Gracie was a dog who loved all creatures, great and small, but there was one special bond she had with a cat, and the cat felt the same way.
Gracie was the perfect pet to have around; she loved to interact with everyone as well as sundry animals and critters that found themselves on her home turf.
“Gracie was an American Eskimo and stayed outside almost all the time,” said Gracie’s owner Shea Belew Brennaman. “She loved nature and, while she was a protector of our house, she loved all other animals and they loved her.”
Brennaman, a fourth-grade teacher in Decatur, Alabama, was used to Gracie welcoming other animals, so when a strange cat turned up a few years ago, Brennaman wasn’t surprised to see Gracie befriend it. “I think it lives two cul-de-sacs over from us and I don’t know its name,” Brennaman told The Dodo. “Me and my family just refer to it as Baby Grey.”
“Gracie accepted her into our yard immediately and the two became fast friends,” Brennaman said. That was unusual in itself, but something else was even more out of the normal.
“We would leave Gracie tomatoes on our porch, as they were her favorite treat, and she would share them with the cat,” Brennaman said, “which was a huge deal because Gracie was very particular about sharing food.” Soon, Gracie and Baby Grey became inseparable.
“When Baby Grey started coming over frequently the two of them shared tomatoes and sunbathed together,” she said. “Sunbathing was their absolute favorite activity.” Sadly, in October 2017, Gracie was discovered to have an aggressive form of cancer.
“Gracie spent most of her remaining days on the cold porch,” Brennaman said. “I think part of it gave her relief but, in reality, she was saying goodbye to her territory and to all of her friends in her yard.” Not far away during this time was Baby Grey; she was prepared to support her canine friend in the best way she knew how: by being there for her.
“Baby Grey came to see her several times in her last days and, while there was no tomato eating, the two just laid there to be with each other,” she added. “They had that kind of connection where nothing needed to be said or done. They just wanted to be with each other.”
Then, less than a month after her devastating diagnosis, Gracie was gone. Baby Grey was not prepared to accept it, though, and continued to keep a vigil at the place where she always met with her friend.
“Since Gracie’s death, several times a week, Baby Grey will come to our porch,” Brennaman said. “She will first come right up to the door and look in for Gracie. I don’t know how long she waits, sometimes she’ll wait for 20 minutes and then she will walk away to the porch where she will sit a while before she eventually lays down and sunbathes.”
Posted by Shea Belew Brennaman on Thursday, 30 November 2017
Although Baby Grey’s regular visits to honor her lost friend are a reminder to Brennaman of their loss, Brennaman gains comfort in the cat’s vigil. “It breaks my heart to see Baby Grey still looking for Gracie,” said Brennaman, “but at the same time it gives me so much hope that these two animals had such a strong bond.”
“She had a sweet personality,” Brennaman added. “[She] was a friend to all and was very motherly, especially to our Yorkie,” she told TheDodo.