Sweet Max: A Story of Adoption and Healing

I ♥ cats!   Most of my friends love cats too and the few that were either anti-cat or on the fence, tell me Mr. Max is the first cat they’ve ever met that they really like.   Max has a way of winning over the most ardent cat hater.

Max has developed a bit of a fan club in the four years I’ve been blogging.  If several weeks go by and he doesn’t show up in a post, I start to get comments and emails asking how he’s doing.    So this post is for all the cat lovers and those who fall in the camp of Max’s Fan Club. :)  Today I thought I’d share a little about how this sweet furry face came into my life.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

I’ve always had a kitty, always.  My last three cats went to kitty heaven at the ages of 16, 17 and 18.  I waited a year or two after the last one,  then one day I knew it was time.   I hopped into the car and drove out to a local no-kill cat shelter.  I was a little nervous as I walked through the large room where they let all the kitties roam free.   Would I find THE ONE, the one that felt like my cat.   Adopting a cat is a forever commitment.   They are children, four legged children with fur.   That purr.

The visit was a nice one but no one kitty stole my heart.  The only criteria I really had in the back of mind was I didn’t want a cat that was white, or blue (gray) or a silver tabby.  My last three kitties, all Persians had been those colors and they were completely irreplaceable.  I was afraid getting a kitty the same color would remind me of them too much and make me sad.

After walking through the large kitty room and not finding one that felt like a good fit, I started to leave.   As I got to the door, I turned  to the shelter worker and asked if they had anymore cats elsewhere or expected to get any more in.  She said, “Well, we have some cats over on the other side that have just come in, but they are still under quarantine and not ready for adoption.”  I asked if I could see them.

She hesitated, then allowed me into a room filled with a long row of cages.  This room was very different from the other kitty room.  The other one had been much larger and the kitties were allowed to roam freely, lounging on shelves and cat perches everywhere.   There were no kitties roaming freely here, just lots of metal cages.  I could see some of the cages were empty but a few did contain an occupant.  I walked slowly down the long row peering in, hoping to find the one that would say, “I’m yours, get me out of this place.”

I love big cats and one good-size kitty caught my eye.  His coloring was very different from any cat I’d ever had.  That was good…no reminders to make me sad.  I asked to see him out of the cage.   The shelter employee was reluctant, reminding me they weren’t ready for adoption, yet.  I said I understood, but could I please just see him out of the cage.  I can be persistent that way.

She opened the cage and pulled out a large, very thin cat.  He looked scared and relieved, all at the same time.  I loved his unique coloring, how big he was and his sweet face.  As she held him in her arms, I reached out and stroked his silky, soft fur.  I could feel his bones underneath.  He was so thin.

I asked to hold him.  The worker said, No, she couldn’t really allow that since he was still in quarantine.   I promised her I wouldn’t touch any of the other cats.   Then I asked, “How will I know if he’s the right one if I can’t hold him?”    She relented and held him out toward me.

As I eagerly reached to take him, this large, pitifully thin kitty leaned out, grabbed hold to me and wrapped both his arms tightly all the way around my neck.   With his little faced smashed up against my check, my heart melted.  In all my years of having cats and snuggling with them, I’d never had a cat wrap their arms all the way around my neck like that.  In that split second, I looked at the worker and said, “I’ll take him.”  I had heard him loud and clear, “I’m yours, get me out of this place.”

Mr. Max had to stay in quarantine for two more days and it killed me to see her place him back in the cage, but the very first second they said I could bring him home, I did.  There was never any “getting to know each other” time or awkward moments.  Max acted like we had always been together and somehow had just been separated.  They estimated he was around 3 years old then and that was back in 2000, so Max is around 15 now.

When I brought Max home, he was skin and bones.  It was a joy to see him eat up a storm and fill out.   For the first few weeks while I was at work during the day, he hid himself away in the small linen closet inside my master bath off the master bedroom.  After about three weeks he graduated to hiding underneath my four-poster bed, only coming out when I was in the room.   After another month or so, he felt comfortable enough to spend his days on top of the bed instead of under it.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

He was still afraid to leave my bedroom

…but after a few more weeks he grew brave enough to explore the upstairs.  (Max in the Guest Bedroom)

Max in Guest Bedroom

Finally, after another month or two, he felt safe enough to come downstairs to the kitchen when I was cooking.  He never showed any fear of our Golden Retriever, Jake,  but teenage boys…that was something totally different.

I noticed right after bringing Max home, every single one of his little pink toes had a round, hole/sore about the size of a pencil eraser.  Eventually the wounds scabbed over and healed.   Our adopted fur babies can’t talk, so I don’t know what caused those sores.  But what I do know is that for the next couple of years Max was absolutely terrified of teenage boys.

He had no fear of women or men, none at all.  But each day when my son, Chip and his friends came bounding into the house and up the stairs to Chip’s room, calling out and talking to each other in their boisterous teenage boy ways, Max was terrified and dove under the bed to hide.  If Chip came into the room to pet him, he was frantic to escape until he realized it was Chip.  Then everything was okay.

It took 2-3 years for Max to get past his fear of teenage boys.   I have often wondered if before he ended up at the shelter, if he had been tortured by some teenage boys.  Could the round sores on his toes have been cigarette burns?  They were about the right size.  Whatever happened, those horrible memories seem to be gone now.  Max hasn’t been afraid of teenage boys or anyone now for many years.

Max also got his purr back.  Seriously!  The first year or so after I adopted him, he never purred.  I had never had a cat that didn’t purr.  But after about a year, he began to purr and it’s the most wonderful sound.  Have trouble falling asleep at night…get yourself a cat!  Nothing will send you off to sweet dreams better than a purring furry face snuggled up against you.

Max has a hard life these days.  Each morning when he wakes up, there are big decisions to be made.  There are choices about where to sleep on the porch.  Perhaps the wicker settee…

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

or maybe a more secluded spot just right for squirrel and bird watching.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 The porch is definitely a a great place to get a good chin scratch…

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 Or, to crash for a nap.  Now you know the real reason it’s called Between Naps on the Porch. ;)

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 Sometimes when snoozing, the humans think they are clever and sneak up…

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 But that’s okay…

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 Because Mr. Max loves to play.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 After napping, it’s time for an afternoon bath…

Then it’s time to head upstairs to the office to get a little work done.

There are blog posts to be written.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 Blogging is hard work and a cat gets thirsty.

Why go all the way downstairs when there’s a glass right here. ;)

Do your cats do this when you leave the room?

After all that blogging, it’s usually time for another nap.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 When the desk is too cluttered, there’s always the office chair.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 Max loves the desk in the office.  Look closely at this pic below and see if you can tell why. :)

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 He’s totally convinced it was designed this way for him.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 After all that blogging and napping, it’s time to watch a little cat TV.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 The Squirrel Show is one of his favorites.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 When night rolls around, it’s off to bed, another full kitty day behind him.

Max puts the Nap in Between Naps on the Porch

 

Max is our second adopted kitty and he has been a blessing.  There’s no way to describe the joy and love he brings into our lives.  Pets are a big commitment but they give back tenfold what they receive.  Adopt one if you can and if you can’t, please give generously to the shelters.

One of my very favorite shelters here in the Atlanta area is FurKids.  They are a no-kill shelter and once when I found a stray that turned out to have feline aids, they were the only shelter of all the ones I called that was willing to take him if I was unable to find him a home.  The hair sytlist of a friend of mine took him but I will never forget that FurKids was the only shelter willing to take him when no one else would.  Not even the shelter where I had previously adopted two cats would help me out.  If you live in Metro Atlanta, check out FurKids. They have both kitties and doggies available for adoption. You’ll find their website here: FurKids




Comments

  1. I love this story about Max! I have adopted three cats over the years. I agree that cats are such good company and really just furry children that purr!

  2. Michele from IL says:

    Great story of Mr. Max. Pets bring such great joy! :)

  3. Awwww..that brought tears to my eyes. ALL of my animals (except 1 cat) have been rescues–4 dogs, 6 cats, 3 guinea pigs and 5 birds. (not all at the same time, but there is overlap)

    I am glad Max was able to find such a loving home where he feels cherished and safe.

  4. That is the greatest story, I have a Yorkie named Deuce, but I love cats as well. Pets make the best companions when our children become independent teenagers.

