MacGregor Cat
Animal Stories from

by M. Linda Steffey
August 2009

When our MacGregor cat came into our lives, my daughter, by my late husband, was in her first year as a vet student at Virginia Tech.

My sister was a nurse and had her own apartment roughly 45 minutes away from our home. She had a cat and a dog and often was paid visits by this plump, sassy ginger tabby who loved to talk.

She would allow him into her apartment and would give him some food and let him out again. She never knew who owned him. She named him MacGregor.

In our family tree on my father's side of our family, there was a Civil War Union doctor named John MacGregor. He was from Rhode Island. I live not far from the James River here in Virginia and during the Civil War, Dr. MacGregor tended to the wounded Union soldiers along the James River. He was captured and spent time in the terrible Libby Prison in Richmond and survived this to return to Rhode Island and his practice there. Dr MacGregor later died in a freak buggy accident. My sister named MacGregor after our ancestor.

One early morning, a knock came to my sister's door and she opened the door to a man who asked her if this cat outside laying in the parking lot, was her cat. It was MacGregor!! It was November and the nights dipped down into the 30's! My sister often told us of incidents around her apartment of animal cruelty.

Someone had hit MacGregor with their car and left him to die! He had a broken pelvis!! She took him to her vet who wanted to put him to sleep immediately.

My sister took MacGregor home and laid him on warm, clean rags and made sure he had water and food.

She found out that with time, MacGregor would heal on his own. Since she worked odd shifts at the Veterans Hospital and had her own cat and dog to care for, she asked if we would take MacGregor in and give him a home and a chance to live. We did.

Today, MacGregor is still with us! Our vet thinks he is at least 16 or 17 years old now. He had many hard times during his recovery and had to see our vet quite often due to urinary blockages caused by his broken pelvis. He suffered greatly for a long time, but he never gave up and was so brave. He still is!

MacGregor has his own sense of humor and often makes us laugh our heads off and he loves to talk to us in his high-pitched meow. He has been in kidney failure for a few years now, but with a change to his diet, I have helped him keep his kidney function stable and our vet is amazed at this dear cat's progress.

MacGregor is a real love! He purrs the minute you hug him or rub his head and he always answers you when you talk to him! He is a true hero to us. A good friend! Our other three cats love him as well and they all groom each other and play all the time. We are truly amazed by MacGregor's will to live and thrive despite the cruelty done to this little cat and I feel.... we can all learn lessons of love and forgiveness through our animals..... which can help us meet our own challenges in life! God bless you, our MacGregor friend!!

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