"...Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human."

MAY 2003:   Maxx's demise had begun a few weeks prior. After several visits to the vet, he was diagnosed with a form of abdominal carcinoma (cancer). On Friday of the Memorial Day holiday, the veterinarian suggested it was time to end his suffering. I strongly objected but during the course of that weekend, he too was saying it was time to let go.

Monday, Memorial Day:   I noticed Maxx's head slung low. I picked him up and held him in my arms for nearly an hour before putting him down on the living-room rug. I rubbed some drops of chicken broth on his lips but he didn't respond, so I lied down besides him instead. We gazed at each other for several minutes. I repeated his name over and over, hoping it would alleviate any fears he might be experiencing.

Towards the end, he gasped a few times for air. Twice, he raised his paw to touch my face. His nose/ whiskers started to twitch for several moments and then - his eyes went black. He was gone.

No -- this isn't from some fictional movie script. This is the genuine tale of a sixteen-year bond between the webmaster and his beloved cat, Maxx, and ... how it all ended that day.

Baby Maxx - Spring 1988 Christmas 1987
Maxx entered my life when I responded to a knock at the front door. There he was, just a kitten, in the arms of my [then] girlfriend, [now] ex-wife. The "best Christmas present ever" he was to become known as. The little guy bounced off the walls like Ricochet Rabbit (bing-bing-bing) as he experienced his first tastes of freedom.

That evening, as we went to sleep, we closed the bedroom door but - he weeped and howled until we let him in. Since then, Maxx and I have been inseparable.

Good times. Bad times. Maxx was always there for me. We traveled the country from South Florida to the Pacific Northwest. From California to the Jersey Shore and all points in-between. While he wasn't always the best travel companion, I couldn't imagine my journeys without him.

In his later years, I would take him for walks on the beach (no, I didn't have him on a leash). He enjoyed the acres of sand (what cat wouldn't?) and many an individual would comment on how he "patrolled" his little domain. He enjoyed the finer things in life like filet mignon on the grill, my mom's salmon - even pepperoni pizza from Dominos.

Maxx took pleasure in watching the "big cats" on the Discovery Channel but was even more mesmerized by his own video images on the tube. His looks of bewilderment made me wonder what he thought he was seeing.

Maxx at 9
Me and Maxx, 1998

Maxx 1998

I have spent 100's, if not 1000's, of hours working on this website. Many times, Maxx was sleeping at my feet as I pounded away at the keyboard. He was a great diversion for me when I experienced writers block and I now think of all the times he wanted to play but I was "busy" with other things. I would tell him "later" but unfortunately, later is now too late.

Never again will I hear the friendly purr that made my house a home. Never again will I feel his warm coat against my skin. Never again will I hold my boy in my arms. While life is short, an animal's life span is that much shorter. The brief time we have with them should be cherished for all its worth.

I'm grateful I was the last image Maxx saw that fateful day and I pray my presence was a comfort for him. Unfortunately for me, I will forever replay those last moments over in my head like a video clip. Never will I forget those eyes. Those little eyes, once full of life, that rolled over black.

Rest in peace, Maxx.

Daddy loves you... so very, very much.

This   THIRD MILLENNIUM entertainment   website   is   now   dedicated   to   the   memory   of   Maxx.
I   only   wish   I   could   do   more.