  5. Kitty kisses to Max! We have had cats for most of my life, I just love them! Our Max lived to be 17. When he passed away, I had to wait an agonizing 4 months before I found my two sweet kitties, Jack & Buster.

  6. Great story!! I loved the photo shoot and your commentary. He’s a treasure.

  7. Shannon Fox says:

    I don’t think I have ever read a blog post about a cat… it was delightful :) Max is very handsome!! Such pretty markings. We always adopt too. I can’t imagine not saving a life if I could :) Your photos of him are beautiful!!

  8. Oh I love this story. We are cat folks too and have two big black Persians that have total “rule the roost” duties over us and the house. I had my last one for 16 years and he brought so much joy. Took me three years to be ready for another one, and we got these two brothers a year ago, when they were 12 weeks old. They bring much joy and laughter to us everyday. Give Max a pat, from Saylor and Clancy. :)

  9. Glenda/MidSouth says:

    What a wonderful story – I had to get a tissue. I have had several cats over the years, sadly some with sad memories. Would love to have a sweet kitty again, however allergies stopped that. :(
    Max – You are one lucky cat ! :-D
    Susan enjoy your weekend.

  10. Oh, how much our pets add to our lives. Lovely story about a wonderful cat and a wonderful owner :)

  11. Oh, Susan, you have me laughing and crying at the same time! I love rescue stories. Pets bring so much to our lives simply by loving us unconditionally; I can’t imagine not having at least one little furface hanging about. Mr. Max is certainly a handsome little man and I must say, quite an exceptional writer, as well. May he purr for you for many more years to come. :)
    Nancy >^..^<

  12. Barbara says:

    Just love your story and photos of Max. He is lucky you found him and you were lucky too!

  13. Thank you for sharing Mr. Max’s adoption story, it was so heartwarming. May he have many, many more happy years Between Naps on the Porch. Our family is owned by four delightful felines and one of them is also a ‘hugger’ like your Max. There’s nothing quite like those moments of pure love and devotion.

  14. Teresa Halluday says:

    I love this post…we have 3 kitties…all strays that showed up on our porch. I dread to think what would have happened to them had we not found them. Now they rule the roost and their daily schedules are pretty much what Max’s is! I work at home and I have one who thinks he should sit on my keyboard (when HE wants, of course)!!! We love them like you love Max. There is nothing better than watching a cat at its daily chores! Thank you for sharing Max’s story and pics!!!

  15. I’m also a cat lover… Always have been. My husband and son are allergic so for many years we didn’t have one until 5 years ago hubby relented and said we could adopt one. We found our Tiger at the county shelter and he is my 5th kid. We love him dearly and crazy thing is my son and hubby have never had an allergic reaction!

    I love Furkids also. My two younger kids volunteer there whenever they can.

    • That’s awesome! I know my son has allergies to some cats and not others , too. I’m not sure why. He still has two cats, despite the allergies. Tiger sounds perfect! :)

  16. This is such a sweet post, Susan. Mr. Max has a sweet face like our little Abby. Abby was a shelter kitty, only about 5 weeks old when we adopted her. She was in a cage with a “bunch” of other kitties, but she stood up at the front of the cage with her cute little (very little) white furry body & big blue eyes & seemed to say “Pick me, pick me!” And that’s exactly what we did, but I had to feed her with a feeding syringe ( a mixture of baby food meat mixed with kitty formula). We also had to keep a heating pad on the sofa & a heated thing in her little bed at night. During the day (for a couple of weeks) I made a cloth pouch sling that I wore and carried her around so she could stay warm. We almost lost her twice, but we all persevered, and she survived and thrived. She is now seven, which is probably the number of lives she has left….lol! She is so sweet & very much bonded to both The Man & I. She adapted so easily to our move last year to this home. She spends a great deal of time in my sewing-craft room, & then with us in the family room at night. We are so grateful to have this little “furball” of love in our lives. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet “Mr. Max” story.
    CAS

  17. What a sweet story. My cat lived to be 21 and she will always hold a special place in my heart :) Max looks very happy that you are a part of his forever home.

  18. I really enjoyed reading about Max’s adoption story. So glad you opened your home and heart to him. He is lucky to have such a caring family to look over him. We have 3 rescue dogs. They are such a joy to have. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Oh I love this story! I too am a cat lover. I have two rescued cats that are my furrbabies. Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. What a wonderful story! When my beloved cat George passed away it left an empty place in my heart and in my lap. I immediately searched for a cat I could adopt and give a second chance. I found a wonderful orange striped cat named Hobbes whose owner died a few days after my cat George had died. No one in his family wanted Hobbes so he was taken to a shelter. He was the perfect cat for our family and I truly feel he was destined to be ours. I feel like Hobbes’ old owner is up in heaven taking care of my George and I am down here taking care of Hobbes for him. You are right…the best way to fall asleep is with a purring cat in your arms.

  21. Carolyn Myers says:

    What a beautiful kitty! I have a cat that showed up as a stray at my sisters and since she already had 3 cats and a dog, she couldn’t take him so she talked me into taking him. He is the cat in my profile picture.

  22. Thanks for sharing Max’ story, I’m sitting here fighting back tears. Max has landed in kitty heaven with you. All cats belong in homes like yours. God bless you for rescuing him as an adult. More people need to do that. I rescue cats and know the joy in seeing an abused, unwanted animal come out of their shell and show their true selves. It’s nothing short of miraculous at times.

    Four week ago I lost my border collie to liver cancern. Girl was 13 years old. Our dog Brutus who is 8, lived his entire life with Girl so when she passed he was totally depressed and lost weithout her. After watching him mourn for 2 weeks and not being able to stand it any longer I went to rescue a dog off of death row at an area shelter. Googie is the new dog, whose prevous owner kept him tied up with a cable around his neck and it embedded in the neck as it wraapped around not once, but twice. He was at a high kill shelter and was going to be euthanized. So I had the lady at the shelter do a couple of temperment tests on him to ensure he could come into my house with my present dog and senior cats. He passed the temperment tests with flying colors.

    He’s a German Shepherd mix and very smart. Estimated to be around 6-10 months of age. Tonight I was not oo happy with him when he came in from outside covered in wet mud. We’ve had a lot of rain and he thinks it’s great fun to run through the puddles in the yard. Into the shower he went. LOL Anyway, he’s made Brutus and my husband and I very happy. The cats just think he’s nuts and stay out of his way. They know he’s harmless in his goofiness.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

    • Patsy, so sorry you lost Girl and I know what you mean about them grieving. It took Max a while to quit looking for Jake, our dog when he passed. It’s amazing how sensitive and intuitive they are. So glad you have Googie, now. :)

  23. Oh, I read every word, what a sweet, sweet story, that is one lucky cat. I have a rescue cat too, Oh I love my Martin!

    Carol

  24. Susan…I cannot tell you how much i enjoyed reading the story about our beloved Max….It was meant to be for you to be at that shelter on that day…to ask the question, before you went out the door. It was Max calling out to you to please ask before you leave….I am waiting for you!…When you talked about how he wrapped his front legs around your neck, I got goose bumps!…You two were meant to be together…enriching each other’s lives…
    I have never understood how anyone could be so cruel to innocent animals…just breaks my heart!….
    Thanks so much for the Story of Max….I so truly enjoyed it!

  25. Oh, how I love this story, thanks so much for sharing it!! I also had one cat in my lifetime that would hug me around the neck, she was a walk on, appearing at our back door for weeks, we couldn’t find where she came from so finally took her in….her name?? TC for “The Cat”. She was wonderful, so much fun and when I picked her up right away she always hugged my neck!!! Many more cats have come into my life since then and they were all so loving, fun, and snuggle bunnies with loud purrs…….My black cat, Sam, is now 15 or 16 years old, he is actually a dog trapped in a cat’s body…….he follows me from room to room, sleeps at my feet when I am at the sewing/craft table, will retrieve curled up pipe cleaners, comes when called, and when I tap my leg will follow me to the next room…..he is a peach!!!

    • Aww, love TC’s story. People think cats won’t do those things, but our kitties over the years have always come to us when called…even if we were downstairs. Sam sounds like a love! Max follows me all day, too. Sooo sweet how loyal they are!

