Maddie Maye – Ragdoll of the Week

Maddie Maye
Maddie Maye

Growing up on  a large Dairy farm, I had 40 – 50 kitties to love all the time.  My mom however, did not allow any pets in the house.   She thought!

My cousin who lived a quarter mile up the road, would come over and we’d sneak a couple kittens into my room and dress them up in doll clothes.  I’m sure the kittens didn’t think it was much fun. I’ve always been a cat person, they are my best friends, not pets.

So of course when I had my own house the first thing I got was a kitty. I’ve had many barn kittens and others throughout the years.  In ’99 we discovered some Ragdoll kittens in a pet shop (I know now, not a great place to get them). We adopted the one we though had comical markings on her face. Our son brought her home for us, and his girlfriend named her Meeko. She’s our old lady now.

little maddie
little maddie

In 2002 we were in the same shop and we fell in love with another Ragdoll kitten we named Maddie Maye. Something about her spoke to me, she had the most beautiful  face and when she looked at me we connected. She was such a sweetheart.  We brought her home in a pink fuzzy blanket that she loved for years.

I remember hubby telling her when we went to bed, “you stay on your blankie ok? we’ll see you in the morning”.  Sure enough, she was still on her blankie (even tho she had

Since Meeko is a grouch to everyone with fur, Maddie clung to me to play and cuddle. She didn’t really like being picked up, but would come and cuddle up on my lap. Of of my favorite memories is of her coming to our bed

baby maddie maye
baby maddie maye

in the morning and sitting with her front paws on my shoulder. She would purrrrrr until I woke up. I loved that.

Maddie was very playful. Paper balls were her favorite. She would chase them and bring them back every time. Then stand on her tippy toes and wait for her back to be scratched. She would play as long as we would.

My husband started petting her with his foot, and soon she begged him to do it. She was very vocal and would let him know it was time for foot pets.

Maddie and Charlie
Maddie and Charlie

She was addicted to the Funniest Home Videos show. She would watch until a commercial came on,and then leave the room. But when the show came back on, she’d be back front and center waving her paws in the air at the screen!

When Maddie was about 1 1/2 years old we adopted her brother Charlie. They were best friends. They would nap together and it was common to see them mirror each other or lay exactly the same way!

Maddie and a toad
Maddie and a toad

Maddie loved to sing. Our house is a quad level with an entry hall where she would sing her meeeowwwowowowow over and over. We laughed so hard.

The first time I thought she was hurt or upset. She just looked at me like “what? I’m singing!”.   She would also do this if we were out in our big yard and she didn’t know where I was.  She’d sing her long song ,and I’d say “over here Maddie”. She’d come running as fast as she could go and start kneading the ground by my feet.


She usually stayed within sight, catching grasshoppers and gifting them to me.  If it flew away when she dropped it, I would get a disgusted look of “you let it GO?!!”  She only tried to eat one once and found out they come right back up. Yuck! Every time she brought me one, she wanted a rough back rub with my garden gloves on.  She would do the tippy toe dance. She had a favorite hiding place in the middle of a bunch of coreopsis. This picture is of her trying to “hide” before they got tall enough!

Maddie also loved to play with the garden toads. This picture is her patting the toad, and he liked it! See him leaning into her paw? !!

She also was very good at catching mice and voles. We have a lot of them in our yard. If I was outside and called “Maddie! See It? see it!” she would come running and stick her head in the hole.  I would often prop open the doors so they could come and go as they wanted. She would bring in a dead rodent and drop it at my feet. I always thanked her, and then disposed of it.

Maddie outside
Maddie outside

Our only problem with Maddie was that she knew the neighbors bushes were full of voles.  And as hard as we tried, as much as we scolded she would keep going across the road. Of course, that worried us because even tho we are on a dead end rural street, we had some fast driving neighbors.  Any time she went across the street, she was grounded for 2 weeks. Hoping she would learn to stay in our yard like the others.

I always said she was born with eyeliner. She had the most beautiful eyes, and I’d never seen so many colors in one kitty’s fur. I would just sit and pet her head fur back and forth to look at the colors. Anyone who saw her commented on how pretty she was. She talked to people, she understood so many words it was amazing.

This is a picture of the last gift Maddie brought me.  🙁

Maddie after stroke
Maddie after stroke

Shortly after, one morning she suddenly collapsed and couldn’t stand. She was crying and I could see the fear in her eyes. I grabbed her up and took her to the vet only a few miles away. They said she’d had a stroke. Her head was tilted to one side and she couldn’t stand. One side of her mouth wasn’t moving. The vet didn’t give me much hope, and told me to just watch her she might have seizures.

maddie after her stroke 1st day 7-11-09
maddie after her stroke 1st day 7-11-09

I was so heartbroken, but determined that she would be ok. I took her home and made up an area to care for her.  For a few days I constantly held her and comforted her. She wanted me to hold her and didn’t stop kneading unless she slept.  I had to feed her soft food by putting a bit in her mouth, and water with an eyedropper.   Then 3 days after her stroke she started seizures. The vet gave us medicine to stop them .  Maddie started to improve and was  to eating on her own, and playing with her toys. I still had to help her with water, and she had fluids at the vet. She still wanted me to hold her a lot.

