Saturday, December 20, 2014

Maggie Scott Parks Johnson

Maggie Moo


I first met Maggie when she was rescued by friend Alan who was a veterinarian. He went home to his apartment one day and kept hearing frantic meowing. He finally found the source on his roof. He went inside, opened the window and held out a laundry basket and the little black and white cat leapt into it. Thus Maggie, as in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, came into my world.

First though, she went to live with an elderly friend, Mary Scott who had recently lost her little old man cat of 20+ years. Maggie delighted her with her youthful antics. She would tell Mary promptly at 10 pm that is was bedtime by tapping her on the leg and running to the bedroom. She slept in the bathroom sink. She chased her crocheted mice that Mary made. She looked out windows and chattered at squirrels and birds.

Eventually Mary became too frail to live alone and moved to an assisted living facility and Maggie moved in with me, my husband, Molly Dawg, Buddy Love, Mo, Kizzie, Sniffy Pie and Dennis the fish. She hated us all at first. She chased all the cats from the litter boxes, she fought with Mo repeatedly peeing on him as her primary defense. After a month, I moved her into the upstairs where she had no contact with anyone but humans. She liked that. 

She had several window to sit in and would taunt the birds. The resident mockingbird even learned her "meow" and frequently sent me on a wild search thinking Mags had escaped outside only to find her and the bird meowing at one another.

She loved to bat things with her paws and would sit at the stairs bopping my head as I went upstairs to visit her.

Over time, the other cats crossed the Rainbow Bridge and we moved to a single floor ranch. Now Maggie had to contend with living with Kizzie. They developed a relationship centered on active ignoring. They knew each other existed but they did not interact except for the occasional hiss as they passed in the hall.

Maggie loved to sit on the other side of the doggie gate and taunt the dogs. She was the expert at "stare down".

In the past year I began to notice Maggie acting not like her self. She lost weight and began to make a strange sound high pitched whiny meow. I took her to Dr. Dreamy and she was diagnosed as hyperthyroid. Thus began a new experience of pilling a most unwilling cat. She finally relented and took her medicine fairly well for several months, enjoying her window time and putting on a bit of weight.

Then last week I noticed she was no longer sleeping in her favorite chair. When she leapt into bed she felt so thin and began to look frail. Back to the vet for a checkup. Her blood work showed only a hight white cell count. Thus we began antibiotics and fluids. 4 days later, no improvement and she seemed to be getting weaker. I found that she had not gotten out of her little bed to urinate. The Maggie was fastidious about her litter box would never have done that. 

That plus her increasingly pitiful cries and the look in her eyes told me what I needed to do. 

I could have gone to extremes and put her IV fluids and injections but for what purpose? I did not want her to suffer any more indignity or pain. I spent the last day with her letting her sleep in her basket, changing the blankets as needed, bringing her "chicken pudding" to lap at, petting her gently as she purred. I put her favorite mouse in with her, one that Mary had crocheted a decade ago. 

I called my ex-husband to come say goodbye. He sat with her and petted her. Maggie purred the whole time.

When it was time, we took her in. She was ready to go, too tired to stand, still purring she received the first injection. When she was still, she received the "big pink shot". The vet listened to her heart and pronounced "She's gone" as my tears flowed.

She was a most beloved cat.

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