  26. Thanks for sharing the story of Max. He is a love.
    We have two cats. Molly is our Ragdoll, who knows my husbands bedtime routine so well, that she sips from his fresh glass of water every night after he places it on his nightstand and goes to brush his teeth. I caught her several times and was reluctant to mention it to him….but when I finally did…he just smiled :)
    They are best buds and he get those special kitty kisses that Molly saves just for him.

  27. I agree Shirley. There’s a special place in hell for the monsters who torture innocent animals. It made me sad to read what Max might have endured. Thank God you found him Susan and gave him such a loving home. Your post was so beautiful. And the pictures!! I especially loved the one where he’s looking at the squirrel, and the one where he’s sleeping on top of the desk, and the one where he’s typing a post, and the one where his paw is in the water glass…oh heck, I love them all!

    I grew up with a cat that was quite the character. She lived to be 14. I was given a gorgeous shaded silver persian as a gift when I was 20 who lived to be 17. When my daughter was 6 we got her a bichon (Bubbles) who died too soon at 13 from cancer. After my daughter graduated from college her boyfriend got her a cockapoo, (Charlie) and it’s a long story but he ended up being our dog for two years until I brought him to Singapore last year to be reunited with his mommy. Seeing him in quarantine for 10 days was something I never want to go thru again. We visited him every day for two hours, which was the maximum time allowed. We miss him sooooooo much. Charlie was my best friend and I took him everywhere I could. I returned to Singapore in February and he was as happy to see me as I was to see him.
    Someday we will get another dog, but our future is uncertain so it’s not a good time.
    Thank you writing such a thoughtful post Susan. It made me cry but that’s not always a bad thing. :)

    • Awww, that would kill me, too…the quarantine thing. You were soooo sweet to visit him each day. I had a kitty once that had to have a major surgery and was in intensive kitty care for a few days before they would let him come home. We did the same thing…all three of us visited him each day. He was so excited that we visited and I honestly believed it helped him to heal faster, knowing we hadn’t just left him there never to return. They are our babies, aren’t they? Thanks, Doreen!

  28. Thanks for sharing Max’s lovely story. Shelter and older kitties are fabulous, I love seeing their personality develop as they relax into family life I let them pick me and I’m happy to report that I’ve have had a unique loving friend each time I have adopted. Patty/BC

  29. Susan…this has been the most WONDERFUL post!!!! I just loved hearing all about you meeting Max and his wonderful journey of love in your life!! These precious animals have a way of becoming precious family members that we cherish and enjoy ~ hugs and love, Dawn

  30. Thank you for sharing your story about Max. I must say, he does have quite the busy schedule! What a joy he is, and so very handsome too.
    You truly understand cats. I love how you gave him the time to be under the bed, in your room and gradually explore the rest of his new home.
    I have had many cats over the years and the joy I have received from them is boundless. From one cat lover to another, thank you for sharing.

    Lolly
    I purrr, therefore I am…
    ;)

  31. Oh Susan (and Max) thank you for sharing your wonderful story!
    We lost our “little Sissy girl” 3 years ago and it took us 3-4 months to even say we could love another kitty again after such heartbreak. However, we knew when it “was time again” and my husband suggested we get two for the very reasons you mentioned; we didn’t want to be sad and comparing our previous kitty with a new one. So off to a no kill shelter I went and much to my surprise, two little sister kitties adopted me on a cold, rainy November night. When I went to sign all the paper work before I could take them home that evening, I saw that they were born the same exact day that our Sissy went to kitty heaven just 3 months prior! I think our “Sissy girl” had her paw in the match made in heaven for sure!
    Ever since that night, we have been head over heels, crazy in love with our little Pearl and Emmy…our little girls that have stolen our hearts more than we could have ever imagined! And you know what…my little Pearl girl wraps her paws around my neck in the morning for her hug to start the day and little Emmy hides under my robe at my feet while getting ready for work :o)
    Lastly then I promise to stop prattling on so…I cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would torture an animal of any kind and as one of your readers mentioned, there is a special place in
    “H-E-double-hockey-sticks” for them!
    Thank you again for sharing such a beautiful heart warming story of Mr. Max and his favorite girl!
    Terry

    • Awww, Pearl and Emmy sound wonderful! Sooo sweet! They are lucky kitties and what an amazing hubby you have saying let’s get two kitties! Amazing they were born on that date, too. They were def meant to be yours! They never replace our past kitties, we just make more room in our heart for them. ♥

      • Oh Susan, you always have such a beautiful way with words! “They never replace our past kitties, we just make more room in our heart for them. ♥”
        Hugs!

  32. Laurie Carlton says:

    Wonderful “fun” read. Thank you for writing it, and sharing the wonderful photos. I really enjoyed it!

  33. What a handsome fellow Max is. Seeing the photos and reading your story reminds me of my Eliza Dolittle who was also adopted around age 3. I had never had a cat and havent had one since as I have never felt there could be another even close to her. I think on many levels we were soul mates and thats tough to find in this life..

  34. I love this story! We have two young cats (they were kittens when they came to us) that my daughter found in a box on the streets of Philly. She took them to a shelter who then “fostered” them out to her–she ended up having to hand feed them and give them shots and the wole nine yards–and the shelter took them back when they were old enough to be spayed/neutered. Then the shelter would find a new home. (My daughter’s roommate said they had to go.) Well, one call to her cat-hating father was all it took…Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (who turned out to be a girl, so she is Rosie) are keeping the world safe for democracy here in North Carolina, with the “grandparents.”

  35. What a wonderful story. I never had any pets growing up and swore when I was old enough and had my own place that I’d get a dog. Funny how life isn’t what you always think it will be. We adopted a feral cat that really is my little baby and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

  36. Niurkaa says:

    I loved reading about Max. We also had a cat that looks just like your Max. He recently passed away quite suddenly. We had a total of four fur babies before he passed away. The other three were very close to him, so they were pretty upset not to see him around anymore. They are all back to normal again, but was pretty sad to see them looking for him. All of our fur babies get along so well, they clean each other, play together, sleep all snuggled together. Ages are 2, 4, and 7. Charlie is a shoulder cat. He like to lay across my shoulders! Wilson begs for me to give him ice to play with and Savanah just wants to lay on your lap – no matter that it is 100 degrees outside!
    Thanks for sharing your story about Max.

    • They sound sooo cute, Niukaa! I love when they all snuggle together. Max likes it when I put an ice cube in his water. I think he likes his water slightly chilled. He’s not spoiled. :) Savanah sounds like Max…doesn’t matter how hot it is, he wants to be in my lap! lol

  37. Karen So Fla says:

    It always warms my heart to meet other devoted cat lovers who consider these wonderful creatures part of the family. I currently share my home with 7 felines (one additional stray who lives in our courtyard-not yet trusting enough to come inside). I cannot ever image my home without four legged furry friend.

  38. Thank you for introducing me to Max! I love cats also and this time last year said goodbye to our “Skitty Kitty” after 20 years. Shortly before Skittles died, I had been dog sitting for a neighbor and found a newborn kitten along the side of a busy highway. He was going to die if I didn’t take him. He (Skippy) needed me and I needed him (Skittles died about two weeks later). I absolutely Skippy – he is full of personality and I definitely know HE knows I rescued him because he bonded so closely with me. Again, I just loved meeting Max! Lynn

  39. Susan,
    Max is changing your life in wonderful ways. Pets enrich our lives. We lost our beloved Maurice last September and we still miss her terribly.I understand that not purring thing…Maurice wouldn’t purr for me…only “Mr. Ed”! Thanks for sharing Max in your post…he’s such a handsome gentleman! I adored seeing his antics!
    Fondly,
    Pat

  40. Susan, I loved reading this wonderful story about how Max came into your life. All of our animals are rescues, and I can’t imagine life without them. It’s so hard to think that we inhabit Earth with despicable people who harm animals.

  41. DesertSparkle says:

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I am also a kitty lover. I lost 2 of my long time kitties last year but God was in control and brought be another one 3 weeks before the second one went to Heaven. She just showed up on my back porch one day and has been a part of our family ever since. I can’t imagine my home without a kitty. You mentioned how a kitties purr helps you sleep. Well, I have found it is also one of the best ‘medicines’ for a migraine headache!
    Thanks for sharing Mr. Max with us. I hope that your story will inspires any of those non-cat people to give one a try. I guarantee it won’t be long before a kitty moves into their heart and takes over!

