Friday

13 November 2020


This is not the post I wanted to write. Ever. And it’s not the post Max deserves, nor what all of you deserve. But right now I’m shattered, and I can’t find the words that will do him justice. I’m not sure I will ever be able to.

Max had a spectacular day on Monday. He felt okay, ate well, and his Younger Human came to see him. He was given all the treats he cared to eat, and was about as happy as a cranky old man could be. Tuesday through Thursday were okay. Not fantastic, but okay. He ate, he sat in my lap (a lot) and just kind of hung out. Last night I couldn’t sleep, so at 2 am he curled up in my lap for an hour, even though I wasn’t wearing pants.

We all know how much he hates bare legs.

But this morning he was off a little bit. He didn’t want his cheese bite (with a dreaded seed inside) and wasn’t interested in food. I wasn’t worried then because sometimes it takes a while for his appetite to kick in, so I left him to nap in his room for a bit. I offered fresh food later, which he licked at, but he didn’t eat anything.

I wasn’t worried until he pooped in the bathroom and stepped in it. He didn’t fight me when I washed his feet off, and when I was done he just curled up on his favorite floor spot in his bedroom. Even then, I thought it was just a bad day.

But a little while later I found him near the litter box, he’d clearly tried to make it, but couldn’t quite stand up to do it. And when he made his way back to his room, he walked with his legs splayed, not in a straight line, and he just looked miserable. His eyes were glassy, face was pinched, and he just looked done.

Mike made the call, and we took him in at 4:30. He wanted to be held, so I wrapped my rms around and rocked him back and forth until the vet came in, and he stayed there until the end. I felt his last breath on my arm, felt him finally relax, and he left us at 4:50.

I am gutted, yet also so incredibly grateful that we had 19-1/2 years with him. He was, without exaggeration, the smartest cat I’ve ever known, and was absolutely amazing. He was spoiled beyond belief, but he deserved every bit of it, and because of him I’ve met people who have become the best friends I could hope for. What started as a whim—a blog written from his point of view—turned into something amazing, and was admittedly at the forefront of cat blogging. My only real consolation is that he’s on his way to be with Buddah, to help his little brother navigate the Bridge, and I’m sure there will be a raging Bridge-trashing party that runs all weekend.

A little truth…online Max was snarky and grouchy—and he was in real life, too—but he was also sweet and affectionate, and loved me at levels that often felt unnatural. My lap was where he wanted to be, he often wanted to shove his nose up mine, and we carried on long, drawn out conversations that I’m pretty sure I got right on my end. His intelligence often blew me away…and irritated me. We still talk about his discovery at 4 years old, when we had the dresser in the bathroom near the light switch. He figured out how to turn it off and on, and did so with glee…at 3 in the morning.

The light—and he knew it—streamed right to the head of the bed, in my face.

Max was the cat who could sit on the bathroom vanity and look in the mirror, understanding that the cat he saw was him. If he’d had something on his face, seeing it in his reflection would have prompted him to swipe a paw across his face to get it off (conversely, Buddah was positive the cat in the mirror was an intruder, though he did finally stop hissing at it. Gawd, I miss that goofball.) He could puzzle things out, and the only thing that saved us from an obnoxiously high gas bill was because he wasn’t strong enough to flip the switch on the fireplace.

He knew how, he just couldn’t get leverage.

Our world got quite a bit quieter tonight. He was a small cat in the end, having gone from nearly 19 pounds to 9, but he filled all the quiet spaces with his personality. I often joked that I’d stolen him from his Younger Human—when he brought Max home it was with the caveat that when he moved, so did the cat—but Max made it clear who his chosen person was, and I will be forever honored.

On Monday, I told the Boy that I wasn’t sorry anymore that I’d stolen his cat. Tonight I thanked him for it.

I will miss that furball forever, but doods, having him…it was glorious.

 

36 comments:

The Florida Furkids said...

