Welcome Maggie. Our Hearts Will Heal Together

Our Friend and Neighbor Marie

Our neighbor Marie was a wonderful person, so full of warmth and laughter.  She was always happy to see me and I was always happy to see her too. She had the kind of smile that warmed your heart the moment you saw her. You always felt better after chatting with Marie.  Years ago when I started up the bakery part of the business, she was the first to buy a loaf of English Muffin bread.  I have a photo somewhere, but that was before digital images.  Marie was super excited about The Tiniest Tiger.
She held the book close to her and said she would cherish her copy.  And I know she meant that too.

Marie and Maggie at the vet

Marie and Maggie waiting for the nail trim.

Marie loved her cat Maggie.  You might remember on occasion, I would go with Marie to get Maggie’s nails trimmed at the veterinarian’s office.  Maggie, like a lot of cats, didn’t like being put into her carrier.  It took a lot of maneuvering to get Maggie rounded up and ready to go.  She yowled like a wild cat the entire drive but once she was in the doctor’s office she was  quiet and sweet as sugar.  While Maggie stood calmly allowing her nails to be trimmed the shock on Marie’s face was  priceless, as she would tell the Doctor, “Maggie was mad as a March hare and now look at her!” We would laugh the whole drive home.

Maggie getting a nail trim

Maggie getting her nails trimmed

I knew Marie my whole life.  Her husband Ellsworth too.  I have a fond memory of talking to him about Canada Geese.  I know that seems random, but I used to carve decoy ducks. Yes, you read that right, decoy ducks.  One night when I was walking home, he was out in their  front yard looking up at a Canada Geese flight formation and listening to their calls.  I stopped to talk to him about the geese and then ducks until it was dark. He said it was an unexpected pleasure to get to speak with me  about birds that night.  And I felt the same way.

I remember stopping by to say hello to Marie and her friends at a local restaurant a few years ago.  Marie told me about a fender bender car accident that had happened earlier that night.  When she said, “Isn’t that awful. Just a little old lady on her way to church and she gets into an accident.”  I said, ” That is too bad. Who was the old lady?”  And the entire table burst into laughter when Marie said,”Me, I am the little old lady.”  I replied, “Oh!  I didn’t think it could be you because  you said it was a little old lady.”  The other ladies had tears in their eyes from laughing  because they said I was so serious.  And I was serious because Marie was so full of life and fun it never occurred  to me that she could be speaking about herself.

Last summer before I left for Namibia, Marie asked me why I had to go so far away.  That was a good question.  I said, I didn’t know, but I have always liked to travel and  loved what I was learning in my zoology program.  I was excited to get to spend time at the Cheetah Conservation Fund.   When I said, “I will be back. ” I remember a look of sadness in her expression when she said, “I hope so.”  It tugged at my heart.  Marie knew both of my parents and since they have been gone time with her was even more precious.  I hugged her and walked away so she wouldn’t see I had tears in my eyes.

On the last trip to take Maggie to get her nails trimmed, Marie said she wasn’t worried about much at this point in her life, but she did worry about what would happen to Maggie. She worried if she would find a good home.  I didn’t hesitate when I said, “Marie, we will take Maggie if something happens.”  She smiled and said, “You will?” And I said,”Sure.”   Marie smiled and said “Thank you.”

Not long after we lost Gracey, we lost Marie too.

Welcome Maggie. Our hearts will heal together.

Maggie on her bench

Maggie on her bench and blanket we brought from her house.

We opened our hearts and home and welcomed Maggie.  Annie and Eddie were just settling in so we arranged for Maggie to have her own space in the master bedroom to acclimate and adjust to the new surroundings, new humans and new kittens.   When she first came, she looked so sad, her little heart was broken.  We understood.   We told her our hearts were broken too and that we would try our best to  heal together.

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  1. Caring for each other with love is the greatest calling and the most beautiful. Thanks for sharing Marie with us all. Until that day we all meet again please watch over us

  2. I missed this news somehow. Thank you for loving Marie enough to share her with us … and for loving Maggie enough to bring her home.

  3. whitelace says

    What a beautiful girl! I am sure Maggie will do wonderfully in such a loving home, and have many happy years with you. What a special gift, connection to a wonderful friend.

  4. Hi Maggie ..i am so sorry that your momma Marie had to go to Heaven. But you have the most wonderful new mommy and daddy a kitty could ask for in Joanne and Paul, and sweet little sisfur Annie and brofur Eddie. Praying that while Momma Marie watches over you with all her love, you and your new family will be blessed with many happy years together. <3

  5. TXLadyPatriot says

    Hello Maggie! So sorry to hear about your “Mama Marie.” My thoughts and prayers are with her human family and friends during this time. Joanne, thanks for sharing her story with us. Hugs to all of you!