    • Awww, so glad your furr baby appeared at your you door when they did. That’s pretty amazing about helping migraines. There’s no other sound like a purring kitty. :)

  42. Precious story! You two were destined!
    Max is a sweetie. I love all his poses! I’m a cat person too. I love their loving ways.
    He’s so cute how he lays in that cubbie area on the desk! What a tough life!

  43. Wonderful story! And we just adopted Harley (doggie) from a shelter. He is a wonderful addition to our family. My son and him hit it off from the beginning. It is amazing.! Max is having a wonderful life and it warms my heart. When i was at the shelter there were so many cats roaming around. One in particular kept trying to get my attention. I was there to get Harley but i tell ya if i could i would of took this cat home. I have told all my cat lover friends about it, hoping someone would . Everyone says they can’t. But i tell ya if i loaded my friends up in my car and took them to the shelter, i know we would be bringing some fur babies home with us. lol. I keep posting pictures of animals on my fb. Hoping they would spark some hearts and be adopted. Maybe i should put your story on there . Everyone loves happy endings! :) mishelle Ps. come see Henry on my blog. Just to say hi!

  44. After weeks of too-long work hours, I slept in this morning and woke leisurely to your blog post. How could I have missed reading about Max, before?? With my sweet, blonde, cocker spaniel, Sammie, snuggled beside me in bed, I was transported on a mini-vacation to “Max’s house.” What a beautiful story… And a great way to begin a quiet, restful Saturday! Always love your writing — and your gorgeous photography, Susan! Enjoy your weekend : )

  45. My favorite post today! As I read this my cat Pedro is laying on the floor at my feet as he does every day…just waiting to be pet. He was a “Free Kitty” from a cardboard box at a gas station near our lake cabin. I know what you mean when you say you were looking for “the one”. When I picked up this little tiger striped kitty with the white tummy and HUGE ears…I just knew! He has become the best cat we ever had…and is truly like a baby. Both my teenage boys scoop him up and cradle him like a baby doll as he reaches out with his paw to caress their cheeks…so sweet! He does show up on my blog now and again…because he is always around “helping” me with my projects! After reading Max’s story and seeing all his adorable pics…maybe I should give Pedro his 15 minutes of blog fame and give him a feature! Thanks for sharing…have a purrrrfect day! :)

  46. Susan, you have such a gift with sharing aspects of your life with all of us. THANK YOU. I very much enjoyed Max’s story. Both the photos and the text were perfect in capturing, “A day in the life of Max”. How special that you found one another! MM

  47. Such a lovely post, and a beautiful kitty! Of course, I think he is especially beautiful because he looks very like my Preacher (so named because the day I rescued him, he ‘preached’ to me all the way home, lol). He is a real talker. I also have Frank, a blue shorthair, and three dogs. They are the joy of my life, all are rescues. Sadly, I lost one of my babies last week. Zcat was absolutely the sweetest cat on earth. He came to me at three days old, after his mother was killed when something fell on her. I raised him on a bottle, and I am totally convinced that he believed I was his birth mommy! He was so wonderful. He had a long and happy life, and I know he is in Kitty heaven, but oh, how I miss him!!! Thank you for sharing your story of your life with Max. I hope you have him for a long time to come….Sandra

  48. I knew I liked you !!!
    Love how you found him and he found you.
    Sorry he had a bad past. A few of mine did too I think.
    I’ve gotten all of mine at rescure groups or as strays that arrived for lunch.
    And, you did indeed nap your blog after him.
    Thanks for sharing,
    JC and The Purr and Fur Gang

  49. Katharine says:

    Susan – What a wonderful post! I’ve lived with cats my whole life and know what a blessing they are. Thank you for reminding me; I’ll go right now and give them all a hug!

  50. Cecilia says:

    Oh, Susan!
    I knew you are a good-hearted person!
    Today is the first time your post made me cry, but I love it!
    I love it, because I love the part in which everything turned out to be the best for Max!
    I love happy-endings! ;-)
    I had no idea how terrible Max’s life (poor kitty!) has been BEFORE God sent him to you! Or you to him!
    Whatever, I’m sure it was a sign from above when you first met him!
    Susan, I once told you I believe in angels and I know they are watching over us and our beloved pets, also I know there’s NO place in heaven for those stupid people who traited Max or other kittys or dogs so badly! Ha!
    But a lot of hugs and “heavenly” greetings are sent your way, my friend!
    Cecilia

  51. I’m a complete cat person too, Shirley. Max is a very handsome boy – and I bet he has no idea he hit the kitty lottery when he wrapped his paws around your neck in that shelter. Talk about melting a person’s heart!! My kitty likes to wrap her paws around my arm, and she nuzzles and purrs against my cheek at the most inopportune times… but I love every second of it. :)

  52. Claudia says:

    What a handsome guy. I was never allowed to have pets growing up in my parents home. My Dad just would not allow it. I never understood why. Several years later I got a dog and was moving into an apartment that didn’t allow animals, my parents said that they would keep my dog. After my daughter was born I moved back home for a bit. My dog had bonded with my Dad and followed him everywhere. My father was diagnosed with emphysema and was really sick. My Mom let the dog out and it was hit by a car and died. My father cried and cried. It was a horrible day. My father passed soon after that. I allowed my daughter to get a cat when she was young. He was a tabby cat that was found in a dumpster. He was the funniest, lovingest cat I had ever known. We had him for 24 almost 25 years. He slept with me every night. When he passed on I cried and cried. I knew what my father had meant by not allowing me to have pets when I was young. It tears your heart out when they pass on…I still cry.

  53. Great story. I’ve always been a dog person, but I like all animals. We adopted our dog and she lived for 14 years! I still miss her.

  54. Judi M. says:

    I’m in love with Max. Thanks for the great story!

  55. Susan, this is such a great post–I am delighted to have been introduced to Max. We have 3 furkids, and they are very helpful and very sleepful. I didn’t have housecats until I met my husband, who’d had them all his life, and now I can’t imagine living without kitties in the house. They put us to bed and wake us up (to feed them, but still) every day. Thank you, and have a great weekend!

  56. Susan,
    Cats are a passion of mine. I always enjoy seeing Max in your posts. They are delightful family members that bring us much joy and laughter. Treasures, indeed!

  57. Max was a great choise and he’s so adorable! Wow, didn’t know cats lived that long, more than dogs I guess! I loved your post, and may you have many years of blessed love with Max at your side.
    FABBY

  58. This post has been wonderful! I am not a cat person, but a dog person only because I have never really met a cat with any kind of personality…..until now….Max sounds so wonderful and he is yours no doubt about it….. when you said he hugged you I had tears in my eyes……you have helped me to understand why people love cats…..I think it I could find one like Max, I could be won over to become a dog and cat lover…..and that is saying something believe me….the only cats I have any contact with in our community are the feral ones that live in the RV yard behind my property and they are nasty….mean, loud when mating, and they kill my quail and baby bunnies…. I know they have to eat but I wish they could be elsewhere….many people have tried to capture them as kittens and they are just too wild. And believe it or not, our AZ humane society wants $100.00 for each cat dropped off now…at least that is what the management says here at the park.
    This post has really got me thinking…..I hope max is with you for a very long long time, I know 16 years is old, but he looks really healthy and happy….:):) You are a good Mom!

    • Sandy, if you get a young kitty, he will be however you treat him. I think folks who have had negative experiences with cats are ones who bring a cat home and then ignore it. Max has all the traits you hear dog folks say that they love. He comes when I call him, no matter where I am in the house. He follows me from room to room. Wherever I go, he goes. He is a major lap cat…would lay in my lap all day if I let him. He’s laying taken to laying by my feet while I work…guess because the floor is cooler than the ottoman for summertime. They can be so affectionate. It’s a little harder if you adopt an older cat whose personality is somewhat set, but you would love a kitten, I think…and there are plenty in the shelters and humane society.

  59. Amy Davis says:

    I love this story of Max. I am also a cat lover and I am on my third black cat. There is nothing like the love of a cat.

  60. Madonna says:

    It is his eyes. He has kind eyes.

