Baby Grey lost her best friend Gracie more than a year ago, yet the cat still shows up to the house looking for her playmate.
Baby Grey comes into the yard like clockwork, waiting by the sliding door – hoping that her friend will show up. The poor little cat will wait there for 20 minutes, sometimes more.
Gracie’s owner, Shea Belew Brennaman, a fourth-grade teacher from Decatur, Alabama, first noticed the Baby Grey visiting her yard two and a half years prior to Gracie’s passing away.
“I think it lives two cul-de-sacs over from us and I don’t know its name,” Brennaman said to The Dodo. “Me and my family just refer to it as Baby Grey.”
When Baby Grey first climbed into Brennaman’s fenced-in backyard, she was met by Gracie, the guard dog who was more interested in making friends with the cat than scaring her off.
“Gracie was an American Eskimo and stayed outside almost all the time,” Brennaman said. “She loved nature and, while she was a protector of our house, she loved all other animals and they loved her.”
Gracie was a very friendly dog and she got along with all the animals who showed up to the property. From chipmunks and rabbits, even hawks, all Gracie wanted to do was get to know the latest visitor.
“Gracie accepted her into our yard immediately and the two became fast friends,” Brennaman said.
As time wore on, Baby Grey’s visits grew more frequent. Gracie was always excited to see her, and always acted the generous host to her cat friend. It had seemed that the two of them really found a best friend in each other.
“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.”
She added, “When Baby Grey started coming over frequently the two of them shared tomatoes and sunbathed together. Sunbathing was their absolute favorite activity.”
While Brennaman admired their close relationship, she knew it was in line with Gracie’s personality – the loving dog would do anything for her friends and family, and that included saving Brennaman from a water moccasin when she was just 8 months old.
“She had a sweet personality,” Brennaman stated. “[She] was a friend to all and was very motherly, especially to our Yorkie.”
In late October 2017, not long after Gracie’s 12th birthday, Brennaman noticed she was drastically slowing down. After a vet trip plus plenty of tests and X-rays revealed that she had aggressive lymphoma.
“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.”
And, Baby Grey was diligently by her side.
“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 said. “They had that kind of connection where nothing needed to be said or done. They just wanted to be with each other.”
Gracie passed away in November 2017, less than a month after her cancer diagnosis. And while the little dog’s death was hard on everyone, Baby Grey, in particular, seemed to have difficulty with it, as she continues her special little vigil for 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.”
Brennaman has come to expect Baby Grey’s regular visits, and while she hates to see the little cat suffer sadness, it does touch her to know that the bond these two shared was real.
“It breaks my heart to see Baby Grey still looking for Gracie,” Brennaman added, “but at the same time it gives me so much hope that these two animals had such a strong bond.”
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