Update 8/16/2019 - There's an empty spot on my lap and a huge hole in my heart. We lost Maya to kidney disease today.
It seems impossible for anyone to look at Maya without uttering the words, "She's so darn cute!" She was chosen by Mistress Mausita online, sight unseen other than her baby picture, from Pawsox in Connecticut. Mistress Mausita wanted a little red girl and didn't realize until she started looking that red males far outnumber red females. Maya was already four and a half months old by the time she joined the MausCats. We feared she might be a gangly teen before our first meeting but, much to our delight, she was tiny and oh so cute. That has never changed. She cuddled into Mistress Mausita's lap and made herself at home immediately.
Although petite, she's very fluffy with a lovely brush of a tail that she carries like a banner as she struts and scampers about. She has leggings and toe sox on her front feet, and beautiful big round copper eyes. Unfortunately, her nose grew shut, and she had to have it opened with a laser procedure about the same time Tommy had his abscessed tooth when they were both kittens. The two of them came home from the doctor looking like they'd been in a bar brawl.
As Maya continued to grow into adulthood, she also developed a snaggle tooth. It makes her look even cuter and perpetually mischievous. She looks a bit like the muppet witch in The Dark Crystal film. Her portrait is featured on our friend Christine's Stained Glass website with the original stained glass version adorning our living room.
Maya loves chasing bugs. She lurks near the kitchen door on summer evenings, waiting for someone to open the door to let in the tantalizing moths that flutter outside. She also loves to play hide and seek--under chairs, inside boxes, behind the wicker bathroom chest, in dark corners. But she's very easy to find because she sneezes all the time....ACHOO, ACHOO, ACHOO. The kitties aren't allowed in our guest room but Maya learned that the door does not always latch firmly. Despite her small stature, she can easily open the door with a flying leap and two front paws when this happens. If the door is latched, she simply hides around the corner in the room next door and dashes into the forbidden room when someone does open the door. She's a great help changing bedding, turning into a whirling dervish, attacking every wrinkle and ensuring it disappears.
She is a nip-head and often can be found sprawled belly up in the middle of the living room with a sodden bag of catnip hanging off one claw. She also loves to stretch out in her favorite sunny spots in front of the kitchen door or in the hammock in the cat condo room.
At Christmas time, Maya has been known to remove the bulbs from the lower part of the tree. She cleverly removes a single bulb at a time to avoid notice, and doesn't go after another until the first is destroyed from her batting it around the house.
Maya doesn't get excited about dinner, although she does eat a bit of Fancy Feast with her brothers. But she often tries to sneak some of Dory's "coffee" which she's not allowed to have because it makes her sneezing worse.
In the early hours of the morning, she likes to walk up and down and make tiny biscuits on top of sleeping Mistress Mausita (sneezing the whole time) before settling down on Mistress Mausita's hip for a nap of her own.
Her full name is Maya Karena but she has many nicknames, most of which evolved from an occasional stinky butt: Miss Stinkums, Missa Poo, Poozitz, Sweetie Poo, Missy, and Good Girl.
2014 Update: Maya is older now and no longer chases many moths or opens any doors. She has claimed the guest room as her own with on-demand valet service for door opening. Her brothers and sisters still aren't allowed in there. She spends more time enjoying lap sitting, getting combed, and developing her vocabulary. She knows git-git means it's time to leave her private room. In her eagerness to get on mommy's lap in the recliner, she sometimes jumps into the seat too soon. But she knows that mommy first means get on the chair's arm out of the way so mommy can sit, and go for ride means hang on because we're going to put up the foot rest. When she's busy elsewhere and mommy calls go for ride, Maya comes running and leaps into mommy's lap. She purrs and purrs until she drools and loves giving wet sandpaper kisses. And, of course, she remains as cute as ever.