In 2008, one of my colleagues from the veterinary hospital we worked at was walking her dog when she came across a cat half dead in some bushes – this calico cat was covered in maggots. She brought the cat in. The cat was scanned and had a microchip – she was owned by someone. This poor cat who my colleague named Maggie due to the sheer number of maggots on her could not be euthanized, although that would have been the most humane treatment for her. I only say this because this poor cat not only had fly larvae on her skin, but they were on the inside of her! As soon as she had an intravenous catheter placed and fluids were started, copious maggots were removed from her. She was then taken straight to surgery where my friend and veterinarian, Callalily, had to amputate her tail and lavage Maggie’s insides. Maggie had at least two more surgeries to rid her of all of the maggots and the intensive damage that they did to her. The owners were never located. Instead, the microchip had been registered to an animal shelter.
Maggie was in the ICU for a couple of weeks and then she was in the boarding ward. She was right across from the barking dogs. She was extremely scared. My colleague was trying to find a home for the cat, but nobody was interested. Maggie wasn’t a very loving, cuddly cat. I remember trying to do her treatments one time. I had to give her her pain meds and without warning, she bit me! I kept thinking about this poor cat.
I am known as a cat whisperer. I would rather deal with a frightened cat any day over a frightened dog. I can handle a fractious cat. A biting dog scares the hell out of me. After Maggie bit me, I knew that where this cat was – right across the way from barking dogs wasn’t the answer for her. She needed to move. But where? She was very timid. I asked my colleague if I could foster Maggie at my house, thinking that this might help the cat out.
I’m a foster failure. I ended up keeping Maggie and changed her name to Maddie. She didn’t have maggots any more, she had mats and lots of them! Her fine hair tangled up. After taking her home, I eventually moved her upstairs to my bedroom with my cat, Spritzer, who didn’t get along with one of my cats downstairs. Maddie didn’t seem to mind Spritzer, so all was well.
I found out that Maddie had a diarrhea problem. More tests and it turned out that she had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She was placed on a special food for this – Natural Balance duck and green pea. But this is why she had the maggots because they were attracted to her diarrhea.
I lost Maddie in September of 2017. I had her for nine years. She never became a lap cat. But in those nine years, she did allow me to pick her up, brush her, trim her nails, pet her, love on her, and she did purr for me. I am so glad I took her home and became her owner. She was a love in her own special way. She never took to any of my other pets, but seemed to tolerate Spritzer and even allowed him to groom her a couple of times.
Funny Story about a Finch
There was one time when I was cleaning my finches’ cage and one of my finches got out. Peepers was flying all over my room. Ack! With two cats in the room, this wasn’t very smart on Peepers part for getting loose. Well he happened to fall in Maddie’s food dish. The look on her face if she could talk would have been, “That’s my food! Get out of my bowl bird!” 😂