For the love of Gracie

Alexandra HeepStarred Page By Alexandra Heep, 19th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

How trying to do the right thing back fired - oh and in the words of the immortal Bob Barker "get your pets spayed or neutered"

Nothing is ever easy

Although I have had cats for most of my adult life, I was not in the market for one due to recent and ongoing unfavorable personal circumstances. However, as it goes cats choose their owners and so I recently became owned by Princess Gracie. I am a firm believer in getting animals spayed and neutered, so you can imagine I was happy to find out that the local SPCA offers low cost services for low income individuals (writing does not pay as much as you may think).

I dutifully scheduled the appointment. Although I had this done many times before – well not to me, my previous cats that is - I was nervous about my cat going under the knife and having anesthesia. This of course was made worse by the piteous meows emanating from the carrier during the car ride on the morning of the appointment. Thankfully it was only a 15 minute drive; although I am sure to Princess Gracie it felt longer than that.

After filling out paperwork, I said my feline good-byes and left Princess Gracie around 8 a.m. in the hopefully capable hands of the SPCA staff – surrounded by a sad cacophony of other mewling cats and whining puppies. They said they would call me if there were any problems and that pick-up time was between 4:30 and 5:30 pm.

I tried to fill my waiting time at home with writing. I got bored with that and went upstairs to watch TV. I was smart and brought my cell phone with me and tossed it on the bed – only to watch it slide off and fall into the crack between the bed and the wall. This does not sound like a big problem, but I am disabled and cannot crawl under spaces or move things – and there are plenty of things under my bed much heavier than dust bunnies. I thought about it for a minute, then went on to carefully lay face down on the bed with my arm extended between the bed and the wall – only to find out I could not reach the bottom as either my arm was too fat or the space too small (I prefer to think the latter).

So much for staying calm. My room mate, who also acts as my chauffeur, was out on legal matters and I was hoping she would not have to call me to find another ride in case her appointments took longer. I also was hoping the SPCA would not have to call me. I was also trying not to think what the SPCA would do to pets not picked up on time.

Well, my phone never rang and my room mate did show up on time, so off we went to pick up Princess Gracie. As we pulled into the parking lot shortly after 4:30 pm, we could see the long line of people through the window – that just shows how many low-income people there are. My room mate let me out and she waited in the car for me as the parking lot was full. I made my way up the stairs and stood in line, watching the same kittens and puppies one by one being brought out from the back. They looked angrier than in the morning and drugs or no drugs, their vocals were working just fine.

It was finally my turn and after I stated my name, the lady at the counter asked me how long I have had Gracie for and how I had acquired her. I thought that was strange as the people in front of me were not asked this question. Regardless, I told the story: Princess Gracie used to belong to my room mate’s daughter, but she could not take the cat with her when she relocated to another state. The daughter had acquired the cat as what she thought was a stray, but had really belonged to their old neighbors who left Gracie outside all the time, but Gracie had wandered over to them and stayed with them. I am not all sure as to the exact details, but that is how they were relayed to me by my room mate. My room mate took Gracie in on a temporary basis, but Gracie picked me when I moved into the household.

Don’t worry if that is hard to follow, the lady at the counter had a glazed look in her eyes as well. I asked why they needed to know, and that is when I got the surprise of my life: They told me that they did not perform surgery on Princess Gracie as she “appeared to have had surgery” already (they noticed a scar on her belly) and that they estimated her to be about three years old. Three years old! Are they smoking catnip in there or what? In the 10 weeks or so I have had her she grew in length – it is the reason I waited to have her spayed as I did not want to take her in too soon. Plus, she does all the things kittens do: kneading, nuzzling, swinging from the curtains (much to the delight of the owner of the house who also lives there), etc. I wish I would have had the presence of mind to say all those things but all I could do was gape. Plus, there were so many people waiting in line. Well, they had given her the shots at least so I paid for them and they brought Princess Gracie out. She looked just as angry as all the other pets and was just as vocal and I wondered why. That is when I found out they had given her the anesthesia.

Well, home we went to much less subdued meowing than in the morning. All this trip accomplished was to alienate her from the other two cats in the household – I guess Princess Gracie brought weird scents home and the other two cats hiss at her now. Poor thing. Plus, she now has separation anxiety and won’t let me sleep – in and out of my room to constant scratching and crying. I wonder if I can bring her to the SPCA’s door step when she goes into heat to have them listen to her howls.


Cat, Cat Story, Cats, Feline, Kitten, Kitten Story, Spay, Spayed, Vet

Meet the author

author avatar Alexandra Heep
I am a freelancer and I can write about any subject. I have a professional background in administration, real estate, marketing, and mortgage post-closing. Other areas of expertise include health and beauty as well as spirituality and self help iss...(more)

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author avatar Diane
20th Aug 2010 (#)

Poor Gracie! Funny article that goes to show you never really know the history of a mature, adopted pet. One tip: When you bring a pet home from the vet, and there are other animals in the home, put a little touch of vanilla or other natural fragrance on all of their noses. Then you won't have an acceptance issue. Hopefully, all the kitties will be friends again soon. :)

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author avatar Conny
21st Aug 2010 (#)

So is Gracie alright now Alex? You wouldn't really drop her off at the SPCA when she goes into heat, would you? This is such a weird story.

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author avatar Alexandra Heep
21st Aug 2010 (#)

Oh no I would never do that. The owner of the house might want to kick her out, but I would go right with her.

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