The neighbour cat comes and waits outside the window for the dog she used to play with regularly. It has been a year and she still remembers him.
Who said that cats and dogs can't be friends? Animals don't necessarily draw the line to their own kind while making friends, especially not domestic animals. For example, a heartbroken cat named Baby Grey shows up every single day at her neighbor's house searching for Gracie the dog, her best friend. It has been over a year since Gracie passed away and Baby Grey still shows up for their scheduled playdates. She still remembers him and every day when it is time for them to meet, she wanders into the yard and shows up at the sliding glass door, hoping that her best friend will show up again. Gracie used to get very excited when it was time to meet Baby Grey and would often run up to the glass door, ready to play with her. Nowadays, Baby Grey shows up, waits for around 20 minutes every day (sometimes even longer). It's cute and at the same time sad how much she misses Gracie.
Gracie’s owner, Shea Belew Brennaman, a fourth-grade teacher in Decatur, Alabama, first noticed the little cat visiting her home around two and a half years ago. “I think it lives two cul-de-sacs over from us and I don’t know its name,” she said in an interview with The Dodo. “My family and I just refer to it as Baby Grey.” This is when the mysterious cat and Gracie were first introduced to each other. Often, people would worry that a dog would chase after a cat if they ever saw one. However, the relationship shared by these two has been different right from the start.
The first time that the mysterious cat climbed into Brennaman’s fenced-in backyard, she was surprisingly greeted by Gracie. Gracie was a guard dog but was way more interested in making friends rather than chasing the intruders away. Generally, guard dogs take their job very seriously and scare away almost every single person or animal that they do not recognize. Guess that Gracie was just different. “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 friends with everyone. She enjoyed the company of all the other animals on her property, every single one from the chipmunks and rabbits to even the hawks. When she saw Baby Grey for the first time, she was excited and eager to learn more about her new visitor. Baby Grey didn't seem to mind either. “Gracie accepted her into our yard immediately and the two became fast friends,” Brennaman said. They started to meet each other regularly and play together. It seems like the cutest thing ever, doesn't it?
According to Brennaman, Gracie was always an excellent host because of which the cat started to visit more frequently. It seemed like the two animals had found each other in a kindred spirit. “We would leave Gracie tomatoes on our porch, as they were her favorite treat, and she would share them with the cat,” said Brennaman. “Which was a huge deal because Gracie was very particular about sharing food.” She continued, “When Baby Grey started coming over frequently the two of them shared tomatoes and sunbathed together.”
She further added, “Sunbathing was their absolute favorite activity.” She also mentioned that Gracie was the perfect friend to have because he would do absolutely anything to save someone he cared about (which included pretty much every in the world). When Gracie was just an 8-month-old puppy, she saved Brennaman from a water moccasin attack. This tells us a lot about the dog's personality. “She had a sweet personality,” Brennaman noted. “[She] was a friend to all and was very motherly, especially to our Yorkie.”
Around Gracie's 12th birthday in 2017, Brennaman and her family noticed that the hyper dog had suddenly started to slow down a lot. At first, they thought it was just because of her age. However, they decided to take her to the vet and after multiple tests and x-rays, they were told that Gracie was suffering from aggressive lymphoma. “Gracie spent most of her remaining days on the cold porch,” Brennaman said. “I think part of it gave her relief. In reality, she was saying goodbye to her territory and to all of her friends in her yard.”
“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 added. “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 he was diagnosed with cancer. The entire family was left upset after she passed away. However, it seems like Baby Grey seems to be holding on the grief for longer than anyone else. Or maybe, she still believes that Gracie will return to play with her one day. “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.” She finally added, “It breaks my heart to see Baby Grey still looking for Gracie, but at the same time it gives me so much hope that these two animals had such a strong bond.”