  61. Max is a cutie, and he sounds like a very sweet cat. I had a special cat for 21 years, and now have four dogs, so I know how special your pet is to you. I have a special Paws and Claws Pet Day on my blog every Friday where others can do a guest post about their pet (and I share other pet info). You’re more than welcome to share this or any other story or pictures you have about Max with my readers if you’d like.

    I hope you and your family have many more happy years with him!

  62. Barb S. says:

    What a great story about Max! I love it that you adopted him like that! I have 4 fur babies….3 of them are from the local shelter and the last one came from our friends farm. Lucy had to been a house kitty when she was dropped off at the farm. Our friends can’t have house cats so she had a warm place and food in the barn but she was so little and it was so cold (November in Minnesota). They showed her to me…she cuddled right up to me and it was LOVE right then and there. She came home with us….I took her to the vet where she got a clean bill of health and she has been living “the life of Riley” since! She and the other 3 give me joy everyday.

  63. What a sweet post, Susan! absolutely loved reading about your darling Max and the joy he brings you. He’s such a handsome boy! I’ve always had a cat (or two or three….or four…lol!) in the house for the past 30 years. I can’t imagine a day without their crazy antics, furry hugs, and deep purrs. Total therapy for my heart and a blessing for my soul. Adoption is the only way to go. There are so many furbabies out there who need forever homes. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  64. Jamie W. says:

    Oh my, how I loved this post! You probably don’t remember, but I was asking you a short while ago about the cabinets in your office. I saved a picture of the office, to pattern mine after, and I was showing them to a friend. I said “look at that gorgeous cat taking up the entire ottoman!” He’s such a beautiful boy, with the sweetest face and eyes you can just get lost in. Max’ story brought tears to my eyes, as I have an empty place in my heart when my 18 year old Bea passed away. That was 4 years ago and I still haven’t gotten another cat, but I think it’s time. I can so relate to what you said about looking for a different color cat. She was orange and white and was such a loving cat. But no, couldn’t have another orange one! Anyway, thank you for this story of Max and all the great pictures. My only regret is that I can’t reach through the screen and pet him, and, well… maybe hold him…and cuddle him! LOL!! You can sure add me to Max’s fan club!

  65. Max is a beautiful cat and has a wonderful story. I am NOT a cat hater, but can’t be around them or their homes for more than a minutes. I am highly allergic. No cleaning of a home with a cat will remove all of their dander, unless it is commercial cleaning with heavy duty machines. We were invited to a couple’s home and when we walked up the sidewalk, I saw evidence of a cat living there (cute cat toys and cat signs). Once inside, I very politely asked if there was a cat residing. Yes, was what the host said and added, “but we’re very clean people”. Fortunately, I always carry Benedryl with me, so was able to take some fairly quickly. Please be aware if someone doesn’t “take to your cat”, it might not be because they don’t like cats. It could be a matter of breath.

    • I know some folks are allergic to them…those folks don’t hate cats, they are just allergic to them. Big difference. I don’t know how anyone could hate any animal but there are some diehard cat haters out there, including a talk show host here in Atlanta who talks about it a good bit on the air. Very sad. I couldn’t live without a kitty or a dog around, they bring so much joy to a home.

  66. Susan, you made me cry. You know I love Mr. Max and to think of him in that cage, hurt and under nourished, made me sad. How anyone can hurt an animal is beyond me. How lucky he was to have been picked by you or should I say, he picked you. My heart still aches for my dear cat Tabatha who was 16 when she passed away. I have not been able to bring myself to have another one, as I still grieve for her and like you, thought I could never replace her. Instead, I cuddle and spoil my daughters’ cats.
    I always look forward to your posts about Mr. Max, he is such a handsome boy and makes me smile. I hope he has many years left yet, to choose his sleeping spots!! :)

  67. Barbara Z. says:

    Love your blog and thrilled to learn you’re another animal rescuer. We have two cats & 2 dogs, all rescues, including a 3-legged rottweiler mix! Can’t imagine our home w/out pets.
    I am confused about Mr. Max tho; it appears ‘he’ has at least 3 colors, which typically indicates a calico breed… but I thought calico cats are always female???
    Whatever he is(was), he’s gorgeous… so he fits perfectly in your lovely home! blessings, bz

    • He’s definitely a he. lol I think he may be a Norwegian Forest Cat. Google that under Google Images and you’ll see quite a few kitties that look like Max. :) Thanks, Barbara! Mr. Max thanks you, too for that compliment! :)

    • Barbara Z.,
      Male calicos are rare, but they do exist. According to a study by the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri, only one out of every 3,000 calico cats is male. I too thought Max looked like a calico. In fact, he looks a lot like one of my two female calicos; not just his coloring, but the shape & look of his face and body, and the texture of his hair (and both are quite beautiful). Max has also stolen my heart! I have another calico that looks completely different in every way, except her coloring.

      • Thanks, Cindy. He looks a lot like a Norwegian Forest kitty too…maybe not show quality but he looks so much like some pics I saw online after a reader told me he looked like one to her. I don’t know if he was, but he was very sweet, loyal, loving and a total lap cat. When I would arrive home from being gone on an errand and called, he would come bounding down the stairs. When I was home, he never left my side. He passed away from cancer this past summer and my heart will never be the same. I miss him terribly and always will. He’s my last, can never go through this again…too old to get my heart broken again. I just hope I will see him again in heaven one day. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  68. What a sweet story. So glad you and Max found each other. As a fellow cat lover, I’m always so happy when a sweet kitty finds a loving home and Max is so lucky. I’m definitely a member of his fan club and am always intrigued by what’s going through his mind when I see him in your posts. He probably thinks the bedroom to office redo was for him. So glad he’s safe, cozy and loved. I’ve had a cat my whole life and one definitely had human-like qualities like Max. Had another that came close, but they are few and far in between. I have so many stories of Oliver I could share that would melt hearts. He was one of the family and he knew it. He seemed so grateful we rescued him and I think he truly loved us back. He was affectionate in ways I’ve never seen before. I’m curious; does Max still “hug?” Oliver did. He was such a special kitty. He was taken from us the day after Valentine’s day this year in a tragic car accident and we are still sorely missing him. Don’t know when we’ll be ready for another and am convinced I’ll never find another as wonderful as he was. I shared a story with my kids recently of a man and his dog that I’m sure you’ll enjoy and I think all animal lovers will appreciate. I’ll google it and see if I can find it again and send you the link. Thanks so much for this heart warming story and for sharing Max with us too. Give him a bunch of love and petting from this fan.

    • Angela, he does. He mostly wants to give me a million kisses, though. lol At night when I go to bed, he’s right behind me, walking up my tummy and chest to give me kisses and to get petted. He then sprawls out across my chest and stomach and I have to push his button end off onto the bed so I can breath! :) He’s still very affectionate. I’m so sorry about your sweet Oliver. When I was growing up, my kitties always ended up being hit by cars because my Dad refused to let me keep them inside full time. So I know the heart ache of losing one that way. Max stays in full time unless I go into the yard and I’ll let him go with me sometimes. We have coyotes here really badly and they eat cats so it’s not safe for them to be out. We’ve even had coyotes roaming our streets in broad daylight!

  69. Here is the link to a beautiful story about a man and his dog. Under the same circumstances, I think we should all do this for our pets. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/heavy_petting/2011/09/the_perfect_day.single.html

  70. I loved reading all about Max. Your posts that include his picture are always my favorites. My all time favorite picture is the one of him looking out the window at the squirrel. I’m a big cat lover myself, but after my Spunky died almost 2 years ago at the age of 18, I just haven’t been able to get another cat. Maybe one day though.

    • Thanks, Patricia. I love seeing pets in pictures on blogs, too. :) I totally understand. It really hurts to lose them, especially after 18 years. I’m not sure I’ll get another kitty after Max passes one day. I don’t know if my heart can take it again.

  71. You did the right thing- Max was there to be your cat.You can see how happy he is.Thank goodness you were there as a port in a storm.
    What fabulous pictures and what a beautiful cat he is.
    Bless you for giving him such love and such a safe and happy life.
    Bea

  72. What a lovely cat!! I love his markings and lovely fur. Priceless photo of him watching the squirrel! I love the way cat’s always find the tiniest spot to wedge themselves in for a nap. My cat used to love the paper grocery bags and boxes from the store. They really are part of the family and such a wonderful part of life.