  6. Beth Dickson Cunard says

    Welcome Maggie! I know you miss your Mom, but you will be so loved by your new parents and younger siblings!
    I bet your Mom and Gracey are looking down and are so proud of you all, and content all will be fine?

  7. Jerzeecat says

    Welcome Maggie! So sorry about your mom. God and Gracey are truly looking out for all of you. You look like you could be Graceys twin. It’s wonderful that you are with two great people that you already know. No one will ever replace our loved ones but the healing will begin as all of you enjoy your new little family. God bless.

  8. She is beautiful. Love her name. I am sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Bless you for taking Maggie in.
    Sue B

  9. And now, I have tears in my eyes. You really are special, and it is so important to take time to talk to our neighbors. You never know who you will meet or what special friendships will develop. I am glad you and Paul are a 3 cat family.

    • Thanks for reading, Michele. We bought my parents home and remodeled it. My grandfather built the house and my dad was happy it stayed in the family. The benefit of having some of the neighbors from my childhood was an added bonus.

  10. Joanne, you have such a marvelous ability to tell a written story! And a HUGE heart!

  11. This is such a beautiful story. I think that we all worry about our cats if something should happen to us. You were such a blessing for Marie, and now a blessing for Maggie. You have a ton of love in your heart, and now three little ones to share it with.

  12. Candice S. says

    Bless you for taking in Maggie. I’m sure she’ll adjust just fine to her new surroundings and love her new cat siblings just like you two do. : )

  13. Peg Johnson says

    Hi Joanne and Maggie. Peace to you both. You’ll heal together in love and affection,

  14. Like they say…Who rescued who? I am so glad that you could be there for your friend and her beloved cat…

  15. Beautiful, Joanne. I love your heart.

  16. How sad it all happened this way, but you realize Marie knew she’d never have to worry about Maggie, she knew you’d take her. Sad as it is, now you suddenly have a new family, eac with a direct connection to your old family, and I hope that helps you heal.

  17. Mary Guthrie says

    Thank you, Joanne, for taking Maggie in and giving her love and hope. I wish more people were as considerate of animals’ feelings as you and Paul are. It’s so important to know your beloved kitties will be
    taken care of when it’s your time to go – now I know why some rich people leave their entire estates to
    their pets – so they will not be abandoned, mistreated or neglected. God bless you for all you do for
    cats both big and small.

  18. I am new to your beautiful blog. I had tears in my eyes as I read this. I like to think that Marie is holding your sweet Gracey in heaven and at peace knowing that Maggie will be loved in her new home. Your house is full with three new family members and I am happy for you 🙂

  19. Amy Palmer says

    Oh my gosh, you are wonderful. I’m so glad Maggie has you to care for her & that Marie had the comfort of knowing you would take her in. This really brought tears to my eyes & warmed my heart at the same time.

    • Amy, you just never know what is going to happen do we? One day at a time and adapting to new circumstances. I hope Maggie will feel happy again too.

  20. Malinda Wickham says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Marie was a wonderful lady. And bless you for taking Maggie into your home. She is such a pretty girl. I hope her transition into your home goes smoothly.

  21. I remember reading about Marie and your trip to the vet. So sorry for the loss of your friend and neighbor. She seemed like a very special lady who was full of life and laughter. And, thank you so much for opening up your home to Maggie. I’m sure Marie is smiling. We’ll come back to the decoy duck carving later. Malia

  22. Maggie, Annie, and Eddie… Their names just sound good together; like it was meant to be. I am truly sorry for the loss of Marie, but rest assured she is at peace knowing her Maggie has a wonderful, loving family caring for her. I must agree that little Gracey had a paw in bringing everyone together.

  23. katboxjanitor says

    Miss Maggie is a lovely lady-cat and clearly well loved. I am glad she was able to join your family, so she will have a familiar friend to help her heart heal. You clearly have some wonderful memories of Marie and Ellsworth. They sound like lovely people!

    Gracey helped three kitties find her people and I think that may be just enough to help take up her mantle once everyone settles in.

    • Marie and Ellsworth were wonderful people and the best neighbors you could ask for. We were blessed. I think you are right, these three cats are helping us heal and carry on.

  24. Hope Yates says

    Hi Maggie,I am so sorry that you lost your human,I know that is very hard. But you have been taken in by very good humans that will love you with all their hearts. (And your predecessor trained them very well in cat care.)

  25. Bless you. Please let us know when Maggie is feeling better.

  26. Riley0100 says

    I am so very sorry for the loss of such a wonderful woman. What a beautiful tribute you wrote for her. I feel heartbroken for you and Maggie. You did such a wonderful thing for Marie, putting her mind at ease about Maggie. Hugs to all of you. ChristyB

    • Thank you Christy for your kind words and for being a part of The Tiniest Tiger community. It was the least we could do for such a loving and thoughtful friend.

  27. hoppytoad79 says

    Welcome to your new home, Maggie. Your new human slaves are already well-trained, so you’ll get the best care.