Magus the Cat, 1991-2010
Magus the Cat, whose adventurous spirit cost her a toe in her first year of life and who went on to become among the most vocal felines of her generation, took her last meow on Sunday night. She was 18.
She used up the last of her lives while at home surrounded by family (not the kids!) after a brief illness that the veteranarians, despite being paid copious sums in a handful of recent visits, described as “any number of things.”
Magus took her name from a book by John Fowles but was less a sorcerer or “one of the wise men from the East” (Wikipedia) than she was, as she was affectionately known, a love hound. She craved petting and attention and her favorite position on Earth was to fall into a blissful stupor curled under the arm of a trusted friend. Until her last two days, she would instantly purr when scratched on the head, chin, behind the ears.
Like the man who raised her, Magus was verbal and liked regularity in her life. Each night before bedtime, she meowed as loudly as any passing garbage truck to beckon everyone into bed for her nightly snuggling ritual. She used her broad vocabulary of meows to express moods and also communicate anonomlies. If, for instance, she saw a spider on the wall, she meowed and meowed (meow version #19) until someone flicked the spider to the floor, whereupon she would play with it, then eat it. She was not a friend to the spider.
Her lifetime mousing stats were modest. She caught only a handful (two that I can actually remember) and took only one of them to its eternal rest. Her stats would obviously have been higher, but, contrary to reputation, I do a remarkable job cleaning up the house, which is why mice do not nest here. Magus did not have a cat fight, owing either to her loving spirit or abject terror at things bigger than her, which most living things were/are.
But she was adventurous. When she was a kitten, her owners (‘guardians’ under Boulder, Co law) came home to find her eight feet in the air, swinging from a curtain rod she’d jumped onto from a table. She was dangling by the little toe that was subsequently amputated. For many years as her health allowed, she remained undeterred, leaping high into the air to reach for cat toys and feathers. Magus (who was smarter than your dog) played fetch; She would bring back balls or drag her toys across the house to enlist someone in more play time.
In her last years in life, Magus’s chief gift was teaching Milo how to do gentle petting and the humility that comes with being two and trying in vain to catch a cat racing through the living room. No, we haven’t figured out exactly how to tell him about her absence.
We sometimes referred to Magus as “the three-toed kitty” but mostly by her nickame “Schmago.” We completely loved and cherished her. She will be sorely missed.