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  • Writer's pictureNuria McGrath

Facey McTracey: City cat country cat

Facey McTracey was a beautiful gray cat with a fiery temper and keen sense of her hunter purpose. She was the first animal that I would come to know and love. Facey earned her keep; she ensured no rodents came within a 50-foot radius of her home, be it cutsie mouse, silly bunny, or joyous bird. Facey was a mother; she birthed several litters of kittens prior to being spayed. Facey was a feisty cat; she had an attitude problem and a passion for scratching children in the face (something my mother made her pay for dearly with a strict talking to).  Facey McTracey was a city cat; she was born in Philadelphia and moved to a small town called Yeadon, right on the border of South Philly.  But then, after 15 years of city life, Facey was moved to what looked to her as the country.  


Moving to the country, aka Dumfries, VA (a small town 30 miles south of Washington D.C.), was a traumatic event for Facey McTracey. First, Facey hated cars.  Each time she was forced to take a ride in a car, she would travel to the farthest ends of the backseat, sit in the window ledge and pant.  She would literally hyperventilate for the entire ride. And the ride to Virginia was three gruesome hours! Secondly, Facey felt she had moved to a foreign country, the homes were different, the animals didn’t smell the same, the people were unfamiliar to her, and where, oh where were her beloved mice! 


When we first arrived in Virginia, Facey left the house for five days to show my mother the gravity of the situation.  My mother was beside herself with grief, calling for Facey every day.  But then, just as suddenly as she departed, Facey McTracey returned. Facey was a changed cat after returning home, she was wiser and gentler.  Perhaps she had tried to walk home to Yeadon and encountered challenges not yet seen? Maybe she took a pilgrimage to a cat Shaman and that Shaman gave her the key to life? Whatever happened to her changed her forever.  Facey returned from her journey a loving, wise, kind, and gentle cat and I finally had the cat of my dreams. Facey sat on my lap so that I could pet her, she purred. Facey let me play with her whiskers, making her look like a pirate, caricaturing her by saying ‘Arrrrrr me mate, land ho!!’.  And Facey finally let me pet her on her stomach, without a slap in the face.  I guess the country life suited her after all. 


What lessons can be learned from this story?


Here is what I learned:


Sometimes life can seem unpredictable, we go through challenges seen and unseen.  It is recognizing these challenges and being conscientious of the process or journey of learning from them that helps us grow.  Facey left home and recognized that she was going through a major life challenge.  She chose to journey through her challenge; she came home to her safe space, but she was changed, even born again, wiser, stronger, more loving.  I am thankful for her transformation; it allowed me to, once again, attempt to love her and this time she received the love.  


Stay tuned for part III of Facey McTracey.

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