"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France
Maggie was adopted from C.A.R.E. in December of 1994, the runt of a litter of 3.
From the day I brought her to my apartment on Paulina she was a vibrant, curious, vocal and unconditionally loving animal. How she snuggled under the sheets, to how she gently but firmly let you know that you were a guest in HER bed, to how she was relentless in showing her need, love and care for me was simply heavenly.
Maggie moved with me, and with her feline counterpart, Tennessee (also adopted from CARE), to Los Angeles in 1997. She survived a four day drive, a few small earthquakes (and one large one), two apartments and a stalled acting career (mine, not hers), before we all moved back to Chicago in 2001. An apartment in the city and a condo in Oak Park added to Maggie's bulging passport...
In October of 2003 Maggie survived 5 days in critical care - effects from hyperthyroidism and heart disease, which were complications tied to, though not caused by, the heart murmur diagnosed early in her life. While I stressed and paced and worried about what could be ailing my furry 'child', and wondering if, after only 9 years, this was 'the time,' Maggie herself showed that she wanted to live. She dealt with a feeding tube for a month after the critical care and I had tears in my eyes the day I saw her finally eat on her own again in November, 2003. (That pencil and eraser-looking gadget around her neck is the feeding tube, subsequently removed a week after this picture was taken)
Once the myriad of twice-daily medications were balanced, Maggie returned to kitten form - running around, torturing Tennessee, making her presence known at every chance. Thankful that she regained her bounce, there was little reason to suspect that she would do anything but age gracefully...
Her sudden passing on a Tuesday night in February of 2005 came as a shock.
I'm hoping that any suffering she may have experienced was tempered by the shortness of time from her collapse to our putting a humane end to her pain.