Our pseudo dog Maeve

12 Mar
For long stretches of time in the late 90’s and early 2000’s it was just me and my dog Apricot Sara.

My soul dog Apricot Sara

At some point I will devote an entire post to my girl Sara. She was a special canine and friend. But as promised in an earlier post I will begin to introduce the non-human members of the Western Mass McCarty Pack. I will start with the Feline contingent as they have been here the longest. Sara played a none too small part in how the current cats have come to live here on Garden St.

Maeve the Mysterious

Six months after a former girlfriend left she came to pick up her dog and 2 cats. She’d asked if I would keep them here while she got settled with her kids into a new place. Sara was my first Rehab dog and would sometimes accompany me to work. Since it would now be just Sara and me again I was worried she would be lonely when I had to go to work without her. So I decided to get her a pet. A cat seemed like a good option. She was used to them and I could leave a cat for a few days with enough food and water if Sara and I went on a road trip.
So one Saturday as I was driving between jobs I passed an Animal Hospital that had a sign out front–Cats for Adoption. I decided to stop in and just see the cats… famous last words. Also the reason I now have to be supervised around adoptable animals. A little something my wife insists upon. Just recently she shot down my plea for an adoptable pony… but that’s another story entirely!

Maeve and her daughter Nisha... taking over a dog crate!

Even though I am clearly a dog person I have always loved black cats. Maeve was a totally black cat, barely 9 months old and had just been rescued from a neglectful home with her litter of kittens. There was one kitten left who had not been adopted. Now y’all know what happened next.
Maeve (her name was Trouble then) was so skinny and freaked, she’d wedged herself headfirst between a cupboard and a small fridge. When the staff and I moved the fridge to release her she made a mad dash to the way back of a crate carrier. I sat on the floor near the carrier and placed my hand inside.
In the meantime her kitten kept interrupting her kitten explorations to check in on her mother. Maeve eventually moved close enough to my hand inside the crate that I could wiggle my fingers slowly and gently under her chin. I couldn’t hear her purring but I could feel it. It became inevitable at that point… I couldn’t decide between them and so they both came home with me a week or two later.

No other decision but to bring them both home!

It was a month or more before I saw Maeve in the daylight again. She hid out in the back of the closet for the longest time. At night she would creep out and sleep with me on my bed and I would get occasional glimpses of her during the day. I left bowls of food for her in the closet. It was months before anyone but myself actually saw her. My friends were calling her my alleged cat Maeve. Even now she’s pretty elusive during the day and prefers to come out towards the night hours.
From the time I met her I KNEW her name was not Trouble… I’ve never met a less troublesome being. I woke up the first morning with the name Maeve on my lips and knew she had whispered it in my ear during the night. In doing research I found out Maeve was the name of an Irish Mother Goddess. It seemed appropriate as she was a very good mother to her kitten.

in the spirit of full disclosure our Maeve is an addict. In the picture above she is attempting to knock over a bottle of catnip spray. It’s her not so subtle hint she wants us to spray it on her scratching post. She can’t get enough of the stuff and will come running from where ever she’s hiding day or night whenever it is sprayed or sprinkled.
Being a black cat she can appear quite spooky at times. I remember one night early in our relationship. I was sitting at the dining room table reading when I heard a noise at the window overlooking the back porch. I looked up to see a pair of isolated yellow eyes staring back at me… nothing else. I think I jumped a foot off that chair. I’ve got to tell you she scared the crap out of me!
She also has a thing about racing to be with me in the bathroom. And it doesn’t matter where she is in the house–she’s somehow there tangling up between my feet before I close the door–morning, noon or night. It’s the nighttime one that gets me. She’s almost killed me more than once. I mean she’s a black cat at night!

Spooky Maeve

In the title of this post I mention Maeve is our pseudo dog. It’s true. I’ve never met a more dog-like cat. She likes being patted (read thumped) like a canine, follows me around the house like a puppy and has developed an oddly intense relationship with our big boy dog Tanner. She flirts with both Tanner and me. Maeve was quite standoffish and almost hostile to Elizabeth when she first showed up by the way. They’ve reached an understanding these days. She also acknowledges me as Top Dog of the Pack… unlike her kitten whose story comes next.

Maeve and her boyfriend Tanner.

It’s 12 years later and our Maeve is still a bit mysterious and elusive. She’s quite a bit heavier than she was, much more affectionate and she’s got a few white hairs on her chest. But she hangs out with my wife on occasion and will come racing down the stairs to actually physically greet visitors. I’m proud of our Maeve kitty and how far she’s come from those early days. I’m proud too that this household here on Garden St. has provided a safe and nurturing place for our Maeve to become the loving being she was meant to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: