Thursday, September 18, 2008

Maggie Anniversary

Six years ago, on or near September 11th, I had the following AIM conversation with my best friend:

FRIEND: I'm getting another kitten.
ME: Awww...
FRIEND: I'm getting it from a woman at work. She's got two. Would you like the other one?
ME: Well...I don't know...
FRIEND: C'mon, remember when you took care of my cat a month ago? I picked her up and you started to cry when we left?
ME: Yeah...
FRIEND: You know you want a kitten.
ME: Sigh...lemme check with my landlord...

The thing is, I really did want a kitten. I grew up with cats and couldn't imagine my life without them. I threatened to take my parents' cat with me when I moved out; my parents threatened to call the cops and arrest me for catnapping if I did.

I was uneasy, though. Would I be able to afford a kitten? Could I provide it with enough love and affection, even though I wasn't at home during the day? Would it scratch the furniture? Did I have enough room in my one-bedroom apartment?

I checked with my landlord, though, and he said it was okay. A few days later, I met up with my best friend at his workplace to meet the kittens.

They were little grey, eight week old kittens. One had an all-grey face and a tiny, tiny white spot below her nose, and the other had a white face with a grey nose, and a little grey spot below the nose. They were both pacing in the carrier back and forth, not in any rush to get out. They were awfully cute.

We went back to my best friend's apartment, where we opened the carrier. He decided to take the kitten with the all-grey face, leaving me with the one with the white face. She was a little hesitant to leave the carrier, so I tried to beckon her out.

"Come on, Maggie, it's time to go home!"

My friend looked puzzled. "You already named her?"

I nodded. "She's named after my maternal grandmother. Her middle name, Leonora, comes from my paternal grandfather."

"You're gonna call her Maggie Leonora?"

"No, just Maggie."

I also thought Maggie was a cool name for a cat because of the Maggie the Cat character from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. But Maggie's name really did come from my grandparents.

I took Maggie home that night, and she had a little trouble being away from her sister for the first time. As I was sleeping, I remember turning over when I felt something pounce at the foot of the bed. Something with needles. Maggie saw my feet move under the covers and decided it was time to play. It was 2:45 in the morning, and I needed my beauty sleep. I decided to get up and feed her; I felt that it would keep her busy.

Then Maggie discovered her shadow. She went crazy, and then found her tail and started to chase it.

I fell back asleep--an hour before my alarm went off.

That stupid kitten was just as bad as an infant!

I went into work with bags under my eyes and puffiness around my lids. I mentioned the situation to a colleague, and he suggested putting a ticking clock near or on my bed. He said the ticking would remind Maggie of her mother's heartbeat.

The only ticking clock I had was the one that hung in the kitchen of my apartment. Its ticking was so loud I could hear it from my bedroom. (The same clock is now hanging in the bathroom of my condo, and I can still hear it ticking from my loft bedroom).

I took the clock down, and put it next to my pillow.

I slept very deeply that night, and also woke up to a new friend all cozy and cuddly against my side, laying her head against my cheek and purring deeply.

Maggie is excellent company. I just wish she were friendlier with people I have over; for some reason she hisses a lot at others, but she has really bonded with me. She's a real Mama's Cat.

I still love her, though, and am very happy my best friend convinced me to get a kitten.

Happy Maggie Anniversary!

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