Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Maggie Trick
A kitten doing the Maggie trick.
For those who don't know, our red tabby, Maggie , started doing this when she was about four or five months old. One day, I was sitting at the computer, and Maggie was sitting on the desk in front of me being a little upset that I was paying more attention to that box than to her. So she stood up and started beckoning at me like the kitty in this video. For a moment, I thought I was having an acid flashback or something.
Ever since then, it's been her universal "I want" gesture. Sometimes it's "Come to me," sometimes it's "Give it to me," but it's always some version of "I want." "I want" the toy you put on the top shelf because I was making too much noise with it. "I want" the refrigerator door open so I can shop for my dinner. "I want" you to pat my butt. "I want" something, but I don't know what it is, I just have this kind of generalized desire for something other than what I have right now.
A friend, on meeting Maggie for the first time, said something prophetic. "Oh. A red tabby. I've never met a sane one in my life."
Yep. That's our Maggie.
 The name, "Maggie," does not come from "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." It comes from Maggie Simpson, because Maggie Simpson has two trademarks: She sucks a pacifier, and she falls down. As a kitten, Maggie was spectacularly bad at judging whether she could balance on surfaces, such as the thin ledge at the front of the kitchen sink, so she would fall down a lot. And she nurses (still today, at age 11) the fur collar from an old jacket as if it were her mother.