Noooooooooooo!!!! We're so sorry. We loved Max so much.

((hugs)) The Florida Furkids and Mom Sharon

Random Felines said...

Oh no....even knowing it was coming, we are so very sorry. Max was one of a kind.

Alasandra said...

Oh I am so very sorry for your loss. Max will be missed.

BeadHappy said...

I'm so sorry it was so soon. Max was a special cat, and it came through clearly through the computer. And so was Buddah. Love to you all.

Jasper McKitten-Cat said...

Purrs from the McKitten-Cats. Max was one of our first blogging friends way back when Jasper first started 16 years ago. I know we all treasure the time we spent together, even if it was just online. He was a lucky cat to have you. And almost 20 years! We’re crying over here with you.
Sending all our love,
Maggie, Aslan, and Loki

The Island Cats said...

We have no words...only tears. Max inspired so many of us...he will be missed. Sending you comforting purrs and gentle headbutts.....

Angel, Kirby and Max said...

Damn! I was reading this while on a Skype call with the family. As the tears flowed,they all ask me if I was OK. When I told them, they all sent you their love, even though they had never met him. He was the king of the blog universe.

His was the first blog I ever read.

As sad as we are, I can not imagine your grief. It does not matter that you expected it, it still sucks!

We loved you, Max, as if you were our own

las794 said...

I’m so sorry, Karen. For such small beings, they leave awfully big holes in our hearts, don’t they?

Nikki said...

Dammit. Not *the* Doood! I’m so terribly sorry; words can’t do the sadness justice.

Max’s blog was the first cat blog that I followed and I’m thankful to have been there from the beginning.

Thank you for sharing the King of Snark with us for all these years. He’ll truly be missed by all.

A few Good Cats said...

We are so sorry to hear that Max has gone to the Bridge. Fly free, Max.

Cathy Keisha said...

I'm hear to pay my respects to Max, a cat loved beyond words. *bows head* Sendingg comfrting purrz to those he left behind.

gizzylaw said...

(((Karen)))(((Mike))) I wish I could do this in person. He was glorious and so are both of you.

Holly said...

I’m so sorry! He was awesome. I hope his memory is a blessing to you.

Big Piney Woods Cats said...

MAx was one of the first cats we met on blogger. He always has had a special place in our hearts. Mittens was about his age when she passed. I still remember Max carrying the torch to our house for the cat Olympics. We are heartbroken.

Susan Saavedra said...

My love to you all. Thank you for sharing Max with us. His was the first blog I ever read. Purrs for Max on his journey to the bridge. Purrs to you and your family, as well, as you miss him and as you remember all the things that made him the wonderful fur-person he was.
Susan Saavedra

Lynn said...

So sorry. I am crying. I fell in love with the Psycho Kitty so many years ago. He will be missed so much. We will all treasure our memories. My heart aches for you, Mike, and the boy but you had him for so many years.

Vicat said...

My heart already knew

Susie said...

So, so sad hear this news. Lots of love and hugs from Mommakitty, Kimo, Sabi, & Sherman.

Buckwheat Snapp said...

Oh no, this is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry that you have lost them both within such a short time. The world has lost a legend. Just know that you did your absolute best by him and he had a wonderful joyous life. Thank you for sharing him with all of us .
Hugs from Amanda, Buckwheat, Dixie and angel kitty William.

Marti said...

No1 I am so sorry, Karen. He was quite a cat, and he made himself immortal through his books. You did a few posts recently that I was afraid would be this one, and now, here it is. I may re-read one of his books soon. I have Max books on my kindle, and a friend gave me some paperbacks. I am not sure how she knew of him and I didn't tell her that I'd already read them.

It was nice that he had some good moments near the end when he wanted to eat and did.

My condolences to you, the Spouse and your son. Take good care of yourself.

Victor Tabbycat said...

