November 13, 2020

From the Woman...


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.


76 comments:

Angel Prancer Pie said...

Max was loved by many and will never be forgotten.
Sending loads of purrs of comfort to you and the spouse.

Zippy, Sadie, Speedy and M'Gee said...

We greeted him and he said he was so happy to have had you as his human and he's sorry his leaving made you so sad. Yes, there's going to be a party...all weekend and into next week.

John Bellen said...

I didn't know Max, but he sounds like a remarkable fellow. That you had nearly twenty years with him is marvellous, and I envy that. But I am grateful that Max had the love and companionship of such a family. Godspeed, Max.

Anonymous said...

I'm leaking big time reading this. To lose both Buddha and Max so close together must cause you unimaginable pain. Our Abby, Sophie and Meeka will help watch out for them over the Rainbow Bridge. It won't be long before Max takes over and runs the place. Many headbutts and loud purrs being directed your way from Wisconsin. ❤️��❤️

Just Ducky said...

Oh noes! Mum is really leaky eyed and I am trying to purr some comfort here as best I can. We knew this day would come but man, it still hurts.

Derby will be pleased to get Max at The Bridge. Derby said it was always Max's fault that he started up a blog.

Vicat said...

See you at the Bridge, wonderful boy!

Victor Tabbycat said...

Dude. We will miss you so much! Look up Bonnie for me, and give Nina a lick. Seems like the blogosphere is becoming the bridgeosphere. When I get there, I will expect to meet 19 lb of snarkiness.

Susan said...

I am crying so hard right now, I can't imagine how you are. Max is a wonderful gift of humor and snark. I love his foods, asterisks and chits.I love that he loves you two, and Buddha and Hank.Our beloved babies, Mew,Rugby and Hershey are there.They will teach him the ropes. I always check on Max's page to see that he's here. There are no words to help you, only time. And even then. Sometimes it will bring you to your knees. I am still reading the Epistle and have his new book to read so his voice will still be teaching me. God bless and keep you wrapped in love. Remember that Max is still there, he's with you in your heart and always will be. Maxie, you brought so much joy. Now you can fly. Our love goes with you

Susan said...

I am crying so hard right now, I can't imagine how you are. Max is a wonderful gift of humor and snark. I love his foods, asterisks and chits.I love that he loves you two, and Buddha and Hank.Our beloved babies, Mew,Rugby and Hershey are there.They will teach him the ropes. I always check on Max's page to see that he's here. There are no words to help you, only time. And even then. Sometimes it will bring you to your knees. I am still reading the Epistle and have his new book to read so his voice will still be teaching me. God bless and keep you wrapped in love. Remember that Max is still there, he's with you in your heart and always will be. Maxie, you brought so much joy. Now you can fly. Our love goes with you

Forty Paws said...

We are so very sorry that it was Max's time. You did everything you could to give him quality of life as he was getting older. He appreciated it so much. He will be met by those who have gone before and there will serious partying going on at the Bridge this weekend! Hugs from all of us at Forty Paws and those of us across the Bridge as well. (He wrote some great books also!)

Julie said...

So so sorry for your loss, Max was a much loved kitty.

p1x1ecat said...

Pumpkinpuddy here. Even though we all knew this day was coming, I'm still heartbroken. In my world, Max was always there from my first days online. When I read the Wick books, I always pictured Max. It's hard to imagine a world without Max. Fly free, dear Max. And don't get too snarky with the other angels. Love to you all in this heartbreaking time. 💔

Theresa I said...

I hope he is gorging on real live dead shrimp in the after life. I followed his blog for years and liked him. I won't say love because only you can live hom so much. I do really know how you feel having list my Vala on June 22 at 17 and my Fiona on October 15 at 19. I am so sorry for your loss.

Theresa I said...

I hope he is gorging on real live dead shrimp in the after life. I followed his blog for years and liked him. I won't say love because only you can live hom so much. I do really know how you feel having list my Vala on June 22 at 17 and my Fiona on October 15 at 19. I am so sorry for your loss.

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

We loved Max. A very special cat indeed. Can't beginning to know your grief,but sending you so much love. Hugs too.

RIP beautiful Max, you were the very best. X

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I am so sorry and in tears reading this. Max had a wonderful long life and fought hard to stay with you, but in the end it becomes too much for them.
Max was Cat Blogging and he always welcomed new bloggers. An icon doesn't begin to describe him and he will be forever loved and missed by his multitude of friends.

