These never get any easier…
Back in May of 2003, Maximillion Joseph Martin was born in a barn. His mom was an unfixed barn cat and Max was one of many litters. My Aunt caught Max, his mom, and his littermates, got Mom fixed and started adopting out the kittens. Most of Max’s littermates died young of congestive heart failure, but Max was a tough little guy.
Once he was old enough, my Aunt brought him to Melinda and me to start his forever home. He was very frightened. He was the second cat at the time. Romeo was very welcoming to the fuzz ball.
On of the things that got us about Max was the size of his feet.
He apparently had some Maine Coon Cat in him based off his coat and feet, but he never really achieved the size of a full Maine Coon..
When we first got him, we had this papasan chair, and he loved it.
Although, there was one Sunday morning. I was waiting for Melinda to finish getting ready when I heard something like running water. Then I noticed a stream coming out of the papasan chair. I looked in to see Max peeing in the chair. He was new, still a kitten and I was still a new pet parent. So, I grabbed him up, yelled out to Melinda that he was peeing and asking what to do as I wander around the living room holding a kitten still going pee. Once I was instructed to take him to the litter box, it was all over. He was done and there was pee everywhere. Melinda never stopped laughing at me.
Max wasn’t a real people cat. He liked me and Melinda well enough, but not many other people. He preferred to run and hide. Except for when it came to one person, our friend Jay. The first time Jay came over, he was sitting in the floor and we were playing video games, Max cautiously walked into the room, sniffed Jay a couple of times, and then laid down beside him. From then on, whenever Jay came over, Max would come out to see him and sit with him.
Max did have one particularly traumatic event. One summer in our first house, our HVAC went out. The house got hot so we opened windows to take advantage of the breeze. We’d forgotten one of the window screens had a hole in (Thanks to a Rudy nose). Well, Max went to lay in this window and apparently fell out of the hole. He fell into our fenced in backyard with our dog Rudy, and my brother-in-law’s dog Delta. We didn’t know it happened until Melinda came home from work and heard Rudy barking his head off. She found Max curled into the tiniest little ball he could make himself into, covered in mud and his own pee. Rudy had been defending and guarding him from Delta and the rest of the world, but when a 100 pound dog is barking around you, it can be terrifying, even if he is just protecting you. We never opened that window again.
This was one of Max’s favorite sleeping positions. We called it SuperKitty.
Max’s nickname, because all our pets have nicknames, was Noodle Cat. He earned this because whenever you picked him up, he would just go limp noodle on you making him harder to hold.
Max had always been a very healthy kitty. The only issue we ever had with him was having to get his teeth cleaned every so often. He would just get massive plaque build up and one time a tooth basically broke and we never knew until we took him in for the cleaning.
That was true up to the end.
Just before his 12th birthday, we started to notice some significant weight loss and he was sleeping so much more. He was almost 12, but we wanted to make sure everything was still ok. We weren’t ready to hear cancer. Max had a massive tumor around his intestinal area. We don’t know how long it had been there, but it was cancer. We tried to treat him with Prednisone, but he did always have a very sensitive system, and the pred was just too much for him. It ended up making him very sick. We did find a pain reliever that he could take just to take the edge off the pain. Having seen what chemo did to Rudy, a young strong dog, we knew Max wouldn’t make it. After his last teeth cleaning, he had a hard time shaking off the sedative, so surgery was out too. Best we could do was keep him comfortable, love him, and listen to him.
Then the day came.
He didn’t leave the guest room. He didn’t drink any water. He didn’t eat any food. He just slept. We talked. We knew it was time.
Vincent new and spent most of the afternoon watching over him.
Melinda made the call to the vets. We wrapped him in a towel and took one last drive. He was in the early stage of liver and kidney failure. The mass had more than doubled in size in less than 3 weeks. It was crushing his organs.
On May 19th, 2015 at 6:00, just one week after his 12th birthday, we lost our Noodle Cat.