Saturday, May 12, 2007

Maggie The Cat.

Here are my pictures of dear, sweet Maggie. She was rescued from the pound and is around three years old. The picture where she is lying on the floor belly facing the camera shows her under the influence of catnip. All she did was smell it on a toy I rubbed with the fragrant leaves!

I also have the story of the excellent photo that walked away. Just as I snapped the shot, dear miss kitty walked out of view. I got a most lovely shot of the rug! Thankfully she doesn't seem to mind my use of the flash on my automatic (thank God!) digital camera.

Since I have Cerebral Palsy, I have trouble holding perfectly still. Thanks to something with this camera, it takes very clear photos (in spite of its operator). What a joy this camera is for me. No more waiting a few days to see the results. A cable into a nearby computer and I can see my "victories" and delete my "defeats".

When I first started cat-sitting Maggie, we got along, but she had other things to do. I was simply the door person and her "feeder". She'd let me pet her once or twice but then she wanted to go outside. I have to follow her owner's instructions; she is inside the house at night, no matter how much she cries.

My semi night shift hours confused her at first and she would meow for an hour before realizing I wasn't going to let her outside after her "in for the night treats". To get her door person up at 5 AM involved Maggie jumping on the bed and walking up my body to my chest, where she'd stand and loudly meow at my formerly sleeping self.

Eventually Maggie decided I was an acceptable bed cushion and occasionally sleeps with me. I love feeling her breathing and movements while she sleeps. When she sleeps she twitches and moves around a bit. The hardest part of this job is the "Maggie withdrawal". I have to go home and there is no warm ball of fur near my left leg. I miss her for a couple of days.

This is my third session with Maggie. She has continued to amaze me with her personality and expanding expressions of affection towards me. I refuse to believe it is all catnip induced. I do not make a habit of giving her catnip, as it seems to have a profound affect on her. She comes back into the house about 8 Am and used to just eat her food.

Lately, she truly put on a cat ballet for me. While she eats, I'm sipping my first cup of coffee for the day. I didn't see her around for a while and figured she was patiently sitting by the back door waiting for me to let her outside. She was in the kitchen, but didn't want to go outside. She led me back into the living room and began her performance with a two foot leap, straight up into the air. In mid air she flipped her body around and landed to do a graceful somersault.

Now that she had my attention, she pounced on her cloth mouse. This cat should try out as a pitcher. She tosses the mouse into the air and bats it clear across the living room area! This has to be at least a twenty foot swat. I'm impressed (and laughing).

Now, she is running flat out, (bounding really), body fully extended. She is so graceful. She continued her antics for over an hour before finally requesting to return to the great out doors.

Maggie also likes to sit in my lap while I listen to music. I pet her and she licks one of my wrists. Nothing like warm, moist sandpaper kisses! We sometimes play with her toys together. She has a cloth fish with a long piece of yarn attached to it. I didn't realize that she and I were grabbing for the same piece of yarn and she pounced with her claws extended. I felt her claws begin to attack my arm. She literally froze in mid pounce and looked at me. It was like she was saying: "Oops, human arm! Oops.".

I talk to my animals. I assume they understand me. If not my words, then the emotional intent of my words. I count down the last couple of days before their owners return. I praise their good behavior and warn them of their bad beginnings. Every animal I've ever worked with will always make a noise if I'm looking for them. Animals come when I call them, even if they won't do it for their owners!

I love this particular location. The house and area are beautiful. The transportation via bus from here, however, can be hard on my nerves. We are on the side of a mountain peak and the roads are narrow and windy. I can not tell where I am at all when riding the bus. I make my speech to the drivers about not being able to see well enough to find my stop. I then pray frantically that they don't forget me. I come home rattled.

Maggie always comes to the back door shortly after I arrive home. She hangs around for me to pet and talk to, while I unwind from another trip somewhere. Shopping is easy, but it is at least two hours from here and back. The bus driver always calls my stop, but yesterday he tried to teach me about ringing the bell to tell him when to stop. I once again explained about my bad vision. He finally understood and apologized. No wonder he didn't seem eager to help me, if he thought I was just being lazy!

I enjoy watching Maggie walk across the carpet. Her movements are soft and graceful. I marvel at the wonder of getting to see, up front and personal another one of God's magnificent creatures.

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