In addition to the usual Valentine hoopla at our house, yesterday was Maggie's birthday.
She turned thirteen. In human years, she's a full blown teenager. In cat years, she's just old.
We really don't know when Maggie's birthday actually falls. It is just an estimate based on when we rescued her from that awful place called the shelter, how old they thought she was, and the fact that Valentine's Day seemed the perfect birthday for a kitten.
Maggie was a gift to me from Hubs. We had visited the shelter several times looking for a kitten. In fact, I had even met Maggie, commented on how cute she was, then could not decide. Days passed and Hubs decided to visit the shelter again to surprise me with a kitten.
When he arrived at the shelter, there was Maggie (named Gypsy at the time) and he thought it was fate. He later said he got her because I said she was cute.
"I think all cats are cute,"I said,"if we brought home every cat I thought was cute, we'd be breaking some kind of animal control laws or something."
The truth is that Maggie had already been adopted. In between our first meeting and Hubs' return visit, a family had adopted her and then brought her back. (They claimed it had something to do with their landlord or something, but after thirteen years of shear JOY with Maggie, we know better.)
Hubs paid the fee, put her in a little cardboard box and made the long drive home. She mewed the whole way, sticking her little black nose through the holes. He rolled in the driveway and asked me to come outside to his car. There was Maggie's nose, pressing against the cardboard.
Yep, I melted.
For Maggie and for Hubs.
We named her Maggie after the Magpie bird. She's been the gift that keeps on taking ever since.
Each Valentine's Day we celebrate her birthday. By celebrate I mean we say "Happy Birthday, Maggie!" as she sleeps on the sofa and gives us the stink eye.
Really, how would you celebrate a cat's birthday? They are natural loners, so there are no friends to invite. They are picky, so they're tough to buy for. And they're ungrateful, so there would never be any thank you notes.
You just leave them alone, let them sleep as much as they want, let them out when they want, feed them when they want, and keep the litter box clean.
Come to think of it, it is a lot like having a teenager.
Only without the little cardboard box.