Well then. This is Maddie's 5th Birthday.
I don't think that anyone would have thought that she'd end up here, given her starting place in life. She was born ("queened" is such a clinical term) in Monroe, Washington on September 22, 2000, grandkitty of grand champions. Really. We've got her pedigree papers. She was bought, for an unknown sum, from the breeders, and presumably passed a typical, active, happy kittenhood. Sometime in mid 2001, her people moved across country to our fair town. Word is that they *shipped* this cat across country somehow. I have no idea. Anyway, they ended up living in an appartment whilst their McMansion was being built. Maddie must have been stressed and uneasy, and might have been acting it, since in October her people put her up for adoption through one of our local agencies.
My wife and I had made a habit of visiting the local adoption fair (kitty-gazing), not really looking to adopt, but enjoying the visits. I am rather allergic to cats, and we both knew we couldn't afford the one type of cat that I don't react badly to (the Maine Coon). Anyway, on a trip, we saw a furry-toed, tufty-eared cat huddled at the back of her cage. We inquired, and found out that this was a papered Coon. I reached my hand into the cage and (typical of the reaction I get from most females) she hissed at me. And so the relationship was born.
We adopted Maddie within the week. After some extensive negotiations regarding placement of the litter box (we caved) the three of us have settled down into a loving, peaceful family. We've seen Maddie through kitty-flu, fleas, and spontaneously-luxating-patellas. She's nursed us through people-flu and the occasional marital discord. She sleeps on our legs, or between our pillows, her head nestled in my wife's hair. We play chase, fling, mousie, feathers, and "Hey! Stop That!". We take care of eachother. And we're very happy she's here.
Happy Birthday Maddie. Many Happy Returns.