Friday, January 13, 2006


I came home from work tonight to the news that Mom had to have her cat, Maggie, put to sleep. She suffered a massive stroke this evening, which blinded her and caused her to be unstable on her feet.

Maggie (right) with my own Millie

Maggie turned 18 years old in September, and we marvelled at her age and apparent health. The vet said she was getting old but seemed okay. His exact words to Mom were, "Keep her comfortable."

Maggie was a tortoiseshell, through and through--grumpy, whiny (which earned her the nickname "Na-Nags"), and Queen of All She Surveyed. She started life as a feisty runt, and came to our family as a tiny kitten with huge eyes and a tiny body. She liked high places and caving under blankets, and was always a one-person cat. For a long time, that one person was my brother Aaron. He moved out of the house eventually, and Maggie became Mom's girl.

I was 9 when we got Maggie--my first impression of her was a tiny kitten with her back legs on the side of her litter box, digging like mad. She came home with us and promptly pissed off our calico, Missy. A week later, we lost our beloved collie, Molly. Maggie filled the void left by Molly's death--making us laugh at her kittenish antics.

She was quite a trouper--we moved her from Folsom to Port Ludlow a year ago--but so long as she got her tuna on time, a few ear scratches, and a blanket to curl up under, she was pretty happy. She hated Millie the first few times I brought her home from Chico, but they became pretty good pals after a while. She even seemed to be coming around to Bella and Duchess.

It hurts to lose a pet--they're members of the family, really. And we were fortunate to have Maggie for so long. Most cats don't live 18 years, and enjoy fairly good health all that time.

So tonight we are grieving the loss of a family member and friend. Rest in peace, Na-Nags.

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