  73. What a great story! I have 4 cats (and three dogs, four turtles and a parrot…all rescues). My most recent adoption was Bandit, who has coloring like your Max. But your story reminded me more of my Beethoven, all white with one blue eye and one green eye. I found Beethoven in the grocery store parking lot, he was very hungry and had been living on very little sleep and very little food. I had him for a month before he went into full blown heart failure. Thankfully we were able to medicate him and he is happy and (mostly) healthy now. Your Max story made me think of Beethoven because you talked about him getting his purr back. My Beethoven is deaf and he cannot hear himself purr, which makes his purr very funny to listen to. I am so glad I found him because I know without a doubt that he would have died if he were still living on the streets. And, he is such a sweet cat.

  74. Hi SUsan~ ~ ~
    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story. We are kitty kat lovers here too. Most of the many cats I have had just show up at the house. There are many farms around here so I guess they wander but I do know that many were dropped off as throw aways. So sad.
    My Beloved says that there is an invisible sign at the end of the driveway that only cats can see. It says If you are a cat and you are hungry this is the place. Right now we have 2 tiger stripes that are wild that stop in daily for food. There is always a bowl outsid for them. I am attempting to tame them. It takes some time but usually they come around and let us pet them. Then they consider the place their own and lounge around on the lawn furniture. I could write a book about all the cats that have passed through my life. I have been Blessed.
    Have a wonderful day Susan.
    ~~Ahrisha~ ~

  75. Linda Flanagan says:

    Susan, thank you for your blog. It’s always so wonderful to tune in and read your posts. I love the blog about Max and am forwarding the link to my sister who has always had numerous cats and fostered many of them before they get adopted. As I I read some of the comments I realized that you respond to each comment. You are a great blogger. Thank you again.
    Linda F.

  76. must love junk says:

    Susan, LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!! I burst into tears when I read that Max hugged you around the neck at the shelter!! (I can’t help it, I’ve always had such a sensitive heart for cats!) I’m so glad that you found each other!! My hubby and I have 2, and the 1 runs to the door everyday when he gets home and honks his horn, just like a puppy would! (He never even liked cats before Bobbi) They just add SO much to our lives, don’t they?
    Thanks for sharing!! (Great pics, too :)
    Susan

  77. That’s such a great story about your cat, Susan! Made me cry a little. Especially the part about not wanting a cat the same color of the cats you had before. So recognizable. I lost my dear, totally black cat not long ago, so I know what you mean. He is irreplaceable, so a ‘new’ cat in my house can never be a totally black one.

    Max seems like a very special cat. I love the way he looks into your camera! Such a great face! Thanks for sharing this story!

    Liz

  78. Carolyn says:

    Thanks, Susan, for sharing Max’s adoption story! I am glad that he has a wonderful “mommy”! I never had pets, let alone, cats until after I was married. I soon learned that they spoke my language.

  79. Susan, what a wonderful adoption story about your sweet Max. What a blessing that after a rough start he’s had such a better life after you two found each other.

  80. Cats are much more affectionate and involved in peoples lives than noncat people realize. I live with 3 cats. I foster 40+ cats a year. I have a room for fostering cats back to physical or emotional health until they are fortunate o be adopted by lovely people like you.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful cat story

  81. BEST POST EVER! I’m all teary! And I am totally, TEAM MAX!!!!! ;}

    m ^..^

  82. I love pets–especially kitty cats! I love learning the reason behind the name!
    My dolly-girl was a rescue too, but in a different way. —A friend was returning to town from her parents’ country home, when they discovered a mother cat and baby killed on the road. They realized instantly she was moving her litter when it happened. They searched for the babies for quite a while, and just when they were about to give up—they found them! So she is all the more special to me, and I think it was why she was super affectionate and cuddly!
    And I miss her every day since she left me–at almost 20.
    Catherine

  83. Oh what a wonderful and loving story it brought tears to my eyes. I LOVE cats, never realized that until I got my first baby 14 years ago. He passed away at a young age of 7, but he’s still in my heart every day, I have 3 babies now and they have their own unique and sweet personality. I don’t think our home will ever be without a furry kitty.
    MCB

  84. Love the cat & dog stories! God bless everyone of you sweet people for being an advocate to adopt NOT shop! I have 2 furbabies myself–they saved me!

  85. Great story. My kitty-baby, “Marlin” passed away 07.19.2012. He was 18 years old. I miss him very much. So do my other kitty-baby, “Rockie” who is almost 16 years old and my 12 year old Yorkie, Scarlett. It is exactly like losing a family member when they leave you!

  86. Susan, this might be my favorite blog post of yours ever… I actually had tears in my eyes while reading it. You are so right: “Pets are a big commitment but they give back tenfold what they receive.” When we lose them, it’s so painful… but oh the joy they brought us for all those years….

  87. What a sweet furbaby! My dog furbaby was the last one of his litter and he was SO scared. I think it was because he might have felt abandoned. His brothers/sisters were all gone and mama was in the breeding area. He was all alone. I knew I had to have him. After much coaxing, lots of love and attention, it took about a week for us to develop a deep bond. He is my little shadow.
    I love cats but don’t have one in the house. Maybe one of these days I will :) I had to laugh when I saw Max sleeping in the little nook under the computers. Yep, that spot was made just for him!!

  88. WOW…such a heartwarming story. All our animals come for shelters, except the german shepherd. I once had a puppy that was afraid of men and when I would pick up a rake he would run for cover. It’s so sad…I believe that the sores on Max’s feet were burns and he was abused. Animals are very smart and will communicate with us in their own way . Our siamese was in a shelter and I went to every cage and the very last one there he was.. a kitten, white with dark brown ears, feet and tail..and he was very vocal. They had just brought him him in the day before and he and his mother and siblings had been living under a house… and he would not be up for adoption for 4 more days. I was in a shelter about and hour from where I live and I pleaded with them to let me take him….I told them that if the owner called for him that I would bring him back. Of course the owner never called and we have given him a wonderful life indoors…or should I say …he lets us live with him. If I am gone and someone calls and leaves a message..he will meet me at the door and walk in front of me to the craft room where the phone is. Then he has his little rituals he goes through when he begs for food. He weighs 20 pounds and there is no way we can leave food out all day…so I feed him 3 times a day. I have enjoyed your blog so much and hope you take a minute to visit me on my blog.
    Hope you have a really great day!
    Smiles and huggs
    Maxie

  89. Oh how I love this story!!! Now I love the name of your blog even more!!!! Doesn’t it feel wonderful that you gave a home to a pet that needed the love and attention that you give Mr. Max, the payback is unbeliveable isn’t it? Glad that the two of you have each other!!!

  90. So Heartwarming.
    I have not been on your site for a while and what a way to return. I have been an always Max “Fan.” Right now a daughter has a momma cat and 2 kittens hanging out on her outside porch and 2 cats inside. One of the two inside cats literally climbed a chain link fence and walked through daughters cat door to get away from the horrors it was experiencing. How did kitty sense that she would have a safe and loving home? She was right.
    Daughter is seeking good homes for the momma and kitties. But first she will have Momma neutered. It is frightening to know so many animals heartlessly become breeding machines.

    Thank you Susan for reminding us that we are asked to be responsible for our animals.

  91. We just adopted a 3 year old cat 5 days ago, after saying goodbye to our 17 year old cat one year ago. Loved Max’s story. The comments are all equally heartwarming and loving. Here’s to you and all of the furry fans.

  92. Meghan Grace says:

    What a lucky kitty he is-and a lucky family! Thank you for sharing your Max story!

  93. Hi Susan, I am on your sight all the time and secretly fell in love with Max two years ago. You see November 9th 2009 I lost my beautiful cat Amber; she was 18 yrs old. I never thought I could own another cat after her but when I saw Max he started to help me heal. Recently I realized I am finally ready to adopt a cat. I have not found that perfect cat yet but Amber actually picked me so well see.
    Thank you for sharing your Max story.

