A TRIBUTE TO MAXXI June 21, 2009 – February 4, 2024
It was love at first sight. January 18, 2021 to be exact. I flew to Oreland to help take care of your mom, my aunt, who was dying of brain cancer. During the two weeks I was there, my love for you grew by leaps and bounds. I saw how attentive and doting you were toward your sick mom, always by her side, always in her hospital bed right next to her, or on top of her. I couldn’t believe what a loyal boy you were. You would interrupt your vigil only for brief excursions outdoors, soon to return and take up your post with her again.
I brought you home with me on January 31, 2021. After a couple of interviews for a potential new home for you, I decided I was so smitten with you that I wanted you to become a part of my family. No one else would do. When I saw your easy demeanor, I thought you would be able to fit in just fine with my two cats if introduced properly. And I was correct.
We started our drive home during a Nor’easter that lasted through all of PA, WV, and OH. We stopped at the Fairfield Inn in eastern Indiana for the night and you were perfectly at home in the hotel room and we spent our first night together there. We got home later the next day. On February 1, 2021, you were home again, and the rest is history.
You integrated yourself perfectly with Caruso and Emerson, and over the next three years you all grew to be friends, much to my delight. But you, my love, besides being as sweet as my Caruso, turned out to be quite the lap cat and cuddler. Neither Caruso or Emerson were cuddlers, so this was new to me—but oh, how I loved it. I loved your warmth in my lap, and boy you had the best purr ever!
You gave me three years and four days of unconditional adoration and I loved you so much! Actually, I still do. When you got sick in January and were diagnosed with anemia, I thought you would get well. Instead, you got sicker and weaker. I made an appointment for you at the university vet school, but you never made it that far. You got so sick so fast and it was obvious you were no longer enjoying life. Those last two days were hell for me, but were probably more so for you. I could have waited one more day to get you up to the university for your appointment, but I didn’t want to see you suffer for one more day. I was reasonably sure the mass in your abdomen was cancer based on how sick you were. I didn’t want to subject you to the poking and prodding you would have had to endure at the appointment, only to find out what I already knew. That would have just delayed the inevitable and given you one more day to suffer.
Casting all my personal wants aside—wanting you to get well, wanting you to live forever, wanting you to eat again, and play again—I made the decision on Saturday evening, February 3 that you shouldn’t suffer any longer. I had all four of us sleep together on that, our last night together. You slept in my arms most of the night. On the morning of February 4, 2024 we made the trip to the university, where I held you in my arms as you breathed your last breath. At 10:49 that morning, you crossed the Rainbow Bridge. You were no longer in pain. . .no longer cold. . .no longer weak. You were with your first mom again.
Now, more than two weeks later, I cry as I type this. My heart still aches at your physical absence. I miss your warmth in my lap, your purr, your wide-eyed innocent face, and your sweet disposition. I miss the litter you tracked throughout the house, and the mess you made of your water bowl by washing your paws in it. I miss your deep meow. I miss your cat hair—you shed more than your longer-haired brothers! But most of all, I miss your love. You were the most loving animal I’ve ever owned.
I now have your ashes in a beautiful dark green marble urn on my dresser. I have your ink pawprints, and will have your clay pawprint in a couple more weeks. I have hundreds of pictures of you and your brothers. Mostly, I have three years and four days of memories that I will cherish forever. Eventually, the pain will fade, but my memories of you never will. I cherish the fact that we were brought together that bitter January day in 2021 amidst sad circumstances and had over three beautiful years together.
I love you, my love, and always will. Take good care of your first mom. I’m sure you’re probably bossing her around just like you did when you were with her before. You had her wrapped around your little paw, just like you did with me. I will see you again soon, my love, soon. And remember. . .you are my sunshine!