I was encouraged she would recover at least partially. I started looking at the carts to hold up her back legs and thinking of getting some puppy diapers to help with keeping her clean.  And then, the seizures started happening every 15-20 minutes. The medicine didn’t help. I stayed up with her all night, holding her, talking to her, crying and begging for her  to be ok. But then I knew, she was gone. My Maddie was not there, she was suffering terribly.  We went to the vet at 8am and they gave us no hope. She’d had another stroke and it was bad.  I laid her in her fuzzy blanket, with her paper ball and mouser and we said good bye. Maddie was only 6 years old. The most unique and special kitty I’ve ever had. My buddy, my best furry friend.

I’m crying as I write this, almost 3 years later. I miss my special kitty every day like I’ve never missed a pet before.

Maddie outside
Maddie outside

I didn’t share this to make you sad, but to be sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s pets.  You see, the day before Maddie went in the neighbors yard, they had a service spray it to kill dandelions and broadleaf weeds.  Maddie got this on her paws and when she licked it off it poisoned her and caused the stroke.  The vets office said they had 3 cats in with strokes in 2 days. In our rural area that was very unusual. I spoke to one owner that I knew, and they had also sprayed their yard. (Her kitty did recover) I have always refused to do this in our yard, but the neighbors didn’t listen.  I wasn’t aware they had sprayed, or I wouldn’t have let any of them out. I feel the guilt every day 🙁

Maddie Maye 8/10/02  – 7/24/09

Charlie misses her terribly. He will still sit with is paw on her picture if I put it on the floor.

Charlie looking at Maddies photo
Charlie looking at Maddies photo

My kitties no longer go outside.  We would like to build them a catio, so they could enjoy some outside. But I won’t take any chances again. My heart will never heal, my guilt will never lessen.  My Maddie Maye was one of a kind.  Please let her passing help other kitties be safe.

Deb Noll

 | Website

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Similar Posts


  1. So very sorry to hear about your dear Maddie Mae. She was so beautiful and know that her beautiful spirit lives on in your heart. Thank you for sharing your story with us and know it will help many of us be more aware of the dangers of the outside that we don’t usually think about.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss 🙁 i was crying while reading this, its so inspirational <3

  3. So sad about Maddie- a most beautiful cat. I always wonder about when the company comes to spray the house for “bugs” I ask them to use chmicals ok to be used around animals- I only pray they do. I also keep Tessa locked up in a room where no spray is done for at least 1 hour so the bug spray can spray. I would hate to have Tessa have a stroke. Thanks for the warning.

  4. Dear Deb; You, your husband, Maddie Mae and Charile all sounded and looked like you were living heaven on earth. I can’t tell you how happy the beginning of your story made me. And then it was hell and I cried for all of you. A foolish mouse found its way into my home not long after we adopted Andy (to the chagrin of his two older tabby brothers). Andy caught & killed the mouse. One of our neighbors must have put poison out because Andy got sick. He’s okay, but he was lethargic and would not eat or drink for a few days – I was frightened & took him right to the vet. I know now how lucky we were. I wish this had never happened to you and that all cats could have a life as wonderful as Maddie Mae. Thank you for sharing your story. I am certain many cats will be saved because of your loss and bravery to share. You should never feel guilty for loving Maddie Mae enough to give her the best life a cat could want. She loved you for it. Peace and hugs to you and all in your family.

  5. All I can tell you is if you read the first comment on here by me, My Cockatoo was a blind rescue, and the sweetest, most trusting bird. he should have lived 50+ years. The chemical smelled like Raid, it wafted through a screen door. He immediately acted strange, and I asked him to step up on my hand.
    He had no strength, immediately threw up, had seizures and was gone in a few moments. It was one of the worst days of my life. The lawn Co. was an “Organic, Safe” type. They freaked out too, and sent the President of the CO. to my house. The chemical we discovered is known as 2-4D, or Agent Orange essentially. it;s in common weed killers.
    Birds are more sensitive than cats, who are more sensitive than dogs, and then US. If you see a lawn truck in your neighborhood, close the windows. That’s about all you can do. I cry for Maddie’s Mom because I know how she felt. Senseless, preventable death. SO undeserved by the innocent. Having to experience it in an adored family member is extreme grief………It’s the worst…..All you can do is learn from it, tell others, and celebrate the life of the one you lost 🙁 I didn’t know Maddie, but I do feel her just to read her Mom’s story and those beautiful pictures. The bird I lost was featured in a TV special with Alan Alda, wish I could post the picture of them. I guess birds are off subject….My two Ragdolls, also cats of the week, Baxter and Violet, only go out on my lap and no one around me uses chemicals, thank goodness. Crap, now I’m crying……….

