Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nine Lives

Jade got Maddy on her 9th birthday. It was inevitable she would get an animal of some sort because it's all she ever asks for. And since we live in Morocco which has an enormous stray cat population in seemed the logical choice. So we took Jade to SPANA (the Moroccan SPCA) and let her pick out a kitty of her very own.

When we got to the shelter a man escorted us past the donkey also available for adoption, past the handful of dogs to the enormous fenced in cat area. There must have been 50 or more. Maddy was right in front laying next to the chain link fence and when Jade stuck her fingers in to pet her fur she happily accepted the affection. The choice was easy. Maddy had made it. So we took her home and Jade became a kitty mom.

Never was there a better pair. Jade brushed, washed, fed, cleaned poop, freshened Maddy's water every day with no reminders. Maddy slept on Jade's bed, waited for her patiently and hoped that Jade would sneak her some drops of milk from her morning cereal. We got her dewormed, got her shots and when she was old enough we took her to get fixed and get a chip implanted that we would need to bring her back to to Colorado when we come home.

There are stray cats everywhere there is food in Morocco. But Maddy was one of the lucky ones who didn't have to dig through the garbage. She's an indoor cat. Of course she wasn't content with that. From one of her favorite sunny spots next to the window she could see the strays pass through our yard. The strays were equally as envious and would sit outside the window looking in. Cats are curious right? So from time to time, when the door was unguarded from a child to-ing or fro-ing, Maddy would escape into the big wide outside world of our yard. And it was in our yard where she was attacked by a tomcat on two different occasions. She was severely battered by her aggressor and developed a massive infection that required major surgery.

She'd been healthy for a long time now. So it was a shock when earlier this week Maddy's breathing became labored and she was bloated. So we took her to the vet who told us her condition was dire. She did some blood work and many of her organs were failing and she needed insulin shots. It also confirmed she had Cat Scratch Fever that she must have gotten from the frequent stray cats the last time she got out.

This morning we awoke to find that Maddy had passed away in the night. She was a sweet survivor, we just didn't realize she was on her 9th life already. It was simply too short. Even though we only got a year with our Mads, we'll love her forever.


Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA said...

Another fantastic story. And, a wonderful teaching moment for all four of your kids. Get things done when you can- because you never know when things will change and you can't!

David said...

Sorry for the family's loss!! One year of great memories and many loving moments that will last a lifetime with the was well worth it. Hope they aren't taking the death too hard and in time, maybe another kitty will join the clan.

Anna and Kim said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Maddy was quite a character, even if she thought she was the boss of our house within about 20 minutes of arriving, and we really, really liked her. Special sympathies to Jade.


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