I was just a toddler when I got my first cat and officially became a ‘cat person’. Since then there has been a cat in our home except for a few brief periods when circumstances did not allow us to have pets. Like humans, each of the 16 cats that have been a part of my family has had a unique personality. For me, of all those cats, Mali is probably the most memorable.
Yes, she did eventually grow into those ears!
She was always a very easy going cat – she didn’t just ‘tolerate’ the attention she received from the children – she really seemed to enjoy it. Dramatic play was fun, especially if she got to ‘nap’.
She also enjoyed chasing games;
And Hide & Seek;
Even screen time got her attention;
But above all else she loved to snuggle;
After all the children had gone home she would follow me around waiting for me to sit down so she could curl up on my lap. She could be a bit demanding – impatiently sitting by my chair, meowing to let me know I was taking to long to get there. She forced me to sit and relax and she even made doing paperwork enjoyable.
At the end of every day she would follow me upstairs, burrow under the blankets and snuggle up against me as close as she could. The sound of her purring would lull me to sleep. However, this past summer she stopped coming to bed at night – instead she would stand guard at the bottom of the stairs to prevent Button (aka Monkey-Butt) from following.
Malta had begun to accept Button’s presence in the house and at times even seemed to enjoy their chasing games. Mali’s dislike for the interloper had only increased and was sometimes almost an obsession – hunting and attacking the little cat whenever she could.
Mali continued to run to sit on my lap when I sat down but she often struggled to get comfortable. She was unusually tense and rarely able to fully relax. Every noise or movement startled her – even sometimes when I would pet her. The vet prescribed some anxiety medication but it didn’t seem to help.
Then Mali began having seizures – most were very small but a couple of them rendered her unable to walk for half an hour. Her mournful howl at the onset of each seizure was heart-wrenching. The vet prescribed more medication but warned me that if the seizures were caused by a brain tumor the medication wouldn’t help. The brain tumor could only be confirmed with an MRI and if we wanted that we would have to take her to the veterinary college in Saskatchewan.
The seizure meds made her drowsy – I had to wake her to give them to her and then she would sleep again. She had to be coaxed to eat even a few pieces of food and rarely moved on her own. I decided that I should make one last vet appointment for her 😦 Sadly, before I could take her to her to that appointment she had another seizure and we rushed her to the emergency veterinary hospital. She lay on my lap for the entire 40 minute trip – no noise or movement other than her laboured breathing. RIP Mali, I will miss you.
May 20, 2006 – November 19, 2017