"You are my sunshine,|
My little sunshine.
You make me happy when sky are gray.
You'll never know, Mags [I hope you know, Mags], how much I love you.
Never take my precious Maggi away."
I used to sing this to Maggi sometimes (yes, for some reason I said "when sky"). He enjoyed when I sang to him.
Roger Richard Simon "Magnum" Tillinghaskett (aka Maggi) entered my life officially on February 19, 2017 -- although I'd found his profile on Petfinder 10 days earlier. A mere hours after my beloved Seal Point Siamese, Richard Donald "Kittybaby" (aka Kitty) passed away (after 5 years and just over 3 months together). He was never intended to be an "instant replacement" cat for Kitty but rather a way to honor Kitty's memory. His profile stood out to me because parts of it reminded me very much of Kitty. He was described as a Seal Point Siamese (/Domestic Shorthair) with a friendly and laid-back personality. The latter turned out to definitely be true! The former might have been true; however, after I learned of the Tonkinese breed a couple of years later I realized that Maggi was much more likely a Natural Mink Tonkinese.
Anyhow, I looked at other cats while waiting to hear back about Maggi -- but Maggi was my first choice. Sure enough, it all worked out and I brought him home (all the way from Vancouver, WA to Olympia) on that rainy day in February.
About 7-8 weeks later, after starting to get to know each other in the Olympia house, my husband and I parted ways (we still get along very well!) and Maggi and I wound up moving in with my parents near Gig Harbor -- into my teenage-years home, where we all lived for the next 8 months (along with 2 dogs who mostly kept their distance from him, although Howie the blind Chihuahua liked to bark whenever Maggi entered his presence. Maggi took this in stride.). We had some good times in that home, and this is where our bond really stengthened.
Finally, in December of 2017 we moved into our shared little apartment in Tacoma. Maggi's sanctuary. This is where he lived for the rest of his life (except for the last 35 or so hours). He loved sharing that little space with me, and I with him.
Maggi shared a few similarities with Kitty (both absolutely loved to be around people; both had similar coloring and beautiful blue eyes -- although Maggi was about twice Kitty's size) but he was definitely his own cat! He didn't meow as often as Kitty; however, he did have a cute, sometimes "staccato" sounding meow. He purred CONSTANTLY (Kitty had a quiet purr, but Maggi's was usually loud and rumbly). Both were guilty of the occasional "love bite"; Kitty only bit noses, but Maggi would bite... pretty much anywhere. Never really aggressively, though, and while the bites did sometimes hurt -- he had wonderfully sharp teeth! -- he'd also on occasion give gentle little nips (I think to get my attention).
Unlike Kitty, Maggi wasn't much of a "lap cat" (he did go through a brief phase of sitting on my lap!) but he was very much my little sidekick. He had a spot next to me in bed, marked by his beloved Strawberry Shortcake pillow (which for years every night he'd do "happy paws" on while purring up a storm). During the last several months of his life, Maggi had a harder time jumping up on the bed and thus didn't get a lot of time with his pillow (I tried moving it out to where he could access it but he seemed to prefer it on the bed) -- so often, I'd join him out on the living room floor with my blankets and pillow. He'd be right next to me, usually curled up by or with his head resting on one of his prized circular scratching boards. Purring away. Sometimes he'd lean over and give me a single lick (another trait shared with Kitty). During the daytime, I'd work or dink around online on the recliner in my living room; Maggi had a few favorite spots that he'd alternate between -- right at the side of or directly in front of it. Sometimes he'd sleep in those spots, and sometimes he'd just sit and look relaxed.
Maggi was a pretty mellow and relaxed guy overall. Few things seemed to bother him (4th of July fireworks were a noticeable exception; they terrified him. He wasn't crazy about the sound of packages being opened, either.). He LOVED his Strawberry Shortcake pillow, his circular scratching boards (he liked regular scratching boards, too), and the water fountain that I bought for him last summer after a couple of heat waves (which somehow made him no longer want to drink from his regular bowls; but he used his beloved fountain for the rest of his life). He liked toys; he didn't have a particular favorite, but in his younger years he chased balls around (he was briefly afraid of the kind with bells inside back when we still lived in Olympia, but grew to like these) and liked to bat at random things on sticks. He liked shoelaces and laser pointers. He especially liked the knitted catnip toys. Even toward the end of his life, he'd sometimes carry these around for a bit in his mouth. Mostly, though, he thoroughly licked them (a Kitty-shared trait) or tried to pull them open! (This was unique to Maggi.)
Other Maggi loves: visitors (my social boy loved people; occasionally, he'd hide under the bed at first but would always come out for pets and brushings and purr-fests -- and he really liked his three regular pet-sitters); and just about any and all food. My big guy had a hearty appetite. He liked to eat off of his rectangular scratching boards, particularly one right in front of my living room table. He'd wait at it faithfully each morning for his treat(s) and handful of kibble (toward the end, he followed this up with a drink at his fountain; this was our morning routine for many months). Maggi enjoyed dry food, wet food (especially Fancy Feast), and occasional "human" treats such as sardines and tuna.
