Max’s Bio and Viewpoint
Max is a 6 year old neutered male living in an apartment in New York City. His person, Magdalen, has had him for 3 years. She got him from a rescue organization. He had been living in the basement of a building in Harlem with many other cats.
When the superintendent of the building would have the building sprayed for fleas, the cats would inhale all the chemicals. As a result of this, Max developed asthma. His asthma requires daily use of a “flow-vent” inhaler. On days when his breathing is bad, Max also uses an albuterol inhaler. Max knows he needs help and comes to Magdalen every day to ask for his inhaler. He is totally cooperative about using it. He has no other known health problems.
Before getting to Magdalen, Max spent some time in a family with twin boys (age 6) who would pull his ears and tail, and taunt him. The rescue person knew he needed another home, and that’s how Magdalen got him.
Max immediately gave kisses and hugs to Magdalen. As you’ll see, he is big on kisses.
Living with Max are two female cats who are his biological daughters. Their names are Gracie and Dottie – full sisters. His daughters recognized him when he arrived, and he recognized them, too. There was never any conflict. In fact, they all went right up to each other immediately.
When Max arrived at Magdalen’s there was a bulldog named Cinzano living there. Max and Cinzano became immediate buddies. Max started kissing Cinzano within 24 hours. Cinzano had bad ear infections, and Max would clean his ears. When Cinzano would lay down, Max would lie close to him. A few times they lay with Max on top of Cinzano. Sadly, Cinzano died a few months later.
Another bulldog named Moose became part of the family on March 4, 2010. Because Magdalen knew that Moose had never been around cats, Magdalen and I talked to Max and his daughters, requesting that for the first 24 hours they give Moose his space. Moose had been living with 7 year old twin boys who were taunting him. Also, Moose’s very close friend and companion, another bulldog, had just died. It just seemed like it might be easier for Moose if he could take his time adjusting to the new situation.
Max waited about one and a half days and then moved right in on Moose’s space. He sniffed Moose’s nose – Moose sat very still – and then Max started cleaning Moose’s ears. Moose’s eyebrows went up like a cartoon – very raised eyebrows – but he was also smiling Now they are best buddies.
At night, Moose, Max, and Gracie all sleep with Magdalen in the bed. Dottie is shy and prefers to sleep elsewhere. Moose respects where the cats are curled up to sleep. He doesn’t want to disturb the cats on the bed, so after they are all settled, Moose wiggles in between them. Once Moose is settled, Max lies under Magdalen’s neck and purrs across her throat.
In this family, there is lots of love among all of them. Each animal gets personal time with Magdalen. Moose goes for walks – his special time outside with her. Max’s special time with Magdalen is while she watches TV on her daily break from her dog-walking job. Max lies on Magdalen’s chest and purrs himself to sleep.
Max told me, “In our home, Moose knows he’s king dog, but he respects me as King Kat and senior animal.” Magdalen described it this way: “If both are moving towards the kitchen, like at mealtimes, Moose let’s Max go in first.”
Max likes to sit on the edge of the bathtub to watch Magdalen take baths. But he won’t go near the bathroom when Moose is getting a bath. I asked him why. “Moose splashes alot and I don’t want to get wet,” said Max, showing me an image of Magdalen in her bathing suit, Moose in the tub, and water flying everywhere. Magdalen has both a red bathing suit and a black one and he showed me both colors.
Max told me his favorite food is fish. Magdalen confirmed this – the can says “Ocean white fish and tuna.” He’s not big on treats – only takes them when he wants them – doesn’t always eat them – depends on his mood.
Max also requests couch time whenever he feels like it. He told me, “That’s when I take care of Magdalen. I knows how she feels and what she needs.” This is his “job” – take care of her and the others.
As for play, Max doesn’t care for toys and doesn’t play with them. Instead, he’s rather play with his daughters. According to Magdalen, the game goes like this: “We’re going to run up and down the 30 foot hall in the apartment and come into the living room and pounce on each other and wrestle.” When Max has had enough play, he cuffs both his daughter’s in the face and walks away. The girls play with each other after that.
Questions and Answers
- How do you feel about living with your daughters? Fine.
- How is your relationship with the girls? I let them be themselves. I really don’t interfere in their relationship, not with each other nor with Moose. I do expect them to be polite and have good manners – letting me go first as senior cat for food and litter box and with Magdalen.
- Dottie is a shy. Are you helping her with that? No. I can’t help her because she doesn’t want help. She likes being the way she is.
- What would you like to change in your life? Nothing. I’ve got it great!!!!!!
- What would make things better for everyone else? If Magdalen could retire and be here ALL the time.
- What if she enjoys her work? You’ve got to be kidding. Magdalen’s favorite thing to is to be here with us. (Magdalen confirms this.)
- Magdalen can’t get enough exercise running up/down the hall with you guys. “I never thought of that.”
- How do you feel about Moose? “He’s snuggly. He cuddly, too. He’s very sweet and I love him. I wash his face, and his ears and his wrinkles.”
- Why did you stay out of the bathroom during Chinano’s baths? Too much splashing. Cinzano likes to play in the water and the water would go everywhere. That’s why Magdalen wore a (red) bathing suit But I don’t have one and I didn’t want to swim.” (also showed me a black one.)
- Do you miss hunting? It’s too much work and too inconsistent – you don’t always get a meal. I like good food service, and I get that here.
- How does your body feel? Good, except for my lungs. Sometimes very hard to breath, but Magdalen takes good care of me.
- You’re OK with the inhaler? Yes. [He finds Magdalen to ask for the inhaler if she doesn’t give him the dose by 11 a.m.]
- Emotionally, how are you? In heaven – it’s a state of mind. I love it here and I love my family and I share love with everyone I meet.
- According to Magdalen, there are 3 litter boxes: 1 kitchen; 2 living room. We share them. Max uses wee-wee pads to pee – he doesn’t like to use the litter boxes to urinate. Wee-wee pads are in the bathroom on the floor.
- The family moved to a new apartment 2 years ago. Max, how does it compare with the old one? Roomier and brighter and much nicer. (Magdalen says they are the same size, and the kitchen and bathroom have less light than the old apartment). Better energy. (Magdalen burned sage in the new apartment before moving in. Says she got rid of a lot of things and it’s less cluttered than the other one.) Better neighbors, and that affects the energy. (Magdalen liked the other neighbors better.) Just my opinion, says Max.
- Do you remember being neutered? Don’t want to talk about it.