Picture a little boy, about three years old, crawling into the nearest trustworthy grownup’s lap, resting his head against their chest, sadness dripping in fine tears out of the corners of his eyes. It’s not temper; he’s not upset because he didn’t get the toy he wanted, or the cookie, or to get to watch his favorite TV show. He’s just overwhelmingly, deeply sad.

His life has been turned upside down, everything he owns is gone, he’s in a new place where nothing smells right or looks right or even feels right. He doesn’t understand why, and nothing the grownups can say about it makes any sense.

Now, if Max were human, he’d be that little boy. I’ve never seen a cat so profoundly sad. He’s taken to hiding in the corner of a closet, the corner hardest to see from the outside, and he’s curled in a tight little ball as if trying to hide from himself even. When he jumps into my lap it’s not at all comfortable because we’re sitting in a fairly uncomfortable folding chair, but he grabs my arm to pull it around him, resting his head on my forearm. He just wants to be held. And every now and then he looks up at me like “Why?”

He has a good appetite so I’m not worried that this is something he’s not going to snap out of, but right now he’s a little boy lost, and if he could cry real tears I think he would.

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