- Pets and Animals
Maggie, The Siamese Cat
Maggie Our Lilac Point Siamese
This is Maggie's story. It all started back in June 18, 1997 when she entered the world at the Luin Cattery. Siamese are born white and she was no exception. We first met her when she was about 7 weeks old. She was all over us and we were delighted that she was a lilac point. Too early for the breeder to give her up, we put in our request to get her later. Was too early to tell exactly what the breeder wanted to do with her. The kittens need to be about four months old before a breeder decides if they are show quality, breeder potential or just a pet. We were hoping the decision would be pet quality so we could have her soon. Yeah, she was pet quality and the first part of December 1997 we made arrangements to meet at a local cat show and pick her up. She was now part of the family, but not to the delight of the 2 other resident cats!
UPDATE: Maggie had her 16th birthday in June and is still doing great. We had a problem with her a few months ago and switched to rubbing apple cider vinegar on the back of her neck and either on paws or legs and sometimes under the chin. This seems to have improved her health. It looks as if she will enjoy another Christmas with us.
**All photos and artwork on this lens are mine.**
Love Your Cat
Maggie Loved to Play
Maggie is on the left and Minnie the blue point Siamese also from the same cattery. Here they are waiting while I get down the fishing line toy that they love to chase around. An interactive toy for cats. Word of caution, don't leave this down as you might just have a cat that will chew off the string and eat part of it. (From experience - Minnie did just that.) If is hard to photograph the eyes of these cats they either turn out red or yellow with a glow. But their eyes are very blue. Although at times you can catch the angle just right and you can capture the true blue color. Maggie used to be able to do complete 360` flips in the air. She was super fast and very athletic even though she was always an indoor cat.
Maggie Growing Up
She loved to play and didn't really like the fuzzy toys that Minnie liked. If she had been human, I think you would have classified her as a "tom boy". She much preferred balls, the cat toy metallic balls were a hit, but I found they fell apart too easily. Went to the fabric store and picked up 2 packages of metallic pom-poms. There was 24 in a package. They held together beautifully and are a whole lot cheaper! I have 2 left in the bag, that means somewhere in the house there are 46 lurking under the sofa, tables, dressers and any other place they could be stashed. Periodically I run something under places to try and retrieve them and out pops toy mice and any other toy they managed to stuff underneath.
She and Minnie although they slept together and groomed each other, they couldn't see eye to eye at times. Many a time you would hear this hollering and see a brawl in the living room. When all was over there would be tufts of fur fluttering on the floor.
The Comical Side of Maggie
Here she is totally relaxed in a most ungraceful nap!
In her younger days I had her trained to jump. She would be on the floor and I would tap on my chest and say "jump". She would have enough trust and land in my arms. She would also jump to me if she was on the table and I was 2 feet away. My husband didn't like her to do that to him, so for the most part she only did it with me. Except the one time my husband and brother were standing in the kitchen talking. Apparently she made one flying leap and landed in my brother's arms, he was not expecting that but at least he caught her. She never tried that again with him. It could be a bit of a shock to have a cat flying through the air and latch on to your chest.
The Naughty Side of Maggie
Maggie had a bad side that did get a little frustrating.
We would be at work or out shopping and come home to paper towels with holes munched out of one side. Many a time there would be paper towels that were not only perforated but towel after towel had been unwound from the roll and now covering the kitchen floor. We had an under the cupboard towel holder. This got so out of hand, she was now doing it if we were in another room. Out of desperation we started putting the towels on top of the refrigerator, it was an inconvenience to say the least. But she was beginning to shred the towels, so it was a mess, we just could no longer endure the destruction.
Of course that wasn't the only thing she did wrong. Better not leave any photographs out as she would lick them or punch holes in them with her teeth. Many a photo she ruined and it being in the envelope wasn't any security for the photo to survive around her. All photos had to be locked up to assure she didn't destroy them.
She also liked to lick mail. All the fliers and unfortunately also important mail. We would lay the mail on the coffee table and if I didn't get a chance to sort it right away, she would get to it first. I would come into the living room and there scattered all across the floor would be the mail. Many pieces wet with punctures and many fliers shredded into pieces. She still likes to lick fliers if she has a chance, but she is not as destructive as in her younger years.
Maggie Has a Problem
In May of 2011, the month before her 14th birthday we were alarmed one morning with her behavior. It was so bizarre we were wondering if she had a stroke and was not in her right mind.
She would walk into the coffee table and then bounce off of that and slam into another table and then into the sofa. She was going into a panic. Every time she tried to compensate for one wrong move she made another. Puzzled by this we picked her up to calm her down.
Setting her down again I stood in front of her and she walked right into me. I moved, she walked into me again. We watched as she went across the floor navigating the coffee table and then walking into another piece of furniture. We picked her up and moved a hand in front of her face. She did not follow our hand. She had lost her vision, which accounted for her unusual behavior.
