Martine Meah

A reluctant Maggie Shaw ambles up the path towards her dominant, alcoholic mother. She turns to wave goodbye to her friends on the special bus, making her mother wait that little bit longer. More friction ensues when Maggie gets her book out covered by pictures of her most favorite things, animals, but her mother refuses to look at the picture sheís drawn until Maggie lays the table. Rejected and hurt, Maggie has a screaming fit, where her mother promptly drags her outside to the landing of their flat and slams the door shut.

Being naturally inquisitive, Maggie is drawn to the sound of childrenís voices on the stairwell. Horrified at the sight of two young boys who live in the flats taunting a kitten, she rescues it and sneaks it into her bedroom when she is eventually let back in. Of all the mothers she could have had, hers has to be allergic to cat fur.

Desperate for someone to love, Maggie sneaks the kitten onto her bus heading for college the next day. Her favorite teacher Liza Brown discovers the kitten and Maggie has to return home, where her secret is out. Heartbroken, her harsh mother takes her to the animal sanctuary, where she is forced to hand the kitten over.

As her mother spends another evening getting drunk, Maggie sneaks off to the animal sanctuary to check the kitten is alright. A pleasant young assistant called Leanne takes pity on her and lets her help feed the animals. When her mother receives a call alerting her where Maggie is, she arrives to fetch her visibly struggling to contain her wrath. Leanne witnesses a terrible scene between Maggie and her mother, where the real underlying problem for her motherís bitterness comes spilling out. Her mother blames her husbandís death on the shock of Maggie being born with Down syndrome and canít bring herself to get close to her daughter.

Through Leanneís intervention, a compromise is found and Maggie becomes a surrogate care giver for sick animals, but only at weekends and in the holidays. The friction starts to subside and her mother begins to see the real Maggie. Itís going to be a long hard haul, but something gives and change starts to show through on both sides of the relationship.

This is very much a character driven story, with a touching emotional theme. 

Copyright 2005 Martine Meah
All Rights Reserved