This is Amazing Grace....I got him as a kitten from a friend who was challenged in determining gender. When he asked me to take in one of the kittens born to a feral mother under his house, I agreed, but told him under no circumstances would I take a male. He promised and brought me what he claimed was a female named Grace. A few weeks later, when Grace began to pursue my female cat, I finally thought to verify that she was a she...and she was not. But by that time I had fallen head over heels with this small puff of gray, so she became a he and his name became Amazing Grace...or Grey Dog, or Get the %&$* Off of There...he answers to all unless he doesn't want to...you know how it goes with cats.
But this cat is smart...problem-solving smart. He taught himself how to fetch fairly quickly...a trick I proudly showed to friends when they would visit. His favorite toys are super balls and nerf darts. Just hearing the pop of the nerf gun brings him running. Grace would prefer to have about ten darts out at one time, so that he is prepared whenever he spies an unwitting human that can be trapped into throwing the dart over and over again. He will hunt down the bag of darts no matter where I hide them, opening cabinet doors and prying them out from under sofa cushions. Grace has evolved, and adds even more to his tricks, some not so thrilling...such as when he drops a saliva coated dart on my face at three in the morning because he wants to play and I am inconveniently sleeping.
Then there are jerky treats. He used to get up on top of the refrigerator and pry the bag open and drop them down to the dog and a whole bag would disappear in a day. And while he would take a few bites, he preferred to hide them in strange places. Like the day I reached into my grandfather clock and encountered six dessicated jerky pieces hidden there for a rainy day...he can distinguish the sounds different bags make when I open them and knows when to come and when to ignore me. Grace can even balance like a circus acrobat so he can drink from the toilet at an angle that allows him to make a quick getaway if I catch him doing it.
But his favorite pasttime is stalking prey. Anything that moves will do, but his primary victim is my little female cat who now lives on top of my TV set where she can't be reached. So what's a guy to do when he wants to have a little fun. Well, there is always the sliding glass door, better known as Cat TV. And today is a perfect day, because it's doggone cold here in the Pacific NW, with snow still on the ground and perching room only at the feeders... so the squirrels are having to compete with the birds for the shelled peanuts. Enter The Squirrel...
This is the Glutton...if there was a peanut eating contest, he would win. He's been eating out of my backyard for a couple of years now. He has also eaten through three feeders, rounding out the holes so he can get his fat head in to steal peanuts. So I finally broke down and bought him his own peanuts. And each morning I throw out a cupful to him. He grabs them one by one, alternating between burying them and eating them. The Glutton's not much afraid of me anymore, and getting bolder every day. He's a little less happy when Grace sits by the window watching him, while smacking his lips and twitching his tale. The Glutton is unaware that Grace is an indoor cat and can't reach him...and sometimes Grace forgets too....
Today I slept in a bit...it was, after all, much warmer under the covers than out and by the time I got to the kitchen, the Glutton had decided that he would notify me of his displeasure by impatiently scratching on the glass of the sliding glass door. There he was, fur flattened against the glass, little arms clawing to let me know he hungry, when Grace rounded the door. Grace must have thought he'd won the lottery. There was his nemisis, closer than he had ever seen him...there for the taking. And before I could move to stop him, the butt twitched, the tail flew back and forth and he was off like a thoroughbred when the race gun fires. Grace must have been doing his fastest pace ever, when he connected with that glass door with a bang. Grace was completely dazed. The Glutton, on the other hand, moved about six inches back from the window, stopped, and if squirrels can laugh, he had a big belly roar of a laugh at that moment.
Grace slunk off to the corner and began cleaning himself as nonchalantly as one can after coming close to knocking himself senseless. The Glutton, on the other hand, scratched again and asked for his peanuts with a squirrel smirk on his face. He was rewarded with two cupfuls today. Was he grateful? Not really...he simply went out and found three more of his buddies and let them know some ditzy human was being extra generous with the peanuts today. They are all out there now, cheeks full and little arms digging holes to hide the rest...Grace and the Glutton - acrylic 8"X 8"