Archive for May, 2013

I learned a lot of things about Grady fairly quickly – that he was quirky, had a bizarre sense of humour, and would eat anything that did not hiss at him. What I did not realize for the first while was that he is a…sensualist of sorts.

The first clue should have been the way he likes to scratch his chin on almost any hard surface including the top step, the edge of my desk, the toe of my sneakers, etc. He enjoys it almost too much, then primed with the endorphins or whatever else is being secreted in his little pea brain, he runs off, grabs his flying monkey toy and flings it at my head.

The next tip off was the way he behaves when groomed. It’s not just the leaning in to me, or rolling around in ecstasy and throwing himself into my lap, it’s the moans that make it sound like he’s been reading the doggy version of 50 Shades of Gray.

But my eyes were really opened when I, figuring my lap can only take so much rapturous wriggling, decided that the lovely Lori O’Hara and hubby were going to get the honour of bathing him. Well, see for yourself….

Not only did he moan, his eyes glazed over and he almost toppled out of the tub. The more she rubbed the glassier his eyes got. He could barely walk when he got out, and if it meant getting any further from those magic fingers, he wasn’t going to move an inch. I think he’s brought me her business card at least once a week ever since.

He’ll just have to do with the chest massages he gets at home, that are still enough to reduce him to a quivering mass of hair and slobber. Unfortunately, his partner in perverse humour, my son, feeds his addiction. And then he expects me to continue this thrilling pastime. Good luck with that Grady.

Michael Grady 3


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Here, kitty kitty.

Between evolution and revolution, the line that separates species has become blurred over time. I first understood the complexities of Man versus Ape when I started dating. And as every other mother of a teenager knows, the line between Man and Pigs is even slimmer. But you would think the line between cats and dogs is pretty clear. I mean bark versus meow, growl versus hiss, whizzing on bushes versus litter boxes….

But that demarcation line apparently does not exist at my house. That made me think that perhaps I live in some kind of feline/canine Twilight Zone. I first realized this when Precious the kitten (now an adult) became very fond of Grady. Very, very fond of Grady. In fact, when she cuddled up to him she went into an ecstasy of purring and kneading which Grady accepted without protest. You’d have thought he would have protested most vigorously. Because I discovered the reason she was so ecstatic, was that she was nursing on him.

Apparently man dog teats are great substitutes for the real thing. Precious had not been weaned early, either. In fact, she had been off the milk bar for a matter of months when she discovered this delightful pastime which persists to this day, with Grady’s full compliance. And so I began to wonder….does he realize he’s not a cat?

We don’t know when Grady went blind. The ophthalmologist’s best estimate was at least two years ago, due to the deterioration of his optic nerves. So one can safely presume that Grady had seen and would recognize the sight of a cat. But did that mean he could also identify a cat by sight, smell, sound, etc.?

His history with cats was unknown, but he seemed to understand the boundaries with Betsy’s cat when he was first taken into rescue. Then he came here and was surrounded by cats. Literally. And he liked it. His assimilation began.

three cat night

He doesn’t chase mice yet, mostly because it would be a suicidal mouse to chew his way in here with all the Birmans. But he does love his chest rubs to the point his eyes glaze over, and I swear he’d purr if he could. Then, there is Fuzzy.

Fuzzy was best friends with Nikki, one of my last rescues. You never saw Nikki in her bed without Fuzzy. When Nikki left us Fuzzy would sit where her bed used to be. Without Nikki, he had plenty of time to harass the other cats, and harass them he did. There’s nothing he loves more than a drive-by smack, or a staring/stalking attack. So after Grady joined us I figured that would distract him. Boy, was I wrong.

Fuzzy is more diabolical than ever. And now Grady has joined him. As followers of his blog may remember, Grady has been known to charge up the stairs and grab Precious, in lieu of his stuffed duck. They hang together like the best of bro’s. They tag team annoy the other cats in turn. Which is when I began to ask myself….does Grady now think he’s a cat? Have the lines become blurred in his darkness? Has he crossed over the fe-line to the dark side?

(Lest anyone be alarmed by their interaction, please note that Fuzzy’s claws are not out, and that Grady is very careful how he touches Fuzzy. They only play like this as long as it’s mutually fun, then one quits and the other one sulks.)

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I love Grady, I really do. I tell him that every day no matter what bad thing he’s done or how badly I wanted the lunch he just ate. But I digress.

When he came to me in June of 2012, Grady did not bark. That’s not unusual for a Golden, so I didn’t think anything of it. Then one day in August, I stood up from my office chair to take something from the shelf over the desk and he dropped his ball in the seat behind me. I didn’t know this and sat down.

As soon as my behind touched the rounded surface I jumped again and screamed, thinking I had sat on a cat’s head. This in turn caused Grady to jump and bark. Apparently he figured that if she makes that sound she’s either in mortal terror or unspeakable pain and in either case it would be a good idea to bark. And bark. And keep on barking forevermore.

Grady has a…distinctive bark. It would do a maddened wolfhound credit for both tone, volume and threat level. He barks at the normal noises, e.g. strangers knocking at the door, things knocked over by cats at 3a.m. etc. Then he barks at what I call “cat things”. Just as cats stare at or jump and run from things that can’t be seen by anyone else, Grady barks at these phantoms. I am beginning to think he has lived with the cats too long and they are taking their revenge for my refusing to buy them more nip.

So this afternoon I bring up a video a friend has posted that shows a Doberman trying to eat his supper in the presence of some equally hungry chickens. Note that the dog was not making any dog type sounds. The only sounds were the food rattling around in his metal bowl. Grady understands food sounds on a MENSA level. He started to bark.

Lest anyone misunderstand, I don’t really mind that he barks, but dear god in heaven, does it have to sound like the hounds of hell are baying at my elbow, especially when I’m on the 57th layer of the internet, trying to figure out whether there is really a technical problem with a client site or not.

As the poor Doberman tried to get his lunch, Grady tried too. Grady recognizes the sound of even the most microscopic piece of food hitting his bowl, whether it’s soft, hard or in between. So he rushed into the kitchen to check, then back to me. And barked and barked and barked.

Things might have calmed down at this point if it hadn’t been for my suicidal partridge. For the last three years, the same (it has to be, they can’t all be this stupid) partridge has taken up residence in the little woods beside my house and periodically tries to commit hari kari by flying into either my picture window or the plexi glass insert over the front door. Today he settled for sitting on the front step and pecking at the metal lower portion of the outside door. Which to Grady, apparently sounds pretty close to food hitting his bowl. He was up and down the stairs so many times I lost count.

Eventually he collapsed, either from exhaustion or disbelief that someone else ate his dinner.

pretty grady

And this is what set it all off.

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