Maggie liked to play ball as described above and I would throw the little balls for her and she was really good about bringing them back. Six months earlier she would bring balls to me and I would throw them and she would just stand there waiting. So I assume her vision had been poor way back then. Actually I don't think she ever had excellent vision, because the other cats would look outside and see cats and birds in the backyard. She never seemed interested until a neighbor cat was right up by the door. I guess she never could see them if they were out away from the house.
Also, before the May morning, I had thought it odd as for about the 4 months prior she would walk around and around the coffee table. I thought it was for exercise, but I suppose she was trying to remember where things were at. So final diagnosis is retinal degeneration, with no cure to eventual blindness. Possibly can detect light and dark. At times you can look into her eyes in certain light and see these deep jagged holes where the black used to reside.
As time went along we could tell that more and more of her vision was going. She would get up one morning and crash into things for awhile until she adjusted to her new loss. It is now October 2012 and I am sure she has no vision other than maybe dark and light. She has adjusted very well, but has gotten a lot more clinging and my husband holds her to comfort her.
On the other side of all this she has become like people that can't hear very well. You know the ones that YELL, because they can't hear, even though we can hear them just fine. So Maggie now uses a very loud voice to get her desires known and she actually verbalizes a lot more than she ever used to.
So, you think poor cat, what could possibly else happen. About the end of August 2011 she ended up with kidney stones and I don't know what else was going on but we had a couple of really bad spells with her. In a quick measure since she was in pain, I gave her d-mannose and within 20 minutes she was fine. We were up and down with her over trying to figure out what dosage and how often to keep her feeling good. On December 16, 2011 she had lost weight and was having a really bad day. We were in doubt she would even make it to Christmas. We gave her 3 doses that day and decided no matter what we would continue to give 2 doses a day, no matter how she was doing and more if she was having a bad day. It is now October 2012 and she has not had any return of symptoms. She has put on weight and her coat looks great. I read that some Vets use d-mannose as first course of treatment for horses before using antibiotics.
* As with all treatment of animals check with your veterinarian first.
Blindness in Your Pet
The one great thing about pets, they just don't feel sorry for themselves. They adjust and adapt to whatever is happening to them. Not having the capacity as humans do to understand the limitations and what they might just be missing out on gives them an advantage. When you look at a cat's life, they spend most of their time laying down or sleeping. They have fun if they can see, but they have no hobbies so their loss is not as devastating as it is to humans.
We as humans need to compensate for our pet's vision loss by just being more aware. First thing, do not move your furniture around it will totally confuse them. Since I am not one that likes to move locations of my furniture it was an easy rule to follow. But what made me think was that a floor Christmas tree would not be possible. It would be at eye level and she would be poked in the eye. We have a fan in the living room so we thought about long term and decided to leave the fan in place year round. Which lead to my next brilliant idea...decorate the fan!
We have had a little fun with Maggie. She goes and gets my husband to hold her, soon he gets tired of this and can't get any work done so he puts her down. One day after being put down she went to seek me out in the other room. Well, I wasn't there. I was sitting on the sofa and could see her in the hallway looking back and forth at both rooms. Finally she went into where I should have been sitting and went up to the chair and reached up to try and find me. After she figured I was not there and left the room, I did let her know where I was.
Since she can't see there is no more territorial rights and she doesn't fight Molly about getting on my husband's lap anymore. She also has learned to tolerate the vacuum cleaner and not take off. I guess she has figured out it isn't worth the trouble to escape, if she just gets up on to the sofa it doesn't go after her.
2011 Christmas Card Front - Annual Christmas Card
Every year I make a Christmas card for family and close friends. This was last year's project.
2011 Christmas Card Inside
Maggie on the left
Maggie Live on Video - Her 38 seconds of reluctant fame!
Maggie is not cooperating very well as she wants to turn around and snuggle up around my neck.
Great Stuff on Amazon - Cat Beds for Your Lovable Feline
A bed of their own, they will love you for it and spend many hours enjoying.
Soft, comfortable heated pet bed for indoor use
Uses dual-thermostat unit to raise temperature 15 degrees above air temperature
Removable cover washes easily
Update on Maggie
Maggie died on January 24, 2015. She was 17 years old. She lived in a sight impaired life for almost 4 years. Very much loved and we were all sorry to see her gone. She was a super cat and as of this time our second oldest cat. The other was 18 years old when she died on Christmas Day.
I am inclined to measure our lives by the passing of each pet. The joy they brought into our lives and the degree of sadness of when and how they died. Old age is a lot easier on the heart.
Do You Have a Blind Pet?
If so, what precautions are taken to secure their safety?
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