are through the scanner because currently we get up, get dressed, go to the airport, get half undressed, go through security, and then get dressed again. For quite some time, people have been asking the TSA so implement some kind of pre-screening program where travelers could have a background check in advance, and then be allowed to go in a shorter line. That day is finally here, and the TSA is now rolling out a Trusted Traveler Program known as Global Entry . In a nutshell, you pay $100, fill out some online forms, go in for an interview, present your proof of ID, and get fingerprinted and photographed. Yes, it sounds like some red tape, but then, every time you make an airline reser

Rooftop Playgrounds

This week I have had some meetings in a tall building in downtown Seattle, and when I took a moment to look around and enjoy the view I have noticed playgrounds on rooftops. I saw this daycare playground: and this playground on top of a school: I think that this is a really cool use of space. A friend that grew up in NYC said that her school had a rooftop playground, too. The delinquent in me wonders how many toys and balls go over the side, but I bet the teachers are pretty strict about that. Downtown Seattle has always seemed a little unfriendly towards kids and it is neat to see spaces being carved out.