SL said...

😪 Our hearts to you. We were all lucky to have him in our lives.
He will wait for you.

Blucat Mom said...

I am so sorry. Max was so loved and we will miss him very much.

Dorothy said...

God's speed Max Thompson.

Fr. Tom Fishworthy said...

So much love to give and inspiration, too.
Max, you will be missed.
Sending purrs of comfort to your family ~ Tom, Bridget and Penny xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Not the the way I wanted to start my weekend. I am crying. I too know what it’s like to loose two babies within months. Last year I lost Mushu in January and Winston in April. Max and Buddha were very loved and spoiled and I imagine they are having quite the party at the rainbow bridge. Stay strong.Max and Buddha are now angels watching over you.

TurtleLover said...

thank you for sharing your Max with me. My first cat blog. I'm saddened with tears now.
I can imagine him and Buddah, as you mentioned, at the bridge together.
Warm hugs and purrs to you.
Again I say thanks.
My mornings just won't be the same.

Eastside Cats said...

It's the end of an era.
Farewell, Angel Max.
Purrs and hugs to you in Heaven, and to your humans.
I posted on my bloggy too, and nabbed a photo of Angel Max too.

Pufferoonie said...

I am bawling right now. Tears streaming down mt face. I know he's not hurting anymore, but I know you are (as are we).

Take care guys.

KitKat said...

I have followed Max over the years through his blog and books. He was just such an amazing kitty. I am so sorry he had to leave us Max was an inspiration to us all. Sending purrs of comfort to you. xoxo Joan Ryan and Grady Lewis

Brian said...

We are so very sorry to hear about your dear Max and we all send purrs, love and hugs your way.

Lyn said...

thank you for sharing Max with us. He will live always in the hearts of all who looked to his posts for a slice of feline wisdom. I know this is so hard for you but memories do help. love to you from my 20 year old Lucy and from me.
Lyn Stevens

Anonymous said...

So very sorry! I lost my best friend at the same age last year - she was truly a very special cat too! Max will always be with you - you'll shed a tear at his memory but also chuckle at things he used to do. Sending hugs.
Karen x

Unknown said...

I met Max on line 6 years ago and followed him weekly. He has lightened many a dark day with his snark. There are two boys - Cedric and Albert - waiting to meet him over the rainbow bridge, as I shared all Max's news with them. All my love,
Carol (UK)

Roberta said...

I'm at a loss of what to say. For years I've loved reading Max's blog and his "Ask Max" column. I feel as though I've lost one of my own cats. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Gemini and Ichiro said...

We knew that this was coming but Max had come through so many ups and downs that this was a shock. I still can't read this without tears. He was one of a kind and certainly you and he were meant to be together. I wish there were words to express how sorry I am, particularly coming so close after Buddah, but sometimes words just don't work.

CatLady32 said...

I am totally leaking right now. Max has been a beloved feline even though I’ve never met him. Thank you and the Man for sharing Max with us. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is a huge one felt by all who loved him. It isn’t often that we connect so deeply with our fur kids and when we have that special bond, the loss hurts even more. Please know that you gave Max the best life and that he will be waiting for you at the Bridge. RIP Max. I will miss you and your snarky posts.
🐾❤️🐾

Seville at Nerissa's Life said...

I'm so very sorry, my friend. Max is in Heaven now, romping through the great Heavenly nip fields, chasing butterflies, stopping only every now and then to look down upon you and smile. PURRS

Summer said...

I am SO sorry. Boodie was just about the same age as Max, and we had to let her go last week. So we feel your grief in a very personal way.

Diane S said...

Oh no.
How sad for you and your family.
Max was definitely one of a kind.❤️
I am so sorry💔💔💔

Unknown said...

I will so miss Max's posts- he was the first Cat Blogger I ever read. Thank you for sharing this dear cat's quirks and life with us. I'm so sorry for your loss of him. RIP, Max the Cat.

Allthingsfoodie said...

