Ask Max Monday: A Word From the Woman

Usually I help Max answer questions on Sunday night, and we upload the Ask Max column before heading off to bed. This week we honestly did not feel like even checking email to see if there were any questions for him; while I sat in the living room, he was in the master bedroom closet, and my mood was not in a place to really consider that he had work to do.

Now, I add to this by saying that right now, he seems fine. But last night he absolutely did not, and we honestly thought Max was on his final night with us. He refused to eat, barely drank anything, walked stiffly and not in a straight line, hadn’t peed, and once he was in the closet at 4pm, he didn’t come out. I checked on him frequently and offered him food, scared out of my mind when he clearly didn’t hear me approach and didn’t react until I was damn well on top of him.

Late at night, around midnight, I found him asleep with his head in his food dish. When he realized I was there he looked up at me like, well, it’s about damned time you got in here. Help me. I guessed he had tried to eat something but didn’t have the energy for it…so I scooched the plate closer and he ate about half of what was there, and finally drank enough water that I felt comfortable enough going to bed.

I dozed but didn’t sleep, and went back to check on him at 3 am. He still didn’t hear me until I called his name (and I won’t lie, every time I had to do that I was sure he was gone) but he pointed his nose at his water dish, and drank enough to make me happy.

It’s worth noting that Buddah is leaving him alone. That worries me.

This morning at 6 he was excited to see me, but didn’t get up, so I picked him up and carried him to the kitchen, where he ate a decent amount of food, and when I was sure he was done, I carried him to the litter box where he peed. I know this is not ideal and planned on calling the vet at 7 when the office opened…and then he ate more, and got into the litter box on his own and peed again. He was walking better. So we’re holding off, though the plan is to call either this afternoon or tomorrow morning to get him in for a checkup.

My gut tells me he was in pain yesterday, and hiding in his safe place while feeling like utter crap. Given how stiff his left back leg seemed, I wonder now if he jumped down a bit too hard off the sofa in his bedroom (yes, he really does have his own bedroom) and was just feeling the effects of that. But at his age, those are the things that will take a huge toll on him; five years ago he would have pushed on, but at 19 and being incredibly frail, he needs to just stop when things hurt.

For today, he’s okay. He’s back in the closet after not being able to get to it from 7:30am-1pm (the Man worked last night and needed to sleep a few hours) and he was reasonably active from 8-10, though he hasn’t eaten much more. He’s interested and has taken a few bites here and there–enough to keep me happy–but he’s clearly tired.

And there’s the rub. Each day he’s a bit more tired than the day before, and he is clearly winding down. That’s not an alarm; he may very well have several weeks or months left, but it’s only fair to warn people that it could also be days.

We just don’t know.

And as I write this…he wandered out of the closet, went to the kitchen, and asked for food. He only ate about a quarter of it (which was half a 3 oz can, so less than half an ounce) but I’ll take that. Right now he’s on the loveseat, looking at me like this:

I don’t think he knows what he wants–my lap was offered but declined–but for the moment…he’s okay.

If you have questions for him, go ahead and leave them in the comments or in email and he’ll get to them next week.

Category: Ask Max Monday, Featured

About the Author ()

Max the Psycho Kitty is 14 pounds of sleek black and white glory. With an attitude ... and opinions ... on everything. He's a put-upon and under-appreciated domestic feline with an addiction to Kitty Crack and an appetite for Stinky Goodness. A pioneer in the Cat Blogosphere, he began his popular blog "The Psychokitty Speaks Out" in October of 2003. Max is the author of SIX blockbuster hit books, "The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Diary of a Mad Housecat,", its sequel "The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Something of Yours Will Meet a Toothy Death,", "The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats," "Bite Me," "There Once Was a Cat from Nantucket" (a book of poetry), and his new smash hit, "The Emperor of San Francisco [The Wick Chronicles]."

Comments (25)

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  1. Elisa Rowe-Dye Mahoney says:

    Dear Max and Karen. Buddy, I hope you are feeling more like eating and drinking. I wanted to let you know you have the love of a big family over 3000 miles away. From when I first heard of you, you’ve had heart pretty boy. So does your mom, dad and Buddah. Sending you no hurting vibes Max. Rest with your family and hopefully you will feel better soon. ♥️♥️

  2. Elisa Rowe-Dye Mahoney says:

    Dear Max and Karen. Buddy, I hope you are feeling more like eating and drinking. I wanted to let you know you have the love of a big family over 3000 miles away. From when I first heard of you, you’ve had heart pretty boy. So does your mom, dad and Buddah. Sending you no hurting vibes Max. Rest with your family and hopefully you will feel better soon. ♥️♥️

  3. kris wlson says:

    He looks a little scared. Be brave sweet boy, eat drink and pee. Above all, get some lap time. Purrs to Max and his people.

  4. Sending all the purrs and hugs we have to Max, so he can stick around just a little bit longer.

  5. kelly napolitan says:

    sending lots of love to you sweet Max & your family.

  6. Vicki Jenkins says:

    Love to you all.

  7. Damia says:

    All the purrs in the world to you all.

