When Gracie was lost in the forest last February we received an overwhelming response of support, advice and prayers. People are still inquiring about Gracie and how she’s doing. With a very heavy heart I’m reluctantly sharing Gracie is no longer with us.
A week ago Saturday, July 16, a raccoon entered our home through the dog-door around 3:20am. Gracie was sleeping on her branch above her cage which is right next to the dog-door. We don’t know if the raccoon climbed her branch or if she was startled and flew. The raccoon caught Gracie but dropped her as it exited the dog door after we turned on the light, yelled and the dogs barked. She died a few minutes later in Dave’s arms.
We worried about a predator getting Gracie while she was lost in the forest, not within the safety of her home. We were given 5 more months with Gracie in which we cherished her every day. I console myself with the fact that we know what happened to her. That doesn’t make it okay that the raccoon entered my territory but at least I’m not wondering where she is in the forest.
We’ve lost animals to old age which has a sense of order, though it still hurts when they are gone. Since parrots typically live long lives we’d assumed our three parrots would have to be included in our wills. Suddenly losing Gracie has been difficult. Our mornings are silent without Gracie’s repertoire of sounds she made before we got out of bed. When I got up, if she ventured off her branch in search of Dave I’d put her on the counter while I cleaned and refilled their water and food bowls. She’d knock on the microwave door and I’d respond ‘Hello?’. She loved to rummage through the old food set aside for the chickens. She would drop pieces onto the floor, watching them as the fell, then scramble away as if she had nothing to do with the mess.
Now in the morning I find myself turning towards where her cage had stood to go clean it. When I recently removed the meat from a drumstick, I started to set the bone aside for Gracie. I just stood there with the bone in the air, my mind blank as to what to do with it now that there’s no Gracie. She loved the drumstick bone. She’d crack it open to eat the marrow. When I get the vanilla ice cream out I begin to get a bite for Gracie. Little things like that happen all the time, jerking me back to reality. Gracie was a member of our family for thirteen years, the adjustment is going to take time. Dave and I didn’t have children, we had dogs and parrots. This has been extremely hard for Dave.
June. Dave and Gracie looking at the new chick.
June. Dave reading the paper. The cockatoo watching Gracie on the table eating from David’s cantaloupe rind.
June. Crop of Gracie eating cantaloupe.
July. The last picture I took of Gracie. She’s on her way to her Daddy’s chair.