My first was a female Maine Coon named Tanya. When I first met her, I was walking past her and her front paw reached out and grabbed my pants leg. It was love at first sight. She was my family for 12 years and then died from mammary cancer.
My next Maine Coon was Harry...who was a rescue. He was Mr. Congeniality. I've never met any cat that loved everyone as much as he did. If someone was at the door, he would run to greet them. I have a fond memory of a Memorial Day weekend party at my home. Every time I looked for him someone was holding him, someone was petting him or someone was playing with him. The next day, he was so exhausted from all of the entertaining and the "attention" that all he could do was sleep. In spite of having a heart murmur, he lived to be 18 and 1/2 years old.
My last Maine Coon was CJ (short for Casey Jones which was his name on his papers). When I adopted him, the vet forewarned me that he had a heart murmur. Because Harry had lived to be a ripe old age in spite of his heart murmur, that fact did not bother me. I adopted CJ with my eyes wide open. CJ had a good life...he was my family and my nickname for him was "Little Friend." He was not only an independant dude but he was also a one man cat. And I was able to share 13+ years of life with him...and I believe it was a very good life for him. He was about seven years old when I retired...and then we both moved from Pacifica, CA to NW Wisconsin. We went from a one bedroom condo to a 2,100 square foot house with lots of windows including two bay windows, one French door, and one sliding glass door. Here he positively thrived. He loved watching critters from the windows. He even had a dog friend that would come a visit. CJ was one happy little guy. Sadly, that abruptly ended 11/5/2022. CJ died unexpectedly of advanced heart disease. The loss of my little friend...my intrinsic family member was so sudden and unexpected, that I've had a hard time coming to terms with his transition.
Advanced heart disease??? What the hell??? He was fine, running around, eating like he always did...and then he was dead. Suddenly his hind legs were paralyzed...and three hours later he died.
Since the day that CJ died, I've done some research regarding heart disease with Maine Coon Cats. I was surprised to learn that 30% to 34% of all Maine Coon Cats are born with this defect. Some die at two, three and six years old. At this point in time there is little that can be done about this defect. My comforting thought is that the love and loving forever home I gave CJ allowed him to be 13+ years old.
This is not a cautionary tail. If you adopt a Maine Coon Cat they will easily become your family and fill your life with joy. However, if your Maine Coon is diagnosed with a heart murmur (one of the first signs of the defect), love her/him with all of your heart and make sure their days are filled with adventure...for their love of you is unconditional. Make sure that although their life may be short, it will be the best life ever.
I believe that I did that for CJ although I did not realize how that the hours, days and years were being counted. It was worth every minute.