    • Donna, I’m so sorry about Amber. I totally understand because my last three kitties lived to be 16, 17 and 18 and it about killed me when each one passed. You never forget them and there are no words to describe how much you miss them when they are gone. I hope the right one finds you really soon. It was hard for me to get another kitty for a long time, but you somehow know when it’s the right time. Big Hugs to you. Some kitty is going to be a very lucky furry face! :)
      XO

  94. what a heartwarming story! i have had many pets over the years (all rescues from kill shelters) at one point i had 4 dogs and six cats. i now have three dogs and two cats and their passings never get easier. my last cat recently passed at the age of 16. sophia was never a particularly friendly or loving cat, but the last year of her life she changed dramatically into the most affectionate and loving girl. i truly believe that one day we will all be reunited somehow and that animal lovers are the best people in the world!

  95. God bless you for adopting Max, Susan! I’m a cat person, too. And Max is such a dear in all the photos you share. You are both so lucky to have one another.

  96. What a beautiful and touching story!! I am a cat lover, too, and loved all of your pictures and comments!! It even brought tears to my eyes … but in a good way! I lost my first kitty, SnickerDoodle, last year (at age 9, with heart issues) and was too sad to replace her with a new kitty. Then in Dec, I adopted my niece’s kitty, Whiskers, age 7, because she has 2 yr old triplets now, and poor Whiskers didn’t get much attention. I knew she was a sweetheart, and couldn’t bear to have strangers take her away. So I broke down and said I’d be her new mom. She is a tuxedo cat and so spoiled since she lives with us.
    I am a new follower, and thought YOU were the one taking the naps on the porch!! haha I love your decorating style and pictures. I actually made my own “grab a blog button” last night from your directions…. I am asking my sister to test it out… so we’ll see if she can grab my button. If it works, I have you to thank for your awesome tutorial !! (I tried another tutorial, with no success. Then I saw yours , and you explained it so well. I had to figure out how to fix those darned quote marks, but that’s due to my weak knowledge of Word 2007. )
    I’ll let you know.

    Can’t wait to see what year 5 brings with your blogging!

    • Susie, Welcome! Glad you are here! I think I should be the one taking the naps on the porch. ;) I think I’ll feel that way about Max…too hard to think of finding another kitty once he’s gone to kitty heaven. He is starting to show some issues with his kidney function…so I’m worried. He’s getting on up there in age now. If you have any issues with your button, just email me and I’ll make one…only takes a second. I need to find a way to deal with WordPress turning the quotation marks backward on that blog button tutorial. It makes it harder for folks to use the tutorial. Thanks, Susie!

  97. Hi Susan,
    your lovely post about the cute Mr. Max brought tears in my eyes. I also adopted a cat from the shelter and I know how seriously those cats want to have a family. Mr. Max is very pretty in color and his fur remind to a turkish angora or ragdoll cat. He looks really intelligent and gentlemanlike. I think he is in cat heaven and loves you all over the world. You are the one who gave him his life back.
    Best greetings, Johanna

    • Thanks, Johanna…I love him that much right back. He’s a sweetheart and so affectionate. You’re kitty is beautiful! Love seeing your’s in your posts…they add so much to our lives. :)

  98. What a sweetheart. He reminds me of my one and only cat, Tabatha. In all the years we had her, she was an absolute joy, and I never considered myself a cat person, but she stole my heart.

  99. I just had to add a comment. I found your blog by accident….i was looking for samples of hydrangea shell wreaths, which by the way i love that one for $39.99. In the meantime your blog drew me in, I found your kitty Max.
    What a sweetie……We have had cats and now we have 2. I can’t imagine life without a cat.
    Love your blog…
    Pat

  100. I love your blog and your furry friend Max. You are the lucky ones to have such a special furry friend.
    We would have cats in our home if it weren’t for wife’s allergies. We did the next best thing, we have 4 Shih Tzu’s. We think they are half cat anyway. The naps in the sun spot or on back of sofa makes us think we have a cat. Several of our pups were rescues from when my wife fostered them. They had issues that made them very hard to place, so we kept them.
    rick

    • Thanks, Rick! I know a lot of folks have allergy issues with kitties. My son does with some cats but not with others…so weird how that works. Your Shih Tzus sound adorable! What a blessing you and your wife are to your sweet fur babies. It takes a special person to be willing to adopt a pet with special needs. Wish the world was filled with more dearhearts like you guys.

  101. What an amazing cat!! He knows you saved him that very first day when he hugged you. You have and will be blessed for your compassion and love.

  102. Hello Susan, Iam not really a ”cat person” but I think Max is so very pretty and yes it brought tears to my eyes when I read how you adopted him.(or how he adopted you) We lost our dog last year and he was almost 19 yrs. old. We miss him every day and cried for days. We have always had a dog. And yes I do believe I will see him again, there will be animals in Heaven. Christ is coming back on a white horse,the lion & the lamb and others. We now have 2 two yr. old Golden Retrievers. They make us laugh every day and we are crazy about them. Love your blog.

    • Linda, I surely hope we do see them again. I miss all my pets that have passed so much. I’m thinking Max will be my last because I don’t think I can go through it again. We had a Golden and he was a love. He just passed away about 4 years ago. They leave a big void and I do hope we will see them all again. I’m counting on it. Big Hugs to you!

  103. I’m glad you liked my kitty cage and I would love to build one for Max if I would live close to Atlanta.
    I’m all for adopting a pet from the shelter. I don’t like breeding animals for money. My husband’s cousin is a vet and she always reminds me that no shelter is “NO kill”, they all kill. Some more than others. It is depressing!
    I love my kitties the way you love your Max (he is so cute) and they are the best companions I could ask for. My favorite is when I’m ready to go to bed and they are all waiting for me to go to bed to snuggle with me. I’m glad that I have a husband that is supportive of my furry habit ;)

  104. What a sweet story! We have several animals (currently at 4 dogs) and have had several rescues, either that we rescued or got from a no-kil shelter. (By the way, Julie @cuckoo4design…the shelter that I work with is truly no kill as are many others….you husband’s cousin is mistaken on that…..my husband is chairman of the board of our shelter, so I know we are no-kill). Because I work with a shelter, a couple of things you said struck me…..when an animal comes into a shelter, they have to be quarantined from the other population because we dont know what health problems they may have and the shelter cannot chance having something spread to the other furbabies we have that are healthy and awaiting a new home. The worker you dealt with was doing a great job of protecting the others. And i know from experience that shelters get overwhelmed by people calling in to bring an animal to us to find a home….we currently house 300 dogs and 150 cats…..there is no more room till some are adopted or someone gives us money to add on….even shelter dogs and cats deserve room to move around. So I think it may be unfair to critize the other shelter you called….sometimes, there is no more room in the inn. No-kill shelters all over the country need help in so many ways. It takes a lot of money to feed, house and maintain the precious ones till they get a home…..we go thru over 300 lbs of dog food a day! I dont know about cat food. The staff at these shelters work hard….it is not easy to clean up after so many animals all day long.
    I have a real heart for all these people across this county and for the work that is done.
    Thanks for giving Max a good life. He looks to be a precious one!

    • Nancy, I understand what you’re saying but after having adopted two cats from that shelter and them offering me zero help, I can tell you I will never adopt from that shelter again. Not ever. I will always go to the shelter who said yes, to a stranger (me) who had never adopted from them. The other shelter had a cold, callous, “who gives a heck about your situation” attitude. That was actually the second time I had called them. I called them a few years before when I had an elderly client going into a nursing home. They wouldn’t help then, either. I think their attitude is…you’ve got the cat so it’s safe…deal with it. So I’ll never darken their door again. I’ll always go to FurKids from here out.

  105. The best pets in the world are the ones that chose you. Hope you have Max a while longer. I just lost my Max a few months ago.

  106. Sarah Svoboda says:

    How lucky you both are to have found each other. I had a cat for years that was a “hugger”. He also was a rescue, his owner was a little old lady that could no longer care for him. I’m praying so hard that you get to keep Max with you awhile longer. Max is a very lucky cat to have found someone as wonderful as you to love him!

