Rescue cats are often living proof that some of the most majestic and regal cats of all come from shelters. While we don’t always know our cat’s exact lineage, we can take some guesses about where their cat roots originate from. For one superbly fluffy calico kitty cat named Maggie Mae, she was once a lonely shelter kitty with no home to call hers. Described by her cat mom as a “scrawny wanderer” upon rescue, all it took was the right new home and a new name to help her shine like a star. Now, she spends her days being loved and adored—and from the looks of it, I don’t think she’d have it any other way!
How did you choose her name?
I chose Maggie Mae’s name as a tribute to my grandmother. Gram greatly influenced my life and I have always felt that her given name was kind of special. She was 100% Danish, born of an immigrant family in 1914 in Racine, WI. Her birth name was Magdalene Martine Hoyer but nobody seemed to ever call her that in an era when short names were trendy and names like hers were undesirably old-fashioned, not to mention hard to pronounce! Lane, Lena, Elaine, Mag, and Maggie were just some of the nicknames used by various of her friends and family. The Mae is taken from a shortening of Martine. The funny thing is, Gram didn’t care much for either dogs or cats! Hence, I am not so sure she would consider the adaptation of her name for a cat as a particular honor!
Another tidbit about Maggie Mae’s name: The current Queen of Denmark’s name is Margrethe II. I have mentally speculated whether she may have ever been referred to as “Maggie” (although more probably “Margie”). At times Maggie Mae is positively “queenly” in the way she acts, where she perches, how carefully she arranges herself when sitting in certain spots, etc. She is definitely the “queen” in this household! Thus, the imagined tie to the “royal” name seems to fit her.
How would you describe her personality?
*Independent—“don’t pick me up/try to hold me unless you plan to give me treats!” And even then I’m only staying momentarily under duress.
*Curious—has to check out everything I do, eat/drink, and work with—as in crochet yarn (she seems convinced that the addition of her kitty-slobber to the yarn is vital to the success of my crocheting projects!)
*Stubborn—she never accepts “no” for an instruction, and she keeps coming back until she accomplishes her goal. She also seems to pause to mull over commands/invitations. Her choice of action appears to depend upon her evaluation conclusions.
*An intense huntress—she lays in wait for hours watching birds coming to feed just outside the patio door, occasionally lunging at the door or screen to frighten them/attempt to catch one. Her little behind wiggles while the tip of her tail flicks. Then suddenly she will lunge. Afterward, I frequently am on the receiving end of a speaking look that says, “I could’ve had that bird if you would have just cooperated a little and left the door cracked open!”
*Sensitive—watches over me when I am ill. Will gently pat me if she is worried about my mood. Periodically gets “in my face” to check on me when I am resting. Often awakens me from “bad” dreams.
*Affectionate—but on her terms. Uses face-washing/ licking coupled with nibbles to show her affection. I could hire her out for giving thoroughly fantastic exfoliating facials! Just don’t open your mouth or you’re liable to get a French kiss! The level of her growth in comfort/happiness has been evidenced by her purr-purring. For an extended time after her adoption, MM didn’t purr. The first time I noticed her doing it, both MM and I were surprised! The purr did sound rough and rusty, catchy, and very quiet. Now she fairly rumbles when she is happy— and that is frequently.
*Fastidious—about her grooming, her litter box, her food service and other things. She gets frantically upset if she has an accident like throwing-up or having a poopee stick to her and travel outside the litter box to drop on the floor. Acts embarrassed. Hiding the problem becomes uppermost in her approach. It is amazing how she will roll up a rug or pull pieces of paper over to cover messes all the while yowling repeatedly like she is dying of pain until I respond, see the issue, and address it.
*Vocal—Protests loudly with howling if she is unhappy with the condition of her litter box, has had an accident, wants something.
*Social/nosey—My neighbors love her! She is recognized by most of the residents on this floor of the apartment building full of seniors and is considered the beautiful floor “greeter”. Listens at the door for voices in the hall and then loves to venture out to promenade all the way down to the elevator to see if there is someone out there who will give her some attention. But if she meets someone, she tends to scurry back to safety of our apartment. She also has grown to love certain people who she constantly expects to show up—circling with her apostrophe tail in the air, scratching on the door, and meowing in hope when she hears the entrance phone ring.
*Laidback—She has play times when she races around like a NASCAR nut bouncing off furniture and squealing suspension-challenging corners. Nightly she has a soccer scrum with her toys, and she loves “spa” times (brushing), but also is content just to loll around in a patch of sun or curl up in a comfy chair and do what all cats major in—snooze!
*well-trained, polite—Prior to moving in with me, she appears to have been taught to keep off counters and furniture including beds without permission. MM Is very careful about taking treats out of your hand—licking at them—trained not to bite. Initially, they needed to be placed on the floor for her to take them. Over the years, I have corrupted her good manners and taught her some tricks like helping herself from the packages. She has gotten comfortable with the reduced formality and blossomed into a much more confident cat. I am learning to “read” her and vice versa!
What are her favorite hobbies?
What’s something special you’d like for others to know about Maggie Mae?
Her name from the animal shelter was “Miss Poppet” and it suited her well at the time. She was a scrawny little wanderer picked up at only about 5 pounds and approximately 2 to 4 years of age. In spite of chronic irritable bowel problems which have just finally responded to a new treatment regimen in the past two months or so, she seems to have thrived since becoming my “Maggie Mae” (as you will see from the pictures). She loves to awaken me by giving me full face washes beginning at my nose and repeats my “facials” at any other time during the day when she can catch me sitting or laying down and wants my attention. It is a good thing I don’t wear make up or skin creams or she would poison herself I’m afraid! She also has a habit of checking everyone’s breath as soon as she meets/greets them. I don’t know what she is looking for, but it is an interesting sensitivity for her to exhibit.
As a disabled younger senior citizen, Maggie Mae and I lead a pretty quiet sedentary life that seems to work well for the both of us. She is very appropriately designated as an emotional support animal for me, and has been giving me more than one reason to get up every day for the length of our association (“Meeooww!!! Feed me, hooman!”). We are a happy duo living by the old poetry advice of “Come, grow old with me. The best is yet to be!”
I want to give a special “thank you” to Maggie Mae’s cat mom, Joan, for allowing me to share her story and images with all of the Cattitude Daily readers. Here’s to wishing Joan and Maggie Mae a happy nine lives together, and it makes me happy to know that these two found each other. Sometimes, fate has very special things in store for us—and Maggie is proof of it!