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Goodbye, Maggie

Maggie passed away a little more than a year after Bunny, on July 13th, 2022. I didn’t have the heart to write this at the time, but I wanted to memorialize her before the year ended.

It was pretty quick, although not as peaceful as Bunny’s death. We’d been worried for a few days — she’d been eating less, although not particularly acting differently. Sleeping on the bed with us, as usual, and both terrorizing and grooming Nixie in equal measure. The night before she slept on our heads, which was unusual, and the day itself there was clearly something wrong. When she refused most food and went to her belly to try to eat a treat, we started trying to find an emergency vet.

Our normal vet couldn’t take her that day, but they did a heroic job of calling around and finding help. We wound up back at the vet who cremated Bunny for us. We dropped Maggie off, spent half an hour in the parking lot waiting, and then the vet came out with the bad news. I don’t remember and don’t need to remember the details — something with her liver, something untreatable, something that wouldn’t have been treatable if we’d caught it earlier. She was seventeen or so, and cats just don’t live forever.

We had time to say goodbye; they’d already given her an injection for the pain she was in, so we took the time we needed with her and then they came back in and put her to sleep. There’s a nice room there for the purpose, and both S. and I were holding her as she faded. She seemed happy to be with us, and happy not to be in pain. Poor little bean.

We’d hoped for another couple of years. The thing about Maggie is that she never really realized she was an adult. She had a kitten’s sense of play for her whole life, and she never lost her curiosity. Of all the cats, she’s the one who actually enjoyed moving with us, because new things were cool. When we stopped in Vegas on our way from Austin to Palo Alto, she’s the cat who spent the day sitting in the window staring at the Luxor.

We got her in 2007, and she spent the whole ride home peering out of the carrier.

She wanted to be Bunny’s friend badly, as well-chronicled in my post on Bunny’s death. Nixie absolutely hated having a new cat in the house, which is how we learned Nixie hated other cats. It took Nixie two weeks to stop howling at Maggie, which Maggie spent hiding in a safe room under the bed. Maggie being Maggie, she never stopped cuddling Nixie.

Two cuddles, well over a decade apart. I think in the end Nixie grew to appreciate them, although certainly in the months since Maggie passed she’s been enjoying being the only cat. That would have been very hard for Maggie to deal with.

We used to joke that she was a dog cat. When we were living in Somerville, she’d sit at the window around the time I usually arrived home and come meet me at the door, no lie.

For a while, she was small enough to ride on my shoulder. The rescue shelter we got her from claimed she had Maine Coon heritage, and while she never grew to the size you might expect from a pure breed Maine Coon, she certainly had the affinity for humans. She was too restless to be a lap cat, but she wanted to be next to someone all the time.

Did I mention curious? Wish I had the original of this picture still; it’s probably my favorite of her. She had the whiskers of a much bigger cat, and the tufty ears I associate with Maine Coons.

We miss her terribly. It’s a cliche, and all cats are individuals, but we’ll never have another like her: never angry, never cranky, always sweet and demanding. I love all three of the sisters, but Maggie was my cat.

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