Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Greatest Cat Who Has Ever Lived

Maddie, April 2014

This post is going to be about my cat. It's probably (definitely) going to be pretty long and have a lot of pictures. If you don't like cats, this is not the post for you.


Nala (left) cuddling with her sister
after they had both had kittens.

It was barely August of 2010.
My cousin had come over to pick out a kitten from a litter that one of my cats, Nala, had had just 6 weeks prior. Satisfied with her kitten, Shannon left, only to return not 5 minutes later with a terrified ball of fuzz in her arms. Shannon explained to us that she witnessed someone in the car in front of her THROW her out of the window and onto the road. After some coaxing, my cousin caught the little kitten and brought it to the closest place- my house. As soon as Shannon got into my yard with the kitten it leaped from her arms and ran into the woods. My brother and I called for it, but got no response, so we left some food out by the tree line. A few days later my brother goes outside and screams for me- he's found the little kitten! A quick assessment told us that she was severely malnourished and had a tail injury. The car that tossed her out so carelessly must have run over it when they were driving away, as she was missing a few inches of her tail.
I have always loved cats, ever since my family rescued our first kitty when I was 15(ish?) from a Food Lion parking lot. Of course I had to help this one out. She was so small that she could fit into the palm of my hand. We took her inside and bandaged her tail the best we could with a cotton pad and some medical tape. This was a battle for the next few weeks, I'm sure that it was itchy to her so she continuously tore it off and opened the wound over and over again. 

This was the tiniest kitten I had ever seen (and I had seen a lot of kittens). After taking her to the vet, we were told that she was just ~5 weeks old, making her ~4 weeks old when we got her. Initially, we had been worried if she was going to survive at all. Luckily, Nala stepped up to the plate and fed her as if she was her own. This saved Madeline's life.
She grew particularly attached to me as a kitten because she stayed in my room most of the time to keep the other cats from playing with her poor tail.

We decided on the name Madeline (Maddie or Mad) because of how 'sweet' it sounded, corresponding perfectly to her personality. She never meowed or complained, just chirped and purred. My bed was (and is) her favorite place, and I am her favorite human. As I type this she is napping on my pillow. Her favorite place to sleep was under my chin or next to my ear (and purring very loudly), taking up most of the pillow somehow with her small body. As she grew, she stopped sleeping on my pillow in favor of the foot of the bed. It also became apparent with her growth that her brain had received lasting damage from the unfortunate events that led to us getting this sweet girl.

Maddie, October 2010.
Maddie and myself, November 2010.

Madeline cannot keep her balance very well. If you pick her up and set her down, you have to make sure she isn't going to fall over, because she will. She also doesn't run like a normal cat. She hops, more like a bunny. I've been trying to get this on video for years, but she will never run when I have a camera out. She also had very severe ear mites when we got her, I think this has left her with some lasting damage to her ears as she scratches them an awful lot, and kicks her back legs like a dog when you rub them (check out my Instagram for a video!).It is also unfortunately difficult for her to navigate her way into and out of the litter box without falling and making a mess, so she uses puppy pads instead. It's also impossible for us to get her fixed, there is no way of knowing how the scar tissue on her brain will affect her while under anesthesia. We could find out of course, but there would be no reason to do that, because we can't do anything to "fix" her, as the vet said. Her tail is still a slight issue because every now and then she will get the end in her mouth and chew until she makes herself squeal. I think she might have some ghost vertebrae and they might feel itchy to her, and she just continues to bite because the feeling won't go away.
Fully extended, taking up about half of my bed.

Maddie's favorite things to do are "watch TV" (look out the window), lay in the sunshine, sit in front of the fire place, and bathe herself and her babies. I believe that one of the things that makes Mad the happiest is when she is with her two daughters that we decided to keep, Buddy and Crook. They are her little angels, and they sure do love their moma. Those three always have the softest, cleanest fur.

Maddie and her babies. (top) Crookie, (bottom) LtoR: Buddy, Madeline.

She also has the prettiest green eyes I've ever seen on a cat (see above, left). They turn out yellow in most pictures (see below), but I can try and trick her in to looking at the light to get the color to come out.  Since she is so pristine looking all of the time, she's earned the title of Movie Star Maddie. Check out the pictures I've taken of her by searching the hashtag #MovieStarMaddie on Instagram!

Not only did she help me to improve my character by taking care of her, she's also a great listener. :) She seems to always know when I'm sad, because she'll usually stumble her way through my ankles, rubbing her face on my shoes. She brings so much joy and smiles to my family's household that it makes me sad to think that someone would not want her enough to think that throwing her out of a moving car was okay. I mean, look at that sweet face! How could you say no? In a way I am kind of thankful for those people, because then I wouldn't have my Madeline, my sweet girl.

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