Grady in Glory

Grady in Glory

GradyI don’t want to write this blog post.

I don’t want to have a reason to write this post. I’m not ready for that reason, and don’t expect I would have been ready next week, or next month, or next year.

But Grady was ready this morning. Our love, our Grady-bug, the snuggle bunny of my heart and the striped angel of the Tabby’s Place reception desk, left this earth around 10:30 am today.

GradyloveI’m sorry for the shock I know this will be to you, as it was to all of us.

Grady’s decline, which started Sunday night, happened so quickly that, before we had enough information to write a proper update, he was begging us in every way he could to let him go.

The Cliffs Notes version of the very painful last few days goes something like this: on Sunday night, Danielle was attentive and loving enough to notice that Grady seemed to be having some extra respiratory effort. Just to be extra-careful, she brought him to the emergency/referral veterinarian, who determined that our boy had fluid on his chest.

Still, I held out hope that it could be just an infection – or even heart disease, which, while not good news, might give Grady a few months or more. Anything but the cancer.

But this morning, as I arrived at Tabby’s Place, heard my cell phone ringing and saw that it was Jonathan calling me on his day off, I knew.

He’s really uncomfortable, Angela, and having a hard time breathing. I’m over an hour away, and I don’t want him to have to wait that long. Go quickly.

GradyOne of the wise things Jonathan does when interviewing a potential new staff member at Tabby’s Place is to tell him or her, with no sugar-coating, that part of this job and this joyful place is Very Very Sad and will break your heart at the deepest level. I remember very clearly his asking me, do you think that’s something you can handle?

Of course, in the moment when you don’t have to handle it, it’s all theoretical and so quite manageable to say, Yes, I can, it’s the price we pay for loving cats deeply and fiercely, but it’s well worth it.

I still believe that, even today. But, oh, the ache. My heart has hurt so badly so many times before over cats we’ve lost – Tails, Lillian, Taos – but, I will confess, never, ever like this. Grady was – is – in a class of his own.

Gradylove being lovedAt the emergency/referral vet, the doctor brought our Grady out to me, wrapped in the biggest, softest of blankets. Even the vet was tearful as she confessed that this is a “very special boy,” amazingly gentle and affectionate and “just so good” through all the necessary poking and prodding.

Initially overcome  by the simple joy of seeing him again after missing him for the last three days he’s been at the specialist, I wrapped my arms around Grady and kissed his head for every one of you.

His eyes widened and he took a deep, labored breath, then another. If I could have translated the so-intent look in those golden eyes we love so much, he looked to be saying, Please, please have mercy on me. Let me go for now. Just for now…not forever, just for now.

I believe with every fiber of my being that our Grady is now more alive than he’s ever been, that he is by no means gone. My peace – which, I’ll confess, has been hard to find and harder to hang onto today – is in knowing that we will see him again.

090326-grady-post-op-3But tonight, to be entirely honest with you dear friends who I’ve come to cherish as we’ve loved Grady together, tonight, my heart is aching terribly. One of the gentlest, most loving and sunny-through-it-all feline spirits that this world has ever seen has passed out of our sight.

For now.

I’ll close with a quote from C.S. Lewis’ final book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle, which, I do believe, offers a glimpse of Grady’s Really Real Reality now that he’s passed from our sight:

“‘There was a real railway accident,’ said Aslan softly. ‘Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in the Shadowlands – dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is over: this is the morning.’

“And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has ever read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

I’ll hug you again in the Great Story, Grady. Until then, dance on, darling boy.


15 thoughts on “Grady in Glory

  1. The only thing sadder than losing Grady would have been to not have had the opportunity to love him. Grady, you were already in the presence of angels when you were at Tabby’s Place and you had the most special angel, Angela, to help you make your transition. We will always love you and miss you — and we will hug you again someday. Rest in peace, wonderful boy.

  2. Angela, so sorry to read about Grady, as you said there will be hugging and petting again, only in a different place. Words can’t express the respect I have for you and the entire staff at Tabby’s Place for enduring setbacks like this and being able to continue with the total dedication to your work. RIP – Grady

  3. I don’t even begin to know what to say. My heart is breaking for all of you. I just can’t believe he’s gone. God bless all of you and the work you do. Much love to all at Tabby’s Place.

  4. I didn’t cry this hard when my dad died.

    To Angela and all at Tabby’s Place – thank you for the love you gave the “G”-Man and all the furry ones there.

    I refuse to ever stop doing my Grady dance because it’s all about spirit and love. That part of Grady hasn’t died.


  5. I just logged in and was so sorry to read this. Tears are streaming down my face. But know you can take comfort in the fact that you gave Grady so much…He knew you loved him. Some cats never get to experience that love, so he was truly one of the lucky ones. RIP, gentle boy.l

  6. To Angela and all the wonderful folks and furballs at Tabby’s Place – We would like to express our deepest condolences on the passing of sweet loving Grady-Man. We know how great and loving he was because our human mom told us all about him. Your deep love for him made us feel good cause we have love like that from our mom and dad. He was also oh so very handsome. We love the pictures you posted above. Alll five of us wish to thank you so much for taking such good care of Grady and want you to know that for every cat there is an angel.


    Angel Rose, Celia Charlene, Marla Chanelle, Tobias Bartholomew McPud, and Fluffy Barkley Masterson (The Powell FurKids)

    1. Thank you, sweet catmom and dear furry Powells. We all love you too. And, we know our sweet loving Grady wouldn’t want this blog to stay dark forever, so the posts on his family at Tabby’s Place will resume soon. As Fred said, the love goes on. Always.

      Thanks and hugs to all of you, dear friends, for being some of the sweetest parts of Grady’s legacy. I am grateful to and for every one of you.

  7. Oh sweet Gradster, you will be dearly missed.
    What a kind & gentle soul. I will cherish our last petting session even more.
    Hugs to all who loved and cared for Grady.

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