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Follow Your Heart. Maggie's Story.

Maggie Mae and her siblings were rescued last winter out of a dangerous situation in southern Georgia. Maggie was shy and skittish, but one couldn't help but want to cuddle and pet her because she was so beautiful.

Maggie and her sister, Junebug spent months in foster care hoping their forever home would find them, but they were no longer tiny kittens and as young adults their adaptability began to wane. I wondered what I could do to help Maggie find a home that would give her the chance to blossom. I knew that in time-maybe months or even years-Maggie would be all right but it had to be with the RIGHT family or Maggie could revert and become more feral.

All outside before trapping
©2014 Warren Royal. Maggie (grooming herself in back) with her siblings the day before being trapped. You can read their backstory HERE.


Kendra adopted two kittens from us a few years ago. A brother and sister, Bandit and Smokey, where two of our sweetest fosters. They joined three dogs, Kendra's son and husband where they all lived peacefully together. But something was missing. Kendra wanted one more cat. It would be her “dream cat” and because of that it had to be a kitten and it had to be long-haired and make her heart swoon. She takes the commitment of adopting pets very seriously so she asked me about our kitten, Julep.

Julep is in Georgia in foster care so I couldn't tell her too much other than she was very sweet. We volleyed emails back and forth about it, but Kendra wasn't sure. Then one day she asked seemingly out of the blue about Maggie. I'd posted that Maggie could not be around dogs because she came from a situation where feral dogs were picking off, one by one, the cats in the colony where she lived. I just assumed she would be terribly fearful of dogs so I didn't want her to be near them.

Bandit and Smokey happy
©2013 Kendra Friedman. Smokey and sister, Bandit (right).

Kendra shocked me by saying that she'd wanted Maggie for months, but never thought it could be possible because she had dogs. I told her my concerns, but I also knew that Kendra's dogs were very easy going and already lived with cats. A few days later Kendra met Maggie and the rest is history, but how things worked out shocked us all.

Kendra and Maggie
©2014 Robin AF Olson. Gotcha Day! Kendra & Maggie.

Maggie must have been waiting for her family to show us her true colors because within barely a few days of arriving in her new home, Maggie began to blossom. When Kendra expected fear, Maggie was completely relaxed. Maggie was fine being with the dogs and soon enough was making friends with Smokey. Bandit wasn't very happy about this newcomer, but Kendra didn't give up.

Barely two months after Maggie's adoption this email arrives in my in-box.

I often wonder why I write so much about Maggie, and take so many pictures. Here's what I think. When I adopted her, I knew Maggie was beautiful, soft, and shy. I hoped she could learn to feel comfortable and that one day, after much work, she might sit on my lap or play with the others. I thought I was going to give up on the one dream of three happy kittens playing together to fulfill the dream of righting a wrong for a cat who had gone through more than she should. I was good with that decision and happy to provide a great home for the rest of her life.

Maggie mess 650
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Loved no matter what. Oops.

I met her and she let me get close and she let me kiss her and I loved her right away. And I was willing to give up on a tiny kitten for her. And I picked her up and she shook, the whole crate shook, the whole way home, so I told her over and over "you don't have to be scared anymore. You don't have to search and wonder. I am your mommy and I will protect you and love you forever."

Photo 2
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Dogs eating on the right and on the left, the cats (way up high on the cat tree).

And she came home and she was nervous, but not afraid. She was timid, but she was brave too. And then boom! I found myself with what I expected- beautiful, soft, sweet, but also funny and playful and ballsy! And she made friends with Smokey and they started to play! And she walked around the dogs and I was in awe.

Maggie and doggies
©2014 Kendra Friedman. What dogs?

And the last piece of it was Bandit, and I'm not gonna lie- I didn't think she was gonna come around. She would run up to Maggie and then hiss and growl and run away. And then- she stopped! And they became friends.

Mag and bandit
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Maggie and her new sister, Bandit watching the world go by.

And now the three of them play like kittens and especially Maggie and Bandit love each other. They sleep in the same bed and Bandit licks Maggie and for hours, HOURS!, they chase each other all around the house like little monkeys.

Photo 3
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Smokey and sister, Bandit (right).

Somehow, by choosing to do the right thing and not the selfish thing, I got exactly what I wanted. And more! I am so amazed by this and so in awe of Maggie's transformation that I just have to document it and comment on it constantly. Who is this girl and how did this happen? It must just be a miracle.

Thank you for my miracle.


IMG 0960
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Maggie makes new friends.

The thing is I didn't do anything. It was all Kendra's doing. She followed her heart and had faith in Maggie. Maggie had gotten a lot of love and support while with her foster families and I know that started her on the right path, but Kendra was the final piece of the puzzle. In all honesty, this reminds me to be more open-minded when choosing adopters for our foster cats and I hope it reminds all of you that when you're ready to add to your family to always consider adopting an adult. This story isn't about a miracle after all. It's about trusting your instincts and taking joy in the outcome.

Happy life, Maggie. Happy life, all.

FullSizeRender 4
©2014 Kendra Friedman. Life is good.

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What a wonderful, wonderful story!  I'm so glad Maggie has found her loving forever family.  She certainly deserves it.

Our most recent addition to the family was adopted at age 14 from an elderly couple with health issues who had rescued him as a kitten off the streets of Beverly Hills and given him a life of luxury and love, but felt they could no longer give him the level of care he deserved.  A mutual friend "brokered" the adoption.  He came to live with us just a couple of months after the passing of my father and also a beloved cat adopted from a local shelter who lived with us for only a short time before she was found to have inoperable cancer.  My heart was hurting very much, and this new guy was hardly an easy addiition; being very territorial and a lifellong "only cat" having to adapt to a multi-cat family, it took him over a year to really fit in, during which time he had many altercations with other family members, especially the resident "alpha male".  Patience sometimes wore thin, but love won the day.  He is now 19 years young, still plays with toys, and rules the roost.  Everyone who sees him remarks on how handsome he is.  

Never refuse to think about adopting adult cats and even senior cats -- they are great cats!

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