  6. What a beautiful sweet cat you had and what a sad end to her story! I am so very sorry to hear about what happened to your beloved Maddie!! I always worry about outdoor cats, since they usually live much shorter lives. Here is a terrible and tragic example of what can happen. Not to mention, all these destructive chemicals cause cancer in pets and humans too! My cats don’t go outside but I do leave the screen door and screened windows open so they can look and smell outside. I wonder if chemicals used by my neighbors could blow in the house and hurt them?? Anyone know?

  7. I just thought of another important thing in this area that makes my cats sick, aerial spraying. They started spraying the corn fields here a few years ago with some kind of bacteria . Well, it makes my kitties sick with bad respiratory problems. Last year I got sick too! 102 fever and had to take two rounds of antibiotics to clear it out. I have to run inside when I hear the plane now, and stay in because the bacteria stay in the air for days. What about all the wild animals that don’t have a house to hide in? When will this end, when we are all dead? yep.
    Sorry, gets me going, it’s all just wrong. I want my Maddie back 🙁

  8. Thank you for sharing Maddie’s story. She was such a lovely, beautiful girl! My heart goes out to you, Charlie and your husband. After reading this I will tell my husband about it – absolutely NO weed spray ever again, no matter if it’s supposedly safe around pets and people! I’ve had two Ragdoll boys and many other cats in my life… all loved and missed so much.

  9. I’m sorry for your loss 🙁 I know how you feel. My cat Mia died because a neighbor put pesticides all over. She was the best little cat, I miss her so much. And now I hardly let my other cats out unless they are closely supervised. It’s a shame cause they love the outdoors.

  10. Anna (alcatmom) says:

    Impossible to read without bawling my head off. So sad this happened to you and your beautiful girlie. I totally understand the feeling guilty thing. I have never had my lawn sprayed and never will. My cats have always been indoor only.

  11. Lu Norton says:


    Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. I’m so sorry for your loss. While reading your story, I was crying and run to my Peppermint and hugged him.

    We all have lessons to learn. Sometimes we learn them the hard way. To avoid such tragedy, we should be more cautious and educate ourselves. We don’t want to loose these beautiful creatures the hard way.


  12. I am so sorry for your loss. It is so sad that these beautiful creatures can’t run and play without the consequenses of insecticides. I am also concerned about animal bait for mice and such that people place outside on the ground. I have a friend that lost a cat due to that too. It is just a horrible loss. My boy doesn’t go out either because he is a big wuss…but I would rather control his environment to prevent what you went through. But please know that she had a wonderful, loving home that meant the world to her. RIP sweet Maddie!!

    1. Lisa, that is another story I’m glad you brought up. I know some long time farmers who put out rat/mouse bait, and until I pointed out that it actually SAYS ON THE LABEL -if a cat eats a mouse that has eaten this bait, THE CAT WILL BE POISONED TOO, they did not beleive me. They just couldn’t figure out why cats were “suddenly’ dying on their farm. Grrrr makes me so mad. How can they be so ………uggg. Pass the word, some just don’t think it through when they put out poisons.

  13. Coinneach Fitzpatrick says:

    Poor sweet Maddie. Rest well, little one. 🙁

    Also, I think this is the fourth Charlie I’ve seen here, including Jenny’s and mine. Such a fitting name for Ragdolls.

  14. Lana (sis) says:

    Great story…. great pictures…. great sister!!
    I still miss my Harriet too… she has been gone about 10 years already…. she will always be the special one, just like your Maddie!!
    I hope a lot of people learn from this story that spray is meant to kill…. and it does not always affect the intended victim.

  15. Deb, I am so sorry for your loss of beautiful Maddie. I’m glad you told your story. The same thing happened to me in 2001, when a lawn Co. sprayed my yard and I lost a Beautiful Umbrella Cockatoo only 15 minutes later. After the Co. researched what they used, it turned out it was Agent Orange (identical Chemical). People don’t realize it is still used today in weed killers and lawn treatments.
    They changed their formula right away, and made a large donation to the Sanctuary Casey had come from. It was violent seizures just as poor Maddie had. The exact side effects Humans would have, if exposed to enough. We aren’t so low to the ground, so we don’t think sometimes. BEWARE** Small dogs have died too. Weeds, who cares???? I’ll never use chemicals again. My cats don’t go out, but neighborhood cats are always on my lawn. I hope lots of people see this. Maddie was beautiful and sounds so extra special, it’s criminal what happened to her (and you), maybe the story will save another pet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.