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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Emperor Maximilian Cocoapuff the First, 1995-2013 
30th-Nov-2013 12:18 pm
Max


One day in the summer of 2000, I was suffering through a Team-Building Exercise at my then-job. This was in Florida. A Saturday. Everyone brought their families, which was at that point my daughter and my now-ex-husband. After the Forced Enjoyment, I needed a break, and the animal shelter was on our way home. "I need a puppy break," I said. I looked at puppies, I looked at cats, and there was Max, then named Tito; I knew instantly that he was my cat, but my ex insisted on a kitten, not a five-year-old cat, so we looked at kittens, and the kittens ignored us, and Max actually played with Elayna, and I've told this story before. I've told it a lot. I've been telling this story for 13 years.

This cat saved me.

When my ex-husband was abusive, Max saved me. He snuggled me. He's always known when someone's in distress. He's always curled up in their lap for as long as they need. Many people have cried into Max's fur and been comforted by his purring.

The day Judah hit me, after I got back from the courthouse, he sat in front of the door and guarded it all day. At night, when he was convinced that Judah wasn't coming back, he moved to my lap.

Max has been with me through three states, five houses, two husbands. Max has outlived two kitty companions.

Max is the reason I have a writing career - I started writing again to raise money for his jaw surgery in 2007.

There is no way that I can capture, at all, how very much Max means to me, has always meant. He has been my constant companion. I have loved him more than I have ever loved any other pet - I loved Jack, I loved Tor, but Max was above and beyond. Max was part of me. Max was everything.

He was diagnosed with kidney failure in July. We knew that he could go at any minute or go for another few years. There were times in the past few months where we were sure he was about to go - when he started having seizures, when he lost all that weight. He held on long enough to see Michael again and meet Lynne and Caitlin. He held on while I was in Chicago. He waited. He had one last Thanksgiving - Max loved Thanksgiving, and house concerts, and any occasion that filled the house with people. He loved people.

He really did. If you ever met Max, know that he loved you.

He waited til after Thanksgiving.

Yesterday he took a downturn. He was weak, goopy-eyed, shaky. He couldn't get back up to his perch on the TV stand. When I kissed him goodnight, he cried. He wasn't a normal Siamese that way - he was rarely vocal. But last night he cried. This morning he cried. And we knew.

I held him on my chest on the couch for a good long while, til the vet's office opened. I typed a little about it on Twitter as I was getting ready.

We had said that we'd do anything as long as he had quality of life. As long as he was happy and purring.

He stopped purring.

He couldn't hold his head up, at the vet's office. He was so worn out, my poor little old man. That and his low temperature and everything else that was going on with him and the vet said she could give him fluids and antibiotics and he might live another few days. But if best-case scenario is a few days, and those few days would be full of pain...

We said goodbye to our darling boy, and we told him how much we loved him and how incredibly lucky we were to have him, and we thanked him for being the best cat in the entire world. God, we were so lucky. So, so lucky to have been his family.

And then he was gone.

There will be more later. More funny Max stories, more remembrance. You can leave your favorite Max memories in the comments if you like.

But right now, Max was my best little buddy, my comfort, my darling boy, and releasing him today was the best thing for him, but I am... indescribable right now.

We were all so fortunate to have had Max in our lives. He was a Cat of Love, we've always said. He was.

Comments 
30th-Nov-2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you had each other, and so sorry for your loss.
30th-Nov-2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
We were so lucky to have found each other. Perfect combination of family and cat.
30th-Nov-2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss. I'll be thinking about you.
30th-Nov-2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah.

Never, ever easy. But worth it, very worth it, for the times you had.

Go well, Max.
30th-Nov-2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
He was beautiful inside and out from what you've written here. I said it on Facebook, but again I'm so sorry for your loss.
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30th-Nov-2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. He was lucky to have had all of you, too.
30th-Nov-2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry... *hug*
30th-Nov-2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
He looks like a beautiful, beautiful cat. His memory for a blessing.
30th-Nov-2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
My deepest sympathies on your loss.
30th-Nov-2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Oh I am sorry. Blessed journey to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, Max.
30th-Nov-2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss, but so glad you had him in your life.
30th-Nov-2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, 'song. All the love to you.
30th-Nov-2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
He was a sweet boy. Yes, he was. *hug*
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30th-Nov-2013 07:54 pm (UTC)
My deepest condolences.
30th-Nov-2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
My condolences.
30th-Nov-2013 08:41 pm (UTC) - So sorry for your loss.
He sounds like the best pet who helps you remember you are loved and loveable.
30th-Nov-2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for the loss. You've had too much loss lately.
30th-Nov-2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful, wonderful cat. I'm so sorry for your loss.
30th-Nov-2013 09:57 pm (UTC) - I'm so sorry, Hon.
I know I've said it on A's LJ and on your FB, but I'm saying it again.

My deepest sympathy to you all. *HUGS*
30th-Nov-2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
Woza, Max.
30th-Nov-2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry.
30th-Nov-2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful cat.
30th-Nov-2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
My sympathies. *hug*

30th-Nov-2013 11:48 pm (UTC) - HUGS
I'm glad you had the time with him that you did and that he saw you to a better place before he took his leave of this world. May his spirit be with you always.
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1st-Dec-2013 12:11 am (UTC)

I'm so sorry. you have my deepest condolences *BIG HUGS*
1st-Dec-2013 01:59 am (UTC)
I am glad you had him in your life and he had you in his.
1st-Dec-2013 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh gosh. My heart goes out to you, losing a cat that was so precious and important to you, and so full of love for everyone. Thinking lots of good thoughts for you.
1st-Dec-2013 02:24 am (UTC)
You have my condolences on your loss.
1st-Dec-2013 02:57 am (UTC)
My sympathies.
1st-Dec-2013 04:15 am (UTC)
I'm glad you had all those years together, and I'm here to hear your stories of love and your grief. [hugs] You're in my thoughts.
1st-Dec-2013 06:09 am (UTC)
A wonderful cat, leaving wonderful memories for you.

Thank you for giving him a good life.
1st-Dec-2013 02:23 pm (UTC) - He's beautiful
And I know you'll miss him. He sounds (and looks) so much like my Joshua, who was just as protective of me.

*many hugs*
1st-Dec-2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss. I remember turning to Max and his companions for kitty comfort during the most difficult hours of Blogathon. He was a lovely and affectionate cat, and had so many people who loved him in return. He'll be missed.
2nd-Dec-2013 12:48 am (UTC)
...last night he cried. This morning he cried. And we knew...

That's how we knew, too, when the end came for our Phinneas.

Your Max was a marvel, and I am so sorry for your loss.
2nd-Dec-2013 01:05 am (UTC)
I'm so very sorry.

As I said earlier today to another friend who is losing her over-the-moon love of a cat, and as one of our friends said to us at a key moment last year, sometimes all you can do, after giving them the best lives possible, is to give them the best end possible. And it sounds like you did. I hope the Universe is gentler on all of you for a long time to come.
2nd-Dec-2013 02:29 am (UTC)
Poor the kitty. Hugs- I'm sorry.
4th-Dec-2013 02:12 am (UTC)
You gave Max the best life. And knew when to say goodbye. I will ask my best cat ever, Philip, to explain the Rainbow Bridge to Max. I wish oh how I wish I could help ease the sadness. In time it will be less acute but they never really leave us.
10th-Dec-2013 07:05 am (UTC)
I have been away from LJ for years, but I hopped on tonight and was doing some reading. I'm sorry about your kitty. I'm glad that you and he had such a wonderful bond. His wonderful energy will be with you always, and I doubt that makes it better, but take care of yourself. Wishing you all the best.
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