Precious Greyce, The Cat Advisor, died on July 30, 2014.
Greyce had an adventurous life with at least two different caregivers before fending for herself during an extremely cold, snowy and icy November in 2002. By the time I found her on my icy sidewalk (December 5th) she had been on her own for about a month! Yet she bounded over to greet me and insisted on following me inside. And when Himself got home that evening, she followed him to the sofa, settled on his lap and started to purr. From that moment, it was obvious that Greyce had found her new home - even though we tried very hard to find her previous purrson.
We did our best to provide Greyce with a home she could enjoy, but life was far from easy for her. Soon after her arrival she visited veterinary specialists for ultrasounds and a biopsy. The specialist gave her a six-month prognosis at best. Greyce beat that by more than a decade, though her severely compromised kidneys would present all kinds of challenges. She was no stranger to pain or illness, battling chronic pancreatitis, irritable bowel disease, and the side effects of renal problems - including high blood pressure and a potassium deficiency.
Yet Greyce's had a full and rich life. She had unrestricted access to a large backyard protected by a cat fence. And she spent many hours hiding under the junipers and observing the birds. She also liked to monitor the voles in the compost piles in the back garden. In the winter, she would huddle under a bench on the upper deck to maintain her surveillance of the property.
Regardless of her backyard activities, she was insistent on having walks out for the front door (on leash and harness) and enjoyed exploring the surrounding neighbourhood. She could never understand why her purrsons would not buy up about a dozen surrounding properties so that she could have unfettered access.
She was adored by both of her purrsons but it was clear that her heart was captured by Himself. They ate together, read the paper together, gardened together and went for walks together. She would sleep on his chest while purring and gazing into his eyes. Herself was truly 'the other woman'.
As Greyce aged, her ability to bounce back from repeated bouts of illness was compromised. And over the past several months, she began to change. Yowling, agitation and restlessness were some of the symptoms she experienced - randomly and at all hours of the day and night. Taking her own advice for anxious cats, Greyce used Feliway, night lights, the placements of various bowls of food and water, exercise, and behavioural medication. And while some of this helped, it wasn't enough to remove her terror.
It appears that Greyce had some form of dementia. There was nothing more to be done.
On Wednesday July 30th in the afternoon, her veterinarian and accompanying nurse assisted Greyce in finally getting the peace she so richly deserved. She died in the back garden, in the sunshine, surrounded by trees and grass and the ones who loved her dearly.
It has been a pleasure to assist Greyce in providing advice to troubled cats and their purrsons. While our success rate was not 100%, it was heartwarming to receive progress e-mails and learn that in many cases, her advice made a positive difference to a cat in need. Greyce would suggest that in all cases, the cat was purrfect but the purrson needed work.
So feline readers, take heed: Give your purrson a whisker kiss and a special purr, in memory of a truly remarkable cat. Of course, your purrson is most welcome to reciprocate with a tasty treat or a pinch of catnip. Greyce would certainly approve.