I have been dreading this post, but the time has come to remove Albert (pictured left) and Maggie (pictured right) from my team page. Words can't express what these cats meant to me. They were siblings and born feral. I trapped them from a terrible neighborhood in Chicago and decided to keep them. If you are not familiar with feral cats, they are the result of discarded animals who are breeding out of control and homeless for generations. They regress to a wild state and suffer horribly. The average lifespan of a feral cat is about 3-5 years. They die of starvation, infections, predators and they are commonly eradicated by humans with trapping, gassing and steel leg-hold traps.
Less than 1% of feral cats will ever know touch or love. Both Albert and Maggie had typical feral physiology. They were both wild-eyed, terrified, hissing and spitting little fuzz balls! Domesticating a feral takes lots of love, patience, and handling. Maggie domesticated much more quickly than Albert. He was crippled with fear. When I would reach to pick him up, he would recoil in terror, cower and put his paws in front of his face as though bracing himself for an attack. It was heartbreaking. He spent the majority of time in his first 5 years of life hiding. Anyway, I realized he was going to need extra rehab efforts so I committed myself to him and I smothered this terrorized little being with love. Day after day, week after week, year after year I had a ritual of holding him, petting him and soothing his sweet little fearful soul. I watched as he gained more confidence and courage. He completely transformed and grew to be the most gentle, loving and sweet cat I have ever known. And I am transformed. As I comforted him over and over I healed a part of myself. I am now braver and have released so many fears.
Maggie and I had a deeply special soul bond. She was mama’s baby. She was my sweet girl and oh did she love me back. She looked to me for comfort in all ways and I missed no opportunity to provide it. We slept together for many years. She would climb into bed with me, lay her head on my pillow with her back pressed against my heart and I would spoon her. Every time she would make a little peep with her voice it was like a spiritual alarm to wake me to love ... open my heart ... be present in love. My heart welled every time I just looked at her. I used to sing her the song ... ”You are my sunshine, my only sunshine ... you make me happy ... because you’re grey.” We walked through so much life together.
I honor and celebrate the beautiful life we shared. Not many cats live to be 20. I thank the Universe for sending them to me and release them with boundless love. They will always fill a HUGE part of my heart and I am changed forever because of having had them in my life.