Oh no. No no no no no. This is what I haven't wanted to see. Not Max. He was such a huge part of cat blogging. His phrases have become our phrases. He was an internet influencer before it was invented. But oh, Karen, for you he was family. Whatever he has been to all of us, you've lost two family members in such a short time. Our sorrow is for you and Mike and Kurt, and remembering our pain at similar times, and dreading the inevitable with our own family members. I imagine the timeline when the Emperor died without Wick, and it feels like we've lost the Emperor of the Blogosphere. I'm so, so sorry.

Sleepypete said...

:'-(

Hugely sorry for your loss. Max (and Buddha) was an absolute legend and I know you loved each other very much.

Helen said...

Max made Parker want to try to blog. We have loved him from afar for many years. I hope all of my OsWCB got to welcome him at the Bridge. Godspeed Max - you are and always will be a legend and an icon for kitties all over the world. We are sincerely sorry for your loss of this most precious boy. πŸ’”

Eastside Cats said...

The end of an era.
Farewell, Angel Max.
Sending hugs and purrs to you in Heaven, and to your grieving humans. πŸ’”

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

We are so very sorry for your loss. Max inspired me to write my diary to share my story with the world. Godspeed, Max. You touched so many lives. Say hi to Buddah and all of our other friends at the bridge. We're sending healing purrs to your humans.

The Whiskeratti said...

I am so so sorry. I think this was the first cat blog I found, so many years ago. Max's specialness always shone through. You have my deepest, most heartfelt sympathies. All cats are special, but some are just a little specialer than others.

Laila and Angel Minchie said...

Words cannot express the grief you feel over the loss of sweet Max. He had a wonderfully long and blessed life and was so very blessed to have you as his family, just as you were blessed to be touched by his beautiful soul. He will always be with you in your heart, and I like to believe that he will always be with you from the other side. My love and prayers are with you all. So very very sorry for your loss.

edie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending comforting thoughts.

Harry Spotter said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's heartbreaking. Sending you love and prayers.

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

My heart is broken. For you, for the spouse. For me, because I will miss his voice on line. I'm so very sorry. Sending purrs and prayers for comfort.

LMoore said...

I am so sorry. Sending purrs and biscuits your way. He will be missed by so many.

Shoko Neilson said...

Psychokitty was the first book I ever read out loud to my kitties and hubby. We all became close every night laughing at Max's exploits and feelings. I read to them all every night now. The kitties gather on the bed for me to start reading and hubby sits with waiting ears. It's a happy routine.
Max had a wonderful life.....spoiled out of his tree as are mine and free to be himself....even if he was grumpy he had his loving times too. Imagine 19 and a half! It's like losing a teenager....hurts like hell!

We send purrs and the power of the paw to help mend your heart.

Jean, Tyebe, Shoko and Bill

Robyn Harton said...

I j ust found out. I am so sad. Max was an icon. And a reaal cat with real needs. You took wonderful care of him. Sending hugs and Tango purrs.

Fourfurrycats said...

ᛖᛁᛖᛋ α›’αš±α›αš·αš»α›,

αš³α›šαšͺαšΉα›‹ α›‹αš»αšͺαš±α›ˆ,

ᛏαšͺα›α›š αš»α›–α›šα›ž αš»α›αš·αš».

ᚷᚩ αš³α›–α›–αšΎα›šα› α›αšΎα›αš© αš¦α›– α›˜α›α›‹α›, αš©α›šα›ž ᚹαšͺαš±αš±α›‘αš±.

ᚠαšͺα›šαš»αšͺα›šα›šαšͺ ᚹαšͺᛁᛏᛋ ᚠᚩᚱ α›αš©αš’.

Eyes bright,

claws sharp,

tail held high.

Go keenly into the mist, old warrior.

Valhalla waits for you

Copperdragoness said...

Beautiful. Thank you

Copperdragoness said...

Karen, I just found out and I'm grieving with you. Hugs from Georgia.

Wendy