We are not going to say RIP Max, but rather, have a blow out awesome time over the bridge with all of your furriends from before. Beau Beau and Angie will be there to greet you. Thank you Max for having been a happy part of so many lives during your long and well loved life here on Earth. The story of your life is a beautiful thing. We will miss your online words and story dearly. Much love to your family and friends who will miss you so much. ❤️😻❤️🐾
Brenda, Beau Beau and Angie over the bridge, and Tommy and Teaghan.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, I discovered the wonderful snarkiness of dear Max many years ago. I am so grateful you were able to give him a voice and share him with so many of us. We are grieving with you, I hope you can feel our love and support, Max was a lucky cat to have found you.

William’s Kith & Kin said...

We can't even begin with this, and our mom is about to short out the laptop with tears. We all know that all Max's pals are celebrating his arrival, but back here his absence will be wide and deep. We are crushed.

What a wonderful gift he was to us all. We bid him adiós and send you much love.

Chris North said...

I am just so sad. I hope Mira gets to meet Max at the Bridge. I am a flood of tears and I am writing to you now. You and max always had the best advise for me and my kids. We are sending you the hugest of hugs. And I mean the HUGEST. May time begin to find a way to fill those giant-sized kitty holes in your heart.

ANGEL ABBYGRACE said...

I know you don't know me too well or maybe not at all, but since I began blogging in 2005 when I adopted my beloved departed Abby I have read about Max. He and Timothy Dickens were the first two blogs I recall. Back in those days it was far and few between as far as cat blogs. I am so very sorry for you loss, and I know that words are of little comfort, but I'm positive that the way you feel about all of those wonderful memories you have will help soften this painful time. One thing that did help me was having the blog and looking back on so many things I had forgotten, it was a testament to the wonderful life well lived. Sending you lots of hugs and prayerful thoughts.

Oakley said Sugar said...

Oakley and Sugar, his Canuck fanz, will miss his wit and wisdom. My having loved and lost also, am sending you a mega tons of hugs.
Mondays will never be the same. I'm glad the young human brought your sweet Max to you too.❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

Colleen said...

I am so sorry. Max brought smiles and laughter into my life like no other blogging kitty did. And he brightened so many lives that he touched. I’ll miss Max. Sending aloha to you and your hubby. Purrs ......

Smilie and L.A. said...

Peace! and a life filled with many memories! I discovered Max when I was 65 and Smilie came into my life. Having never had a young kittie before Max taught me about all things CAT! Both Smilie and I are ever so grateful. Deep PURRRSSS. He will always be with you, just not where you can see him!

Barebara Marler said...

Im so very sorry to read the news about Max's passing. How difficult it must have been for you. Max is happy now and doesn't feel sick anymore or have any problems of any kind. Thank you for helping Max bring this wonderful column of Ask Max to us every week. I looked forward to it so much. But he knew he had lived a good long life being loved by you and pampered. You were the best human mom he could have ever asked for. Prayers for you and your husband as you adjust to having both Max and his brother now moving on and please take comfort in knowing you gave them the best possible life while there were both here on earth. I shall miss Max tremendously.

Unknown said...

I so loved Max's snark and also his insights into cat and human nature. His early books made me laugh and cry and I read them over and over. It is hard to lose any pet, but your heartache is so deep and wide that I hope you can look to a future where only the memories of good times are there. I think I will go read a book.

Patty L said...

I'm so sorry about Max. We lost our Silky one week before Max - Silky was 20 1/2 years old. How you described Max was the way we had with Silky. She had good days when she was like a kitten, then some bad ones when all she wanted to do was sleep, drink water, and get to the litter box. That went on for a couple of months. But then last Friday, she couldn't make it all the way to the litter box, her back legs splayed out, and didn't want any water or gravy-food. We knew it was time because she didn't complain when I picked her up. We were with her the whole time at the vet, even though covid was changing things, they let us stay with her. She was cremated, and we just got the call that her ashes were ready. So I understand how Max's parents feel - I feel the same way.

catladymac said...

I am sitting here crying with my 10 year old boy Orion an mylap. He just spent three days at the vets til we figured out that the URI wasn'[t repomding to antibiotics because he had a virus.

catladymac said...

I started another comment about my boy Orion who has an enlarged kidney that doesn't bode well, so I am crying while we cuddle and I mourn with you for sweet - well, no that's the wrong word, but - dear - much loved Max. He lived until he was ready to go ( on to his next adventure, as an animal communicator told me about another of my kitties, and you didn't let him down. He was so loved, not just by you, and he will be so missed, and so remembered. Just think of all Those Who Have Gone Before who are cheering "Here he comes !"

