“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


A New Road on the Map

Cats speak to poets in their natural tongue,
and something profound and untamed in us answers.
~ Jean Burden

Perhaps it is the poet in me that holds her so close,
perhaps it is the poet in me
that knows she needs the house a bit too warm,
and turns the heat up,
and just takes off my socks.
I prefer bare feet anyway.

Yet another hard weekend for her,
apparently unable to tolerate a new medicine.
3rd time is all the proof I need.

She is one tough cookie. She doesn't look it here, she looks fragile and giving-up, but she's not. And I must make a decision, have, in fact, already made it, to not give her the medicine, which brings up fears and unknowns, this medicine replacing another discontinued but well tolerated and extremely effective drug. There may be no other to replace this. And in the doing of that, in this power I have, what decision am I really making? In her natural tongue she is telling me no mas, por favor y let us see what happens. We will continue the fluids and the B12, we will talk to her veterinarian, and we will see what happens. But no more hard weekends like this because I have allowed a pill to be given to her, no more, no mas, indeed. It is a new road on my map of the year, a major road, one I didn't see coming, but one I share with this cat who holds a part of my heart, and we will walk it together, and if I have to carry her sometimes, I will. That's what you do with life and love. You carry on.

The ever-wonderful Michael is a pilot - have I ever told you that? - and he once, many years ago, told me that people, the general non-flying public, seemed to not understand something very basic about airplanes, which was that they didn't just fall out of the sky if something went wrong. He said if any emergency comes up, your first emergency procedure is to keep flying the plane - if the engine stops, you keep flying the plane, if the cockpit catches on fire, you keep flying the plane. You keep the plane in the air and try to figure out whatever has gone wrong. You don't give in, you don't give up, you approach the situation at hand and keep flying the plane. You carry on.

A lesson for this would-be navigator. This Maggie road will take us who knows where and at an unknown speed, but I have my compass, I know North, and so know the way home. If you see us passing your way, if your house is on this road we are wandering, please wave as we pass; I know a couple of birds who will keep us company as we make our way, but a friendly face here and there would be most welcome.

She is a bit better tonight.
Last night I made a pallet on the floor
and slept next to her for a while,
laid my hand on her foot
and fell asleep
listening to an almost silent purr.
but a purr nonetheless


  1. I wish Maggie well on her journey. I wish you both well. My thoughts are with you, and indeed, if you pass my way, my light will be on.

  2. Oh sweet Maggie... Such a hard decision to make...but it sounds like you are doing the right thing. Hang in there...I am saying some prayers. ((hugs))

  3. I remember facing these decisions as well a few years back...it's so very hard, and my heart is breaking for you, even though we don't know one another. My thoughts are with you. I'm sitting here next to my Mischa, who I love so dearly...we're sending purrs and love your way.

  4. oh, the tears are flowing now for maggie.

    and to you sweet maggie mama, I send a hug....
    and prayers and some loving....

  5. I often thought that I must have been a cat in a previous life; sure wouldn't mind coming back as one! Before I met my husband in my 40s I was quite happy to settle down on my own and become the slightly eccentric spinster (that was actually the word they used for me on my marriage certificate) who lived in her cozy cottage somewhere in the English countryside, with her seven or so cats. So now I am married and living in an apartment in America, but with my cat instead of my husband. I wish you and Maggie lots of healing love :) Take care, Kerstin

  6. I've been where you are right now with Maggie. Life is hard sometimes, and it's moments like this that are the hardest. We've been entrusted with the care of these precious creatures and they trust us. It's hard to always know what the best course of action is, and hard to acknowledge whether the course we are following is for us or for them. I wish you the best on this journey that you and Maggie are traveling right now.

  7. I had a few hours like this on Friday with my almost 18 year old cat. He had an odd couple of days and I thought I was finally losing him. I thought my heart would tear my world apart with the panic and the pain I felt. He seems to have come through it but I had just a tiny taste of your situation with Maggie and it was almost unbearable.
    I am thinking of you both. I'll whisper Maggie's name in Casey's ear and he'll be thinking of you too.

  8. I have walked the road you are travelling and it is a hard one to be sure but there are also surprises possible around the corners and treasured moments along the way, so keep moving forward with an open mind and a loving heart, as you obviously are. Best wishes to you both.

  9. just happened to find you and Maggi
    as a cat person and owner of three rescues, my heart is breaking for you and the beloved Maggi..
    prayers for you both..
    warm hugs, kitty purrs..

  10. sorry debi..but oh the road is so well traveled...too bad ...i can see you lying your hand on her paw this way..that almost silent purr is such a gift. continue to "listen" to her as far as the meds go..they know
    (((hugs ))) ya'll

  11. I am so sorry that your dear sweet kitty is not feeling well. It is so hard when our four legged loves can not tell us what they need.

    Warm thoughts.

  12. I will be keeping you both company. Oh, I feel a bit weepy now for sweet Maggie. It takes courage to let things be as they will, to not struggle against the flow. You will navigate this course beautifully.

    (peep, peep)

    xo, Graciel

  13. i have stood in this place, with my abbey. i send you love... you and maggie.

  14. To everyone - Thank you. Words are amazingly helpful; thank you all for yours. It is Tuesday morning and she is better, was better last night, appetite at last returning. We are past this part apparently - a call to the vet is in order to see what now?

    xoxo to you all

  15. this photo makes me so sad. sending love to you and your sweet maggie.

  16. You always follow your intuition when it comes to Maggie and you are always right. You know her well, you know what she needs, and she is SO LOVED...even by people who live way up north from her who she doesn't even know. XOXO


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