Gracie has always answered to her name. You can call her from anywhere in the house and you will hear "meow?" and little running feet. She doesn't even mind when you say "I didn't want anything; I just wanted to know where you were." Recently, I discovered she will also answer to Crazy. I guess it sounds enough like Gracie that she doesn't notice the difference.
Yesterday, Gracie proved her craziness in a spectacular way. Most cats are stressed by a house full of extra people. They retreat to a safe place and just wait it out. That's what Henrietta does. Gracie is stressed by any stranger in the house, and she has a very broad definition of stranger. A stranger, to Gracie, is anyone who does not live in our house. My parents - strangers. Close friends who are here often? Strangers. One stranger is just as horrible as ten. Instead of retreating and hiding, Gracie insists on being in the center of the action. And announcing her stress by hissing at anyone who dares look at her. If they have the nerve to reach out a hand to pet, they're rewarded with teeth and claws.
No one who was scratched or bitten yesterday would have recognized the Gracie that appeared as soon as everyone left. I cleaned up the kitchen, then sat down on the couch for a bit of a nap. Gracie isn't a lap layer - she wants to lay vertically on your chest and stomach. And if you'll let her tuck her head under your chin, all the better. So Gracie snuggled up and slept and purred for an hour and a half. Could this be the same cat that cornered my 14 year old cousin just hours ago?
Gracie rhymes with crazy.