Gidget Blue Sky said...

maz, yoo r a rock star...................

sasha + max studio said...

So sad to hear this news. What a great long life Max had, we loved reading his books and the blog. This doesn’t make anything easier for you humans, who will carry his memories in your hearts forever.
Sending you our thoughts and love, Sasha, and her human, Vicki

Maureen K. said...

I'm so very sorry about Max - no matter how long they live, it's never long enough!
Prayers for you and the Man. Have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing Max's story with us. May you have peace, knowing that he is in no more distress and knowing that HE knew how you loved him. Sincerely, Maureen K.

Nancy Gartner said...

I am so sorry to hear about our beloved Max. To loose both him and Buddah so close together has to be unbearable. Max was such a special boy. I have a feeling that he talked to you the way my C!aude talked to me. Every night, when we would curl up in bed, Claus would tell me all about his day and wbe would have the longest conversations. Claude went to the a year avk. I was really crying today missing him so much. And now Max. I am sobbing. I hope there is the biggest party at the bridge and it goes on for days! I extend my hugs and love to you and the man. It sure will be quiet in your home! I am so sorry. Max was the best cat and had the best advice. I sure will miss his column
.

Bernadette said...

Just sending love through my tears.

pilch92 said...

This is such sad news. I am so sorry. XO

da tabbies o trout towne said...

Max, while we didn’t have the honor of knowing you
as long as the rest of your friends, we are so very sorry
We hope it helps your people to know, that, regardless
of one’s “faith”, St Francis stayed by your side every step
of the way to heaven, so you had no pain, no suffering,
and you didn’t feel alone, or afraid. As you start your
tenth life, we send hugs and loves to you, and your family
still here on earth. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

da tabbies o trout towne said...

pea ezz. we thinkz Hershy iz gonna give ewe de biggest...

soundz like ham....

HUG......

EVER ...lovez two ewe both❤️❤️

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry. Max was a special kitty, and you were a special human woman to him. Purrs and love from all of us.

Deziz World said...

Such bootyful memories. We're so sorry fur your loss. We're sending hugs and purrayers.

Luvs ya'

Raena and Dezi

messymimi said...

Because i am so very far behind in blog reading, i am just getting the news. My heart hurts with you. He was glorious.

Tamago said...

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet Max. Sounds like he was a really amazing kitty. Sending warm hugs xo

Cleo said...

We didn't know Max too well but we sure do know the hurt of losing a beloved pet that you've had for so long. Dad says we'll send loving purrs and healing thoughts your way, and he also says the blogging world is so full of others who know just how you feel. He lost his old Orbit after about 23 years and held him in his arms during his last moments before crossing the bridge, too. He says it was so hard, but he's so glad he did it. He and mom also know the quiet that befalls a home when such a wonderful presence is no longer there. Be well, and even though we didn't know Max our hearts hurt for you.

The J-Cats said...

We didn't know Max, and it seems we lost out immeasurably by not doing so. But We understand the pain of losing a beloved companion of so many years. How blessed you both were to have had each other for so long.
He is still watching over you from the RB and will wait for you patiently until the day you are reunited.
Fly free, Max, safe in the Mighty Paw of the Great Cat in the Sky.

Mickey's Musings said...

Yes, an era has ended but that does not make the loss any easier to take.
We send you lots of hugs and purrs. This will take a while to get over.
Purrs, Julie and mum Nancy

Millie said...

Max changed your life, and because of Max, I have Millie and Millie has changed mine. Thank you for, well, for EVERYTHING! Sending hugs and purrs across the miles. Max was a Cat of a Lifetime. He will be sorely missed.

Millie & Mom Lynne

Timmy Tomcat said...

We have been coming by for a long time and loved Max. We send you all our purrs and prayers of support as when you have a family member for that long it is so very difficult so say goodbye. Max Fly free until that day we all meet again. Love you buddy
Timmy and Family

Atticus' mom said...

I will deeply miss Max's wisdom and snark! My heart breaks for you!! He was a special cat who was loved by many who never knew him. I'll hug my furballs closer today (if they will let me) on Max's behalf.

You gave him an amazing life and he responded with his love!!

