Our Gracie

Today we lost our beloved cat, Gracie.

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She was always a fiercely independent cat, and you all know how she came and went as she pleased.  She would sometimes go on walkabout, and stay away from home for 24+ hours a few times a year, usually when the weather turned nice in the spring or summer.  We would always worry about her, but she always came back to us, and acting nonchalant about it.

She came home late last night, having been gone about 36 hours, but this time, something was wrong – she wasn’t eating and looked tired.  We  took her to the vet first thing this morning, and turns out she was in extreme kidney failure.  She got rapidly worse even after they tried to give her some fluids, and the vet said some of her kidney numbers were so high they were off the charts, and her chances of recovery were very slim.  We know Gracie would never want a life filled up with medications and vet appointments, and so we made sure she was comfortable and brought her home.

Gracie first showed up in our life about 8 years ago, she was probably a few years old by that time and had been abandoned and living rough.  She was a wary cat, who was happy to be being fed, but took her time warming up and learning to trust us.  We let her call the shots as a rule  (no picking up!  no touching of feet!) and she was more affectionate every  year.  She loved spending time with us, corralling us for yard patrol, hanging out on the sofa in the evenings, or coming in to say midday hellos to Kurt working from home.  She’d taken to welcoming  Ellyn at the head of the driveway every night when she got home from work.  She was even friendly to house guests in the last few years.

Looking back at the last few weeks, we imagine there might have been some subtle signs she was feeling off, but we’re really not sure.  Tuesday morning before work Ellyn caught her doing her sun salutation routine, and they had a nice chat.  And that night she slept with us in our bed, which is pretty rare for her.  We’re so grateful some of our last memories with her were so mundane and happy.  We laid her to rest at the edge of the pomegranate bush, which was one of her favorite napping spots.
We’re glad to have been able to share our home and life with her.  She was an excellent cat.  We will miss her a lot.
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Just passing through

My parents have both moved to San Luis Obispo.  They’re now within 3 miles of home.  I’m hard pressed to come up with a reason to stop in Los Angeles anymore.

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The Werle homestead of 44 years

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A SLO week

We had a really fun week. We visited two restaurants in town that we’d never (in 10 years) eaten at, and we went down to Vandenberg to watch a SpaceX launch.

The first restaurant is Koberl at Blue.  It’s one of the fanciest places in town.  We’d stopped to look at the menu several times and the vegetarian options were few-to-non-existent, so we’d always gone elsewhere.  This time we’d set out for elsewhere and it was closed for good, so decided to take another look – and now they have a full page of vegetarian options!  Dinner was yummy.  Ellyn’s wine was yummy.  Dessert was yummy.  Next time we’re feeling very fancy it will certainly be an option.

The second restaurant is Oasis.  It’s a Moroccan styled restaurant and we’d taken away from it once before, but never dined in.  Oh – and I’ve often bought from their stand at the farmers’ market (which is right in front of their place).  Honestly, I can’t say why we’d never been in.  Ellyn’s sister and her beaux are visiting this weekend, and since we went to Morocco with them last year, it seemed like the thing to do.  And it was!  The food was really good.  We’ll be back!

Friday morning we headed down toward Surf Beach to watch the launch from complex 4.  It’s just a bit over an hour south of SLO.  We weren’t sure where exactly we would park, but it became obvious about a mile from the beach that we had arrived.  It was really cool to see the mix of folks that show up for a launch.  Across from us was a Tesla, and behind that was a Harley Davidson.  There were folks in campers, there were kids in pajamas (launch was at 7:17AM).  It was awesome.

 

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The lunar eclipse

Ellyn and I got up early the other week to see the lunar eclipse.  For us it was about 5AM – though Ellyn had had trouble sleeping and got up a couple of times before that.  We went outside for about 15 minutes and had a bit of a magical viewing.  The moon didn’t change much during that time, but there was a shooting star right next to it that we both saw, and one of the local barn owls (who we often hear screeching). swooped through the neighbor’s yard right below the moon.  And we’re having a ridiculously warm spring, so it was probably in the mid 60’s – but no sign of the fog that we often have in the morning hours.  All in all, pretty awesome.

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Not my picture

Ellyn named Moonface nearly a decade ago.  I never saw it.  But after the eclipse it makes more sense to me.

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Hawaii again!

We had a great time in Hawaii the other week.  We’ve been back there a few times, but this was the first time we returned to the big island.  We first visited not all that long after we started going out 25 years ago (this month)!

The elements conspired against us in a couple of ways.  Our scheduled helicopter ride got rained out.  And the lava – which had been flowing freely to the ocean for more than a year – mostly dried up about 3 weeks before we arrived.

Other than that we had a fantastic time snorkeling, visiting volcano national park, checking out the jungles and waterfalls – all the things!  We spent a couple of days in Kona, a couple in Volcano (the town), and a few in Hilo.

 

 

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Practice trip

We went to Hawaii last week with a couple we know from college.  It was awesome.  One of the things we planned on doing was a helicopter ride.  It didn’t happen because of weather.

It had us worried because Ellyn gets motion sick – and we didn’t want to find out that helicopters were really bad when flying with friends (and strangers – which happens on these tours).  So we booked a short test flight in SLO a few weeks ago to make sure – the Nine Sisters Tour with Helipro.  They were totally cool and assured us if there was any problem for her they could just turn back immediately (since it was just us two).  Turns out they are totally fine for her!  I compared it to riding a swing.  Some folks say it’s like a bus.

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The return of Moonface

We’ve been in this house for about 9 years.  We adapted (took in) our cat, Gracie about 7 years ago.  Maybe 5 or 6 years ago we first saw Moonface.  He was always very shy and always ran away.

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Then, 2 years ago, I caught him sneaking into the house to steal Gracie’s food.  Not long after, we started leaving dry food out for him to eat – but he never did.  We figured he wasn’t real serious.  Then we realized that he wasn’t eating because his mouth hurt.  He was in real bad shape – I don’t have a picture from then.  He was still very shy – we felt we had made real progress when he would stand his ground and only hiss when we pet him while he was eating.  After a few months he disappeared in the last big heat wave of 2015 – when it got back up near 110 – which it never does.  We were sure he’d gone off somewhere and died.

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So we were very surprised when he showed up at our back door a couple of weeks ago – looking bad, but not quite as bad as when he disappeared.  So we’ve been feeding him and took him to the vet and got him an antibiotic shot and flea treatment.  And for some reason he is no longer shy.  We can pet him and he loves to be brushed.  Just purrs and purrs.  He actually crawled into Ellyn’s lap the other evening.

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Gracie isn’t happy that he’s here.  And Ellyn is way more allergic to him than to Gracie.  So we’re not sure what’s going to happen.  For now we’re feeding two cats.

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