Our little Maisie May is becoming one of our longer stay guests. We’ve been through quite a bit of drama together, and that has been stressful for both of us in different ways. I’ve experienced the whole range of emotions towards her (and no doubt she has in turn to me): confusion and annoyance when she was lost on the M62 with no battery left on her phone to contact me, and finally arrived at 2am!; anxiety when she was pregnant and poorly and refusing to eat; anger (hard to admit but true) when little Max was born and she refused to even look at him, while I dithered around struggling to do what she might have done so easily in caring for him; heartbreak that she’d probably had pregnancy after pregnancy and never had enough care herself to be in any position to rear her kittens; despair that it would ever change; hope that it eventually might; and well …… just love really …. as we’ve started to really get to know each other.
Now she’s physically well, Maya has gradually hidden less, come out to play more, and slowly revealed herself as such a little character. There are a 1001 reasons you have to just love her, here are just a few:
1. Despite being a timid cat, her favourite toys are the noisy ones. She’s reluctant to play whilst I’m in the room very often, but gives away her leisure activities as I lie in bed listening to her rattling the balls around their track.
2. I love the way she clearly and carefully measures risk against desire. If I drop a treat outside of her comfort zone I can see a flash of her registering its precise location ….. there’s a pause …… a calculation ……. a waiting for the moment. Sometimes that “moment” is about waiting while I leave the room, and I catch her when I return seconds later with a refreshed water bowl, sometimes its about waiting while I’ve gone for good, more often these days her desire for the treat gets the better of her and she comes out to grab it.
3. I love how she’s been so glued to her little igloo … especially in the early days she’d rarely come out of it whilst I was in her room. I particularly love how she’ll she something she likes, and snatch it into her igloo. At one stage she had at least 5 ping pong balls, 3 toy mice and a fluffy valerian cushion in there with her.
4. What I love even more is how although she still loves her igloo, she’s become more ready to come out of it to greet me and watch what I’m doing.
5. I’m fascinated by her fur. Various vet interventions meant that she had lots of areas shaved: tummy (for ultra sound when she was poorly and pregnant), side (when she was spayed), neck (for blood tests). On top of that. she’s shed hair like its going out of fashion – perhaps no longer needing so much now she’s not living rough. Here’s the curious thing though – she came here as a very brown tabby and as her coat has re grown she’s quite grey.
6. I love her resourcefulness and dexterity. She loves to play the game of hooking Dreamies out of her toy, but she’s equally dexterous if she drops a little food when dragging it back into her bed …. she’ll fish under the cushion in her bed and manage to get all of it. When she decided her igloo was too warm one day, she cleverly turned it into a donut type of bed.
I think most of all I just love what a sweet little cat she is, despite her awful life so far. She’ll take a treat so gently from my fingers and gives all the signs of a beautiful personality just waiting to blossom. If the residents here would accept her she’d be a keeper … but sadly I know they won’t.
[In case you’re wondering …. Maya doesn’t live permanently in a crate! She and Gertie share a room, but don’t get on, so they time share the space, by each having a crate and alternating one of them is shut in and which one has the run of the room]