Magoo - the one who taught us that blind cats can have a wonderful life
A tiny, tuxedo kitten named Magoo (above) turned out to be our inspiration for the concept of The Magoo Room. In 1999, our vet showed me her latest reclamation project: a female kitten several months old, born without eyes, who had been brought to her to be put down. I offered to take the kitten. When I asked my husband if we could keep her, he said, "It would be hard to say no to one like that." Soon this tiny bundle was ours, and we named her Magoo, after the nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo.
At first we planned to keep Magoo in the laundry room until she got to know that area, and then allow her to roam to the next room. Magoo had other ideas. She wanted to roam the entire house right away. This tiny little bit of fur explored the entire house, learned immediately where her litter box was, and was in total command of the house without any special direction or guidance from us. She was sturdy, and certainly not handicapped. From that first day, Magoo amazed us with her strength and personality.
Magoo started having difficulties some time after we discovered she had liver problems. She was a fighter and several times when we thought she was on death's door, she would rally. Finally, in 2004, Magoo stopped eating and eventually died of liver disease at the age of five.
Magoo taught us that sight need not be important to have a good life. Those who saw her and said "Oh, poor kitty," were wrong. She was tough. She had fiber. She was capable. She was loving and she was strong. Seeing people's reaction to her taught us why so many apparently handicapped cats linger in cages at shelters. People just don't understand.
And so, while Magoo was still alive, the idea for a sanctuary was born. What better tribute could there be to our little Magoo than to create a home for other little gals and guys. A place where they could live, not just in peace, but live well among their peers. Thank you, Magoo, for the love and the lesson. The sanctuary is your legacy. You taught us well.
Our house is in a development of about 20 properties of several acres each. In 2003, we knocked out one exterior wall of the 16 x 10 office and added an 18 x 24 addition. We fenced in an 18 x 24 courtyard with anti-climb netting at the top of the fence so that the residents of The Magoo Room would be able to exit the house via a pet door and enjoy the sounds and feel of the outdoors. The Magoo Room decor includes primarily infant furniture as it allows cats to be "up" and it is easy to clean when we have a new resident and the boys start their "tinkle wars."
Currently, about half of our cats are in The Magoo Room with tiled floors; the other half abide in the family living quarters. All of our cats have a watchful and consistent "eye on them" since Barbara (the owner) is no longer employed outside the home.
Browse through our picture gallery (at left) and click on each photo for a bird's eye view into The Magoo Room residents' comfy quarters.