Max was a big cat. Friend Mayra reminded me of this, when she told me that her daughter remembered Max as “the biggest cat she had ever seen.” Max was NOT a gentle giant. He was a fierce hunter and fighter. Those were the traits that brought Max to our home. When our son and his wife brought home their first born, they asked us if we could bring home Max. Thus, began the establishment of what our son-in-law deemed our “cat retirement home.” Years later, one of their cats retired to our home.
Max was a big cat. Max was headmaster of The School of Unconditional Love of Cats. It was a tough school; like one of those English boarding schools where the headmaster beats the kids if he believes them to have misbehaved. The school had many rules. Max allowed three pet strokes. If you proceeded with a fourth, he drew blood from the offending hand. Max patrolled the hall leading from the living room to the bedrooms with the ferocity of a gang boss protecting his turf. Many a calf felt the incision of his incisors while, what Max interpreted as not-so-innocently, traversing his territory. We loved Max.
Max would lay down beside you, with his head on your arm, purring loudly (until you moved and then he would bite you – moving wasn’t allowed). Max was a huge believer in the adage, love hurts. Max was a big cat.
Max was followed by Gravity (Jessie and Neil’s cat – according to Jessie, she fell from the sky, hence the name Gravity), and now my beautiful rescue cat, Cinnamon. I was well trained by Max, and have loved each of these cats unconditionally. It’s a good thing, because each of them required unconditional love. I have been rewarded with love from each of them, along with an occasional bite. Love may hurt, but life and cats are good.