  8. Diane sargent says:

    Max, you are being very brave for your family, but your mom knows you very well.
    She is watching you like a hawk and taking good care of you.
    I know you trust her to do what is best. She & the man, & even Buddeh love you lots.
    Many many hugs Max ❤️❤️❤️

  9. Edith Chase says:

    Sending healing thoughts and purrs.

  10. Riley says:

    Dear Max & Karen,

    We’re sending big hugs, lots of purrs, and peaceful healing thoughts from Sweden ❤❤❤

    Thinking of you,
    Riley, Pontus, Ellie, Edgar, Rolfie, Cornelius, Esbjörn, Kattnej, Kjettil, and Sassa

  11. Puddzee Pye says:

    Dearest Dood,

    Sending healing purrs and much love. You’ve earned retirement. Demand nothing but the best vittles and real live dead things, lap time, and Dr. Who 24/7.
    Your hoomans let them cater to your whims and convey you to your favorite napping places.

    We all love you dood, but you need to take care of you.

    Much purrs and love,

    Puddzee Pye

  12. Hnossa says:

    Oh Max! Sending purrs your way for health and healing. Peace to you and your humans.

    Hnossa

  13. Deb Bishop (Sammy & MacKenzie) says:

    Max much love to you & your family! We lost our brothers Gus & Nikki and don’t want that to happen to Buddah! We are sending you healing thoughts and wish you all the things you love best!

  14. Dearest Max. They say the longest and hardest journeys are those we know we have to take but do not want to as we know what is to come. Dude, I know I am not the most regular of commenters, but I am a most avid follower. Take strength from mine, take love from me and those around you that care, and most of all, above all other things, know you are loved, cherished and alive no matter what the future holds. Heck, just think of all the books you can write still, and forever more. Heaven forfend that that particular instance comes to pass. Dude, you advice is so sage they have rewritten a whole section of Eden on your words!!!
    Above all, get better and know we are with you, willing you to be you. . . .
    My question, should you have time amongst the many, is: If through all you have learned, the folks you have met, the questions you have fielded and answered and parried away, there is or are, say, twenty things you would share, what would they be?
    Purrs and healing blessings
    ERin & Mrs Hudson

  15. Roberta says:

    Oh Max, I’m so sorry to hear this news. Please know that our thoughts and love are with you and your humans.

  16. KesterGayle says:

    Max, you are in my heart right now. I’m sending you my warmest, healthiest thoughts…please share them with your humans. You are loved by thousands; let that love lift you and your family up right now and let it allow you to find peaceful joy in one another.

  17. Susan says:

    Dear Max,
    I’m so sorry you’ve been under the weather and do hope you pull out of it. Love and purrs from Abigail, June, Betsy, Buster, Hanna, and Celia. Please get well!!

  18. Mary McNeil says:

    We are sending purrayers and Power of the Paw to you and Max. We have gone through the sorts of things you are going through and feel that is the best we can do…you and Max know what will be best for him.

  19. Erin says:

    Dear Max and family,
    I know this was a really hard letter to write, and harder to read. I’m praying for you all that this transition time be as smooth as possible, but it’s not easy because we all love you so much and have been for so many years.
    Take care and heal and be well, wherever you are. You are so loved.

  20. Scout Mango says:

    Oh Max! I still do have that New Sister who didnt notify MEEE that Jordan River was moving in! Sometimes Willow and Jordan hang out now! Sometimes Jack hangs out too! Well its a not very good Cat Scout Mango still Complaining about getting a New Sister when all I really want is my older sisfurr Aspen. If your deciding to take your Snark to the Rainbow Bridge, look up Aspen. She still had a. Big Crush on you Max

  21. Angel Ms. Phoebe's Family says:

    I was so scared reading this today but am relieved to know Max is still with us for now. I know he’s had a long life and is slowing down, yet how will the world be the same with out Max’s weekly advice? Please let Max know he is loved by many including my Pearl and I. We know he will let you know when he is ready to go to his next phase of life but until then we hope he spoiled with endless love and real dead shrimp and meat.
    We do have a question for Ask Max Monday:

    Max, my Mom doesn’t trust me to be outside by myself because I have sneaked out of the backyard more than once. She bought me four types of harnesses and I’ve figured my way out of all! A real Houdini I am! This past weekend she bought one that I cannot escape from, so while I’m on a 16 ft lead and can go all over the backyard, I cannot sneak off. Isn’t this illegal to do to cats?! I’m not a dog! Has the Woman ever tried to put you in a harness? How would you escape? Any ideas? Thanks dood! Purrs from Pearl

  22. Mr Puddy says:

    Max, you probably don’t know I’m your secret friend ( a kind of spy who falls to nap pretty often ) Hang in there, Max. Don’t you do this to me and all furry friends who follow you. Please keep it up, we love you.
    Sending a ton of purrs
    x
    Puddy Boy

  23. Dear Max, We are sending prayers and healing purrs to you and your family.

    Purrrrrrrrrrs, Spike William

  24. Dear Max sending you and your family lots of love and prayers.

  25. Mighty Kitty says:

    Just want to let you know, Mr. Awesome, that you are still my previous feline sweetheart. Just do all you enjoy and I look forward to your marriage to Dr. Who.
    Just do your best even at your worst and know how loves you really are!

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