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Sunday, January 30, 2011


Maysie Apple was a gift but when I first saw her I didn't think of her as one for I already had a cat, Chessie Spencer. And Chessie ruled and although I have a dog, Chessie ruled her too. But the circumstances surrounding how Maysie wound up in my yard were horrible: She along with her kitten and a dog were thrown out of a car and over a hill. I didn't see the car but heard the commotion going on, got out of my car but could see no cats or a dog. An appointment was looming for me so I had no choice but to head off the hill and thought to myself that there was nothing I could do anyway.
It was a hot August day when that happpened. Upon returning home, I saw the mom cat [later named Maysie Apple] and her young kitten in my yard. A neighbor told me that someone in this neighborhood had taken the dog but to this day, I have no idea who it was. Days, weeks and months went by with my feeding Maysie and her baby outside. Maysie was friendly but her kitten was feral and no way would she let me pick her up. I watched them play and then discovered that they had killed a semi-pet squirrel of mine whom I had named "Stubby." Made me sick.
Cats however are carnivorous and other than what I fed them, unfortuantely the squirrel along with many others fell victim to Maysie's appetite and her kitten's.
I would pick up my huge black and tan tabby, Chessie, and he would look out the window at Maysie and her kitten and their antics. He seemed not really interested for he was an indoor cat.
When winter set upon us, I tried to coax Maysie to get under a chair outside: At first she was stubborn [aren't all cats?] but gave in and got under it when the temps were freezing. As for her kitten, whom I named Winky, there was no way I could pick her up. She sought refuge under a table outside: I had to take a stick and pick up an old coverlet and place it over her.
This routine went on and on. One day I noticed that Winky was alone. Maysie had gotten that wayward feeling and I would see all kinds of tomcats coming and going in my yard.
She was gone for four days: I had to feed the kitten by throwing food out to her.
When Maysie decided to return to her baby, the weather was frigid.
I actually picked Maysie up, brought her in and she ran back to the front glass storm door and threw her entire body on it. No way was she staying inside or so she thought.
But little by little I could see her peeking in the opened door: "Hmm" she probably thought.
Thankfully, my newspaper carrier loved cats too and he was so fearful of the kitten dying as was I for although she was semi-covered up at night, she was not warm.
One night I noticed that Winky was gone and the carrier left a note that he had taken her.
What a relief and what a kind act.
Maysie did come inside but reluctantly; Chessie licked her on the head but went on about his own business and he was getting very ill.
So Maysie continued coming in and out till she found a small wagon I had and she slept in it at night by the french doors to my living room. Still she wanted out and was not ready to be a pet after what she had experienced.
As the days went by Chessie got worse and worse till I finally had to take him to the vet and have him put to sleep. He was sixteen and had been the best cat I'd ever had among many.
Hard to grieve and let another cat in but that is what happened.
Maybe Maysie sensed my grief. Maybe.
A couple of weeks later, I took her to the vet, had her fixed and she has been inside this house since. When I open the door to go out or get something, she runs like lightning away from the door as if to say, "There is no way I'm going back out there again!"
She has become a loving pet but still standoffish if you reach down to pick her up. All cats have their own set of rules as it is. I am so grateful that out of something horrible came this wonderful gift of a cat who has sought out and received love and a home. By the way her name came from Dr.Seuss' book, "Horton Hatches An Egg:" In that story, Maysie is a huge bird who has an egg in a nest; she wants to go to Myrtle Beach. She convinces Horton the elephant to sit on her nest while she takes off. And poor Horton sat there for months.
Fitting to name my cat Maysie due to her former escapades. As for her second name of Apple, it just came to me. And if Gwenyth Paltrow can name her child that, I could certainly use it for a cat name.
To the person who committed such a terrible act of throwing away three animals, I can only hope that you know that all three found loving homes.
As for me, I welcomed that unexpected gift with hesitation at first but now, no way is Maysie Apple leaving this house. And she doesn't want to!
Sherry Hill


  1. Beautiful, Sherry! Maysie Apple is a lucky girl!
    And so are you. I'm glad you found each other.