As cats go, Maxx was a stand-out winner. He had no front claws so he wouldn't destroy stuff around the house. He was, for all intents and purposes, a mute. He never meowed for any reason (except when in the car on the way to the vet's office. Then he made a soft but desperate meowing) so he didn't disturb anyone. He did have a very loud purr that was a happy and welcome sound. Lastly, he had no, uh, that is to say we had removed his... well... Let's just say the family line stops with him, and he never made any attempt to escape the house and find his "destiny" so to speak. On the down side, and I guess there must always be a down side, he would eat the rubber bands off of the newspaper, knock over any glass or cup he found unattended and had this habit of jumping out from behind the Lazy Boy and attacking one's feet. Tying shoes in his presence could also be an exercise in futility. These was all a small prices to pay. All he ever asked from us was love, a full bowl, a clean box and continuation of the newspaper subscription.

He wasn't without his trials. When rather young, he tried to fly off of our second floor balcony and failed to remain airborne. I had to run downstairs and retrieve him. Lucky for him he didn't freak out and start running. I found him cowering behind the railing of the balcony below us. One other time, he was missing for three days. We suspected he had gotten out somehow and wandered off. For days we went around the complex where we lived and tried to call for him. We never found a trace. We put up posters around the complex offering a $50 reward, but never had any response. One night while I was at work, Robert thought he heard him calling. He and Mary went outside and tried to find him to no avail. Later he started calling again, but this time Robert followed the sounds to his closet. Sure enough, Maxx had gotten caught between an old box spring and the wall and couldn't get out. You see, I was helping Robert clean his closet one afternoon and I had pushed this box spring against the closet wall. We had no idea that Maxx was inside this box spring taking a nap. Because of his habit of never making any sound, he remained there until he got hungry enough to "say something". Well, he got fed, Robert got the $50 reward, we got our pussy cat back and the complex found out we had a cat and charged us $300 for a pet deposit. Rats!

Maxx survived our move from that apartment to another apartment. He also survived the move to our new home. Just before this last move, we acquired Missy. They didn't get along very well. In fact, Maxx started taking his displeasure out on us. After the move, I figured it would be a fresh start for them since both of them would have to stake out new territories from scratch. Things were a bit better, but still chilly. One afternoon I tossed a bunch of catnip on the floor and the two of them started playing. The frost melted.

About 2 months after the move, Maxx started getting very sick. We took him to the vet and were told he had a feline virus that didn't offer much hope of recovery. Missy wasn't the carrier, so it was suspected that he had been infected at birth and the usual shots had kept it at bay for only so long until various stresses caused it to become active. We couldn't take him home for fear of infecting Missy, so we gave him every chance to recover at the vet's but in the end, he lost. We went to see him one day and he was in such bad shape that we had him put down on the spot. At least we were able to be with him at the end.

He now rests in a small urn on the shelf of an antique bookcase in the living room; gone but not forgotten. He was about 4 years old when he died.


The "Kitty" Cycle

As one might expect, the sojourn to the bowl was one of the highpoints of Maxx's day.


This high point would lead to the other high point of his day.


Conclusion Of Cycle

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