(1020 Words) 17 Dec. 2017
by S.R.A. Markin
I remember the day we got you. You were no bigger than my teenage palm. You walked straight into Misty’s food dish and helped yourself. I thought she was going to eat you.
That night, dad put you in the washroom along with a bed, a food dish, and some water. I couldn’t sleep, so I brought you down to my room. You were light. You and I played on my bed. For some reason, I put a loonie down on my sheets. You walked over it and peed. I guess you don’t care for money? I kept my lights on all night. I would throw a little ball up the stairs, and you would try and run up and hit the ball. The ball was much faster than you, but I admire how many times you would chase it. I made you a fort with my blankets. You cuddled in and went to sleep. I fell asleep too. When I woke up, I couldn’t find you for a while. You were playing behind my TV stand. I saw you next to some little poop on my TV guide.
Years later, when we turned on the fireplace, and it didn’t take you long to wiggle your way over and fall asleep. You would just lay there on your back with an orange furry stomach stretched out and paws open and pointed towards the warmth. You knew how to find the warm places. You would allow Misty to get comfy in a heap of blankets or on the couch, and once the spot was warm, you were relentless nudging her and taking her stop. I know she misses that.
Maxwell, you would try and fit in places that something of your size probably shouldn’t try for. I know you loved Pepsi boxes, well any box really, but some of my fondest memories of you was when you would curl up in a fat ball with your body pushing against the walls of the box. That box got destroyed.
You were loyal. I could bother you by calling your name and running around you. You would spin around meowing, and when upset, your tail would rattle like a snake while backing up slowly. I would pick you up and hold you firmly. You would purr loud. I knew when it was time to put you down, once you started wheezing.
You were such a charmer and a brat. When my female friends would come over, and each time you, Maxwell, would rub yourself against them. You would purr and encourage my attention. I often tried to call you over to me, and I know you looked at me; I know you did! But I got ignored.
I would hear scratching at my door. This was a game to you that I figured out quickly. I would get up from doing homework or watching TV, and open my door. There was nothing there, so I would sit back down and resume. More scratching, sometimes even harder. I would open the door, and if I were quick enough, I would see your little orange butt turning the corner. And if I were fast, you would acknowledge me and rub your cute small head on the edge of the wall while looking at me. You had such sweet eyes.
You took up a lot of my leg room. I would let you in at night to sleep with me. Well, we both know I didn’t have much of choice. Sometimes you would find various spots to sleep in, sometimes up against my body near my armpits or between my knees pushing my legs outwards. I preferred my armpits so that I could cuddle you like a pillow, and because sleeping with my legs like that is very uncomfortable. I miss the uncomfortable nights.
You loved food, just as I do. Open a can, and your chubby tabby body could run. You would push Misty out of the way with your head. Why couldn’t you share? There was plenty of room for you both. You had your dish! You were so difficult to move over, physically imposing when you wanted food. I guess we can’t always be charming eh, buddy? When I would cook in the kitchen, I would just pick up the can opener, and I would feel a push on my legs, sometimes I would lose my footing. You knew I was too weak to not share with you. I miss sharing with you.
The last days I saw you were on your birthday, May 8th. I don’t know why I didn’t take you with me. I thought you would be best at home with the other cats and lonely in my apartment. I came to see you. We drove from downtown to the deep south to bring you to the hospital. You were skinny. My girlfriend at the time accompanied me. You went straight to her like I wasn’t even there. You purred, and you meowed. She picked you up, and we got you ready for the trip. My goodness, you were loud in the car. I kept making noises and tried to reassure you that everything was okay. You and I both knew it wasn’t.
The ladies there loved you. You were behaved and quiet for them. They petted you and took tests. You were even good for the vitamin-B shot, which seemed to have given you back a little of your energy, almost like when you were young.
The ride home, you were a little more comfortable. Maybe more at peace. We got you back home, and you laid on the linoleum upstairs in the kitchen. I stood at the bottom of the stairs looking at you. My vision was a little blurry, but I remember everything. I was told I should stay and play with you. I thought it was best to let you rest, and that I would see you again.
I see you when I think of you. I still think of you, Max.