Mom to Atticus, Rhubarb, Precious, Cat5, and Dora

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs said...

We are so sorry for your loss. And even more sorry that we never got to meet your wonderful Max.
May Max fly free, strong, young and healthy will all his fellow angels over the catnip meadows, chasing butterflies and enjoying a peek down through the clouds at the furmily he left behind, with love and fondness.

We know Max will be sorely missed, and we hope all the wonderful memories you made over the years, will always remain with you, cherished forever in your heart.

((((( ♥ )))))

Heavenly Purrs
AngelsWBS

Robyn Harton said...

it was gloriouis for us friends too. Fly free Max.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

Yesterday morning, I read the sad news. Yesterday afternoon, I went shopping. Last night I wrote a comment of deep feelings of loss about Max. Today, I went to read other comments and realized my comment never showed up.

I didn’t write immediately yesterday because tears were streaming down my face and I type badly enough under normal conditions. And I wanted to organize my thoughts. I went shopping because you mentioned a couple times that Max loved Gerber’s Turkey, so I thought I would buy some for The Mews as a sort of Wake meal. Last night I wrote about important Max was in our lives here. And it is gone into Internet Hell.

Some expressions of sadness can never be fully replicated, but I will try again (and this time doing it in Word so I can save it).

Max was the most important cat in my life that I never met nose-to-nose. I discovered his blog while I was still employed in a stressful job. He made my day tolerable. I had never considered the idea of a cat blogging. Max made me smile with his snark and Catitude.

Max is why I blog.

When I retired in 2006, reading Max’s blog at home, I found a couple other cat blogs. “Somewhere” I saw a “free blog” button and clicked it. Skeeter and LC and I were into another world. Skeeter and LC went over The Bridge in a couple of years. They were both elderly when we started. But there was still Max. Ayla joined me, then I was guided to Marley and eventually Iza and suddenly there was “The Mews”.

Because of Max.

None of us can ever truly know the depths of loss another person feels when a beloved cat friend leaves us. We can try, from our own experience, but grief and loss is so personal. I was shattered when Skeeter left. Driving home from the Vet took a long time because I couldn’t drive and cry at the same time. I had to pull over many times during the short trip.

Reading Max’s blog helped after the dark days.

I am sure that Skeeter, LC, Iza and all the cats over The Bridge were waiting there to greet and honor Max when he arrived. The meows, licks and sniffs are probably still going on. He had That Many Friends.

I explained again about The Bridge to Ayla, Marley, and Laz as they ate the Gerber’s Turkey solemnly in Max’s honor. It reassures them to know we will all be together again after a brief parting.

I’ve been blogging for 14 years now, because of Max. Damn, I’m going to miss that Dood! 19 1/2 years were Too Few! He made such a difference in my life…

VickyC said...

So sorry for your loss, I'll miss his weekly words of wisdom.
Sending you head bonks and big hugs.

Darla M Sands said...

My heart goes out to you. ~hugs~ I'm sorry not to have found your blog sooner but am grateful to Eastside Cats because now I can read this amazing story.

purrmonster said...

Oh, Max, I'm sorry to see you go, even though I know you were hurting toward the end. I've so loved reading your blog and all your attitudinous comments about people, as well as your Mousebreath column and books.

My Angel and Gandalf will miss you, too . . . I expect Angel will join you over the Bridge in not too far a future and I know you'll show her around.

Genie said...

My heart goes out to you and the man, I know how miserable you are feeling but you did the right thing. I'm sure Max trotted over that bridge and immediately took over. I have a tuxie who's now 12 but she doesn't blog like Max. She and her sibling do not get along(sound familiar?)

God bless you for staying with him to the end. I always stay with mine when their time comes because you know your face is the last one he will see.

I discovered Max's blog in 2007 and have loved his (and your)spirit. God bless you and keep you safe. Know that when you cross the bridge, he will be there to greet you and show you the way. Peace...

Debby said...

My condolences to you and the man. I am so sorry for your loss. I will miss Max, too. I found his "Rules" on Amazon when we adopted our cats Minibelle and Petite and I was looking for advice about how to be a good guardian. I certainly learned the lesson about spoiling the kitties. Thank you for sharing Max with all of us. I will be thinking of him when I read more of the Wick books.

Nanük said...

We send respect,

Nuk & family