Maddie, the long-haired Calico


Found in Bushes, Covered in Maggots

Felicia, a colleague of mine (at the veterinary hospital we used to work at) was walking her dog when she noticed an almost dead cat covered in fly larvae in some bushes. Felicia brought the cat into the hospital and had her triaged. The cat was scanned and had a microchip. Because of this microchip, the cat couldn’t be euthanized without her owner’s consent.

Emergency Surgery

This cat named Maggie because of the many maggots she had on her was placed on intravenous fluids and was rushed in for emergency surgery. When I say she was covered in maggots, I mean she was literally covered. More than 1/3 of her skin had already been eaten away. She also had maggots inside of her hence the emergency surgery. Not only did the veterinarian have to flush her insides out, but this poor cat had to be pieced back together.

After surgery, Maggie was moved into ICU on pain medication and antibiotics, and then was placed on a “maggot watch.” The technicians checked her every hour and plucked maggots off of her until no more were found.

From ICU to Boarding

It was a few weeks later that Maggie was moved from ICU to the boarding ward. The veterinary hospital’s cat boarding ward, was unfortunately right across the way from where the dogs scheduled for surgery were kept.

The microchip that was initially scanned turned out to be from the humane society. Whom ever first adopted Maggie never updated the information. Although Felicia did put up several “Found Cat” signs, her owners were never found.

Cat Bite

I was doing Maggie’s treatments one day when with no warning whatsoever, she bit me. I had just given her her pain meds when she lashed out and bit me. I don’t blame her at all. She was scared of the dogs barking, not just three feet away from her. She was in a strange environment, and this poor cat still hurt.

Idea 💡

It was almost my weekend when I kept thinking of this poor cat. Felicia had been trying to find this cat a home to no avail. Maggie wasn’t the friendliest, and her circumstances were definitely not great. I spoke with Felicia, asking her if I could foster Maggie.

I brought Maggie home… she was terrified of everything. Then I moved her upstairs where two of my other cats were. A’more was my cat with renal failure, and Spritzer had asthma and IBD. Maggie fit right in – she was extremely shy.

Maggie to Maddie

Maggie eventually became Maddie as she no longer had maggots, but oh she had mats! She was so scared of everything. She hid behind a knickknack shelf on top of a chest. The only time she left this area was to use the litter pan. I fed her here.


Maddie was scared of my other pets. She didn’t like to be held, petted, or even being on a lap. I tried to find her a home, but did let any potential owners know that she was a very timid cat. Nobody wanted her, so I adopted her. I already knew her, and she was getting used to her routine.

IBD – Inflammatory Bowel Disease

After lots of monitoring, I noticed something consistent with Maddie – she suffered from diarrhea. After an endoscopy and biopsies, it turned out she had IBD. After putting her on a special limited diet and giving her medication, her IBD cleared up. She would always be on this special diet, but because my other cat, Spritzer, was also on this same diet, it was no big deal.

A Long Way

It took about a year before she allowed me to pick her up and start brushing her. She was still extremely shy, but she did start to enjoy being brushed and petted. She still wouldn’t seek me out for this, but she was used to it. I was even able to snuggle with her a little bit at night before she would hop out of my bed and seek out her corner of the bedroom.

Finch Meets Cat

I had zebra finches in my bedroom too. My finches had given birth to Peepers and Jeepers. Peepers was a friendly little guy who actually would perch on my finger from time to time. One day while I was cleaning the flight cage, Peepers flew out of his cage. He landed in Maddie’s food bowl, right in front of her. I froze. She looked at him like, “Yo, that’s my food!” Then he flew up, landing on my shoulder. Phew!

September 2017

Sweet Madeline died one month before the fire destroyed my house. She was having trouble breathing. I was rushing her to the vet’s when her little heart just stopped.

In the years that I had her, I have to say – she came a very long way. But she never was a lap cat unless I picked her up and held her. She definitely would snuggle into my arms. For all of the medications she was on – chewable prednisolone, chewable metronidazole, vitamin B injections, occasional subcutaneous fluids – she was a warrior. I’m glad I decided to adopt her. I’m happy that she was able to live a comfortable life. I’m so very glad that Felicia helped save this dear kitty.

Rest in peace Margaret Madeline. ♥️