Dear Ted and Jodie:
I first noticed Gracie hanging around the neighbor’s front porch about the time school let out in early June. I had seen her several times before that, but always when there was a strange car, a blue 1997 Chevy, in their drive. Then one day the neighbor lady motioned me to come over and she introduced me to Gracie. She told me that Gracie used to live in the house immediately behind their house, but the family moved and Gracie would be living with them now.
After we were introduced, Gracie wandered off to play with the neighbor boy, a lad of about 9-years-old, and their new puppy. I told the neighbor lady that I thought Gracie was rather thin. “I can see her ribs.” The neighbor lady nodded and said, “Yes, she seems to be a very finicky eater.”
After that, Gracie routinely showed up on the neighbor’s lawn sunbathing until the day got hot, then she would go inside. On really hot days, she seemed to prefer to sit or lay in a shady location out of the direct sun if there was a breeze. No breeze and Gracie went inside.
Early mornings or just before sunset, Gracie seemed to be in the habit of walking the parameter of the neighbor’s property and ours. This would take her to the edge of the property of the house where she used to live. She never seems to go on to that property; she just walks by in her circuit which measures about 2,000 feet. After her circuit she generally sits on the neighbor’s front porch for a spell.
One morning as she ended her circuit of the two properties Gracie chased two fawns away from eating the neighbors’ flowers. The flowers are in pots on the neighbor’s front deck. Once the fawns were off the deck (15 inches off the ground), Gracie simply sat and glared at them as they wandered off into the tall weeds and blackberries on the other side of our common drive.
I had just returned from an early morning photo shoot on the west edge of a promontory in Silver Lake. Having stopped at McDonalds for breakfast before coming home, I happened to have a buttered English muffin with me. I offered it to Gracie and she took it and slowly munched on it after she returned to the porch to continue glaring at the fawns.
Ever mindful of Gracie’s ribs still showing, I have made it a practice since that day of offering her buttered bread when I happened to see her out early. She examines my offering very carefully and rejects, sourdough, rye and breads with onions or olives embedded in them. She seems to prefer McDonald’s English muffins, French Bread and whole wheat. She has very plain tastes, but, she apparently watched her figure and rejects things that are not up to her standards—she is as the neighbor lady said, a very finicky eater.
Warmest regards, Ed
PS: This is a photo of Gracie. She is very camera shy and moves when she sees me with a camera.