  107. Faith Koch says:

    I just love your story about “finding” Max (or rather, Max “finding” you!!). You wrote you were nevr going to “do” this again, but after reading your story about Max, I think YOU need to read it again (when you can) and remember the feeling you received when you two found each other. There is another Max out there somewhere just waiting for you……and Susan, Max is still here and being loved by you (and obviously SO many more people, judging by all the comments your blog got regarding Max & his time of illness!)…..so keep on loving him as you should, and he will be grateful and as you said, he will retun it “tenfold”! Our Callie is about the same age and size and a similar story and we were, like you, amazed how big she got once she got in her forever home! So love them while they’re here and remember them with love when they’re no longer with us.
    That was a beautiful story, probably great fodder for a small book with proceeds going to your favorite animal shelter! Hint….hint…..! Blessings on you & Max….<3

  108. Melody ambler says:

    Hi Susan, I’m so sorry to hear about Max and will continue to pray for him. I have 9 cats, and they all are loved and either adopted or picked up. We’ve had many more. They’ve had different issues, but add so much joy and fun to our lives. I can really imagine how you feel- praying for you and max , melody

  109. I love hearing Max’s story. He sounds like a wonderful cat!! The photo of him on the shelf of the wicker end table reminds me of my Taylor….he loves to do the same thing.
    Trusting with you for Max’s full recovery.
    [hugs]

  110. I haven’t read Max’s story before now but today I got brave and came over. It is so precious and I am happy that Max and you found one another! He is such a beautiful little soul and we all love him even if we haven’t had the chance to stroke that silky fur and listen to that lovely purr! Shhh, don’t let Raphael (my brown tiger kitty) hear any of this, LOL!
    Hugs to you and Max!!!
    Beth P

  111. Your beloved Max was indeed a “prince of a fellow”. Staying busy will help and you know , love grows. It can spread beyond all we can imagine and someday you will want to share your home with another furry friend.
    God Bless.

  112. I am so sad to read of your Max’s passing, I’m very sorry. It leaves a hole nothing can fill, ever. We, also, lost our beautiful kitty Max, on June 2.

  113. Dearest Susan,
    I just came across your blog today when I googled “why did my cat pick me at the shelter”. In just reading this one blog, I was smitten with your Max. I was going to write to tell you what a beautiful home and beautiful cat you have and then I read of Max’s passing. Susan, I don’t have the words to tell you how sorry I am. I am kind of in need of something to pick me up emotionally these days and I am sorry that the world has lost another kind soul in your Max.

    I too am an animal lover, particularly cats. I have one indoor kitty, Luke, a solid black charmer who knows the secrets of my soul. I am trying to determine what it is that makes us either “cat people or dog people or both”? I also am trying to learn why a particular animal chose its human. For all of the people out there that say they don’t like cats, I tell them ” you will always know where you stand with a cat, there is no pretense with them”. If only humans had that kind of integrity.

    Again, sincerest condolences on the passing of your beloved Max. May you find peace and thank you for the beautiful blog.

    Paula

    • Thanks, Paula. I agree completely with everything you’ve said. I think the folks who say they don’t like cats have met cats in the past that were either ignored or mistreated. If you treat any animal with love and attention, I think they will grow up to give that back ten fold. Kind of reminds me of raising children…how they turn out so much depends on how they are treated when younger. I miss Max so much. I try to stay busy now and not think too much because I can get super down very quickly if I go there. Like you mentioned about your kitty, he knew the secrets of my soul. He took care of me every day and I am just praying that we will see our kitties again in heaven one day. It won’t be heaven if our furbabies are not there. So nice to meet another person who understands. I was at a dinner party last night and one of the folks there said she couldn’t believe I spent $8,000 trying to save him. She said that the only way she would have spent that on her dog is if it somehow benefited her. I don’t understand that kind of thinking, but I know that there are those of us who do get it and understand. Luke sounds very special…give him a big kiss on his soft, sweet head for me. XO

      • Dearest Susan,
        Please know in your heart you did everything you could for Max. Some humans spend countless thousands on follies such as boats, sports cars, jewelry, furs, etc.; THINGS that they THINK will make them happy. What is wrong with spending money (if one has it) to try and relieve the suffering of a another being with a heartbeat? Nothing, I say.

        About 13 years ago I was working as a corporate travel consultant to an architectural firm. One of the admins was diagnosed with breast cancer at the time. During this time when she was fighting for her life, her beloved Siamese cat was diagnosed with mammary cancer. The admin, like you spent thousands to help her beloved feline fight her own health battle. The human survived, sadly, the cat didn’t. I think that being determined to get her cat through her own health crisis gave the admin the will to live.

        I feel certain that Max is really there with you, I work as a travel consultant from home now, and often my Luke is under my desk. Max may be gone from this earth, but NEVER from your heart or your soul. It is amazing what you and Max gave to each other. Some humans may never find what you and Max had in a lifetime.

        I believe that Max taught you something that you probably wouldn’t have learned had your paths not crossed. Through your pain, you may not be able to recognize what gift Max imparted upon you. I believe when you come out the other side of your grief, you will recognize that you are stronger than before. As someone once told me, “sometimes the only way out is through”. Peace be upon you Susan.

  114. Francie Wyatt says:

    I just started following your blog and love ALL your tablescapes. Today, I decided to peek into your “Inspirational” tab and immediately was drawn to Sweet Max: A Story of Adoption and Healing. I, too, have always loved cats. I was smiling at all the cute pictures of him and decided I wanted to leave you a comment about how my kitty, Felix, found me. However, in reading through the comments, my joy turned to sorrow when I realized that Max had passed. I am so sorry for your loss; they become such a part of the family. Felix “adopted” me after my husband passed. I truly believe Buddy sent Felix to me because he knew how much I loved cats and could not have one due to his allergies. I call Felix “my little buddy” and don’t know how I would have survived the death of my husband if it weren’t for him. Once again, my condolences on your loss.

    • Thanks, Francie. I’m glad I wrote that post when I did. I didn’t know what lay ahead. I’m still grieving for Max and will always miss him. I’m so sorry you lost your husband, life can be so difficult, so heartbreaking. I do believe we’ll be reunited with those we love (two footed and four-footed) one day. Felix sounds wonderful. Max always knew when I was upset and was such a comfort. Felix sounds very special and I’m so glad you had him through that terrible time. XO

  115. I’ve only found your page in the last few minutes and I rarely visit someone’s blog on the first look around but I’m glad I did. My first true love kitty was a rescue from a city shelter. My hubby and I had gone in to check on a lovely Calico which I had firmly decided would be my next cat. Named Selena, she did not have a grasp on using a litter box (very important to my “dog person” man, nor was she interested after several visits, plus it seemed we could never get to the shelter on “interaction” days due to the odd visitation hours. The day we gave up we passed the cage on the end with “the” tag. The tag that guaranteed this cat was to be put down after closing time. He had beautiful blue eyes and a coat with enough Seal Point Siamese that against his white and black color was striking and unique. He reached out and patted my husband’s beard. We persisted until the workers were fed up and allowed us to interact with him. That being his last chance at a rescue they finally brought him to meet us. They told us his health record and walked out. This wiley feline headed directly towards the human with the furry beard and stole his heart without even a look over his shoulder at me. It was a tough decision but if this cat loved my husband- I could not leave without him (them). We named him Double Fudge Snickers Snuggle Bungee Kitty Witty Head Edwards. Snickers for short. He grew from a skinny adolescent into a handsome mama’s boy. Snickers was not healthy, came close to death a few times. Christmas of 1999 my Daddy died. When I came home Snickers was sick. I said to our young determined vet- with tears streaming down my face- that my father had died and I could not, would not lose Snickers too. She pulled out everything in her medicine bag and Snickers rallied. He rode on my shoulder, slept in our bed, purred very loudly and lived a long happy life. We both became pros at poking a pill down his throat followed by drops and measured, scheduled special food. Years went by, his coat faded. We humans realized time was growing shorter. I researched the softest best cat food I could find and again he found energy to greet me at the door and ride on my shoulder. I wished him to jump on the bed; bat our eyes at each other over the bed pillows. “Dad” now lifted him onto the bed- I would watch him sleep and cry. His purr more felt, than heard. Snickers crossed the kitty rainbow cradled in his basket, a welcome to our home gift, it pained him too much for me to hold him. His name has faded from the marker in our backyard but the clay heart glued in place by my now older, clean shaven husband, remains attached.
    Maybe one day soon I’ll tell you about our rescue kitty from a no-kill shelter. It took me years to be ready and make my way to him but he dared to enter the fray of ankle wranglers after 5 years under a pick-up truck. Waylon, his name chosen by his new human daddy for the days, possibly weeks of wailing he did when we brought him home. I’m sure it is his story- I just haven’t interpreted yet.

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