His favorite hangout spots rotated, and included: the bathtub; my bedroom closet; the corner of my bedroom; the corner of the living room (where he had two blankets; he for some reason liked to rest his head on the base of the lamp standing nearby -- it never looked very comfortable, but this didn't seem to bother Maggi!); his little mat in the living room; and (most consistently, although rarely for very long at a time) under the bed. Maggi's name might officially have been Roger, but he came with the name Magnum and the nickname Maggi. And Maggi is the name he most obviously knew. He'd often come when called (he was a very dog-like cat) -- and many times, it would be from his spot under the bed.
Maggi absolutely LOVED to be brushed (when his Daddy would visit, Maggi especially liked those brushings!) and would hurry across the room the second he noticed me pick up one of his many brushes (or his lone silver comb). Maggi would even brush and comb himself! I'd hold out the brush or comb and he'd rub his little face alongside and up and down the bristles.
He could be a finicky sort of cat; I learned a year or so into our apartment life that I had to be vigilant about keeping his litter box especially clean or... he'd find his own "litter box". (Aside from this little quirk, he was very well-behaved.)
Yes, it was a cozy and happy life inside our apartment. There was a song about that, too:
"Mama and Maggi, living together, in their apartment that they share!
"I love the sound of your purr,
Maggi enjoyed these. Yes, they had tunes -- that I can't convey in writing, but will hopefully always remember.
When I adopted Maggi, I was aware of his FIV+ status. And for most of the time that we were together, he seemed relatively healthy (save for some skin issues that cleared right up with antibiotics, and a possible Upper Respiratory Infection in fall of 2021).
He was a bit overweight, but also I think he was just a large-boned cat. (And very, very handsome with gorgeous huge blue eyes, cute little black paws, a fluffy-ish tail, and little white patches scattered through his cream/Seal Point (or Natural Mink!) coat. He did have some dandruff throughout my time with him -- which didn't detract from his handsomeness, and which I'd try to keep at bay via regular brushings.)
I had some minor concerns at times regarding his health.
But I was not at all prepared for the seizure that he suffered at around 11:30 AM on March 31, 2022. (Sadly, another Kitty-shared trait; Kitty had 5 or 6 seizures, always terrible to witness, in the last 4 years of his life.)
Maggi was rushed to an emergency vet; I thought that I'd have him back within a couple of hours. Initially, this is what I was told (and that his vitals looked good).
Then they did the bloodwork, which revealed diabetes. They wanted to keep Maggi for a couple of nights (up to 3) and do some more tests. I knew he must have been terrified, and wanted him home as soon as possible. I spent the next day worrying and researching everything that I could about caring for a diabetic cat.
The following afternoon, there was a promising report that seemed to indicate progress. But then they did an ultrasound.
And that's when I learned that my beautiful Maggi had so much more going on than diabetes or FIV. I am not sure that I want to get into all of it on his memorial but -- suffice it to say, he was a very sick kitty.
So I made the difficult decision to let him go. At the end, when they finally brought him out (bundled in blankets, with an IV in his leg) to me, he sat on my lap but kept wanting to jump off of the couch that we were seated on. I could tell that he just wanted to leave that hospital and go home to our sanctuary. And there wasn't anything that I wanted more myself; but knowing about his health, there just wasn't a way that I could honor this wish.
So I let him go. Before a very kind doctor gave him the sedatives, he stopped trying to jump down off the couch, settled down a bit, purred softly, and nuzzled my hand. Then he died, without a visible struggle and looking very much like he was sleeping, in the 10 PM hour of April 1, 2002.
As much as I will always treasure Maggi's presence in our shared apartment (which there are still signs of him ALL over) and as broken as my heart is, I know that Maggi is now -- eternally -- in an even better place... finally spending time with his brother Kitty and other animal friends, drinking all the water that he wants from an even better fountain than his special blue one, and waiting faithfully to meet me at the Rainbow Bridge. My loyal little sidekick.
"Hey, Mister Maggi, I love you!
c. Nov 22, 2012 -- Born.
2015 -- Living in Battle Ground, WA; owners "gave him to a neighbor" and moved away. He stayed behind at their house and the very kind woman who'd purchased it found him hanging out there and brought him to Furry Friends WA of Vancouver, WA.
2015-Feb. 2017 -- Lived with a foster mama in Portland, OR.
Feb. 2017-Apr. 2022 -- I found his profile at Petfinder on February 9th, 2017; I adopted him at the Furry Friends shelter 10 days later; and we spent five years, one month, and a little over a week together (except for about 34.5 of his final 35 hours, while he was hospitalized) until he passed away at Summit Veterinary Referral Center in Tacoma, WA on April 1, 2022.