Ask Max Monday: State of Me #4,391

Ask Max Monday

Dude, Mrs H and I send once more our sincerest condolences. As to urns, I was wondering why they can’t do them like us? By that I mean in our likeness, size shape and colour. That would be so cool, though I can see some humans (like Mrs H) getting confused when they lose their glasses. Do you have a preference for an urn?
Purrs
ERin

I’ve seen a lot of urns for black cats, but nothing for a tuxedo like me. No hairless kitties, no white, no tabby…there really is a market for that and I don’t know why no one has jumped on it.

The Woman has had mine for a long time, or at least she thought she had. The idea was that when my time comes I would go into a ceramic cookie jar that looks like a TARDIS, and I’d be in front of the fireplace. But then Buddah’s got here and it’s super nice looking, and she’s no longer sure it’s appropriate.

I honestly don’t care. Whatever makes the people smile when they look at it, that’s fine…though the TARDIS is kinda fitting. She can paint my name on it. That would be cool.

= = =

Dear Max,

 My Oliver who has always been an indoor only cat has suddenly decided he wants to be an indoor/outdoor cat.

I don’t like this because he has heart disease and it’s taking a toll. Also it’s not safe to go outside. But I have reluctantly been letting him out once or twice a day after I came home one afternoon and found him outside waiting for me. I didn’t think he’d escaped when I left but there he was outside. I found that he’s managed to slither through the 2 3/4 inch gap the window was open and push through the screen. Oliver is a big 16 lb part Maine Coon boy. I’d never have thought he could squeeze out.I decided if he’s that determined, I’d let him out. One of my friends joked he probably has a bucket list he’s following before his heart disease gets any worse. Is that what it is do you think?

Bucket list? No, not really. But there is a truth to why cats try to get outside when they’re declining, and it’s not a happy, see-the-world kind of thing. When we’re ill and feel especially vulnerable, we seek places away from our usual places, somewhere to hide, because we become susceptible to prey and are trying to protect ourselves.

The reasons you don’t like letting him out—he has heart disease and it’s just not safe—are reasons to keep him home, inside, where he has quantifiable safeguards. If you keep letting him out, there might be a day when he doesn’t come home and you won’t know why.

Yes, I know there are a lot of indoor/outdoor cats and they do fine, but Oliver has been indoor only and is not partly feral. He won’t have outside survival skills. If he goes outside to die, you may never find where.

Keeping him inside is not mean; it’s not denying him the chance at fulfilling a bucket list—that’s strictly a human concept—or anything else. But it does mean keeping him as safe and protected as you can, allowing him however many days he has left, days that he deserves.

= = =

Max, my man, how ya doing? Did you go back to the stabby guy for an internal photo session?

I did. I went back on Thursday for an x-ray, and when that didn’t show a fracture, a needle biopsy. The result was a bad news/good news kind of thing and we’re trying to adjust to it here at Casa Max.

The mass is a soft tissue sarcoma; they’re usually slow growing and they don’t usually spread, so that’s the good news. The bad news is that it will grow, and it’s why I sometimes drag my leg a bit and why I’ve been peeing places other than the litterbox—sometimes it aches a little too much to bother stepping over the edge of the box.

We’ll call it what it is: I have cancer. The cancer itself probably won’t be what gets me in the end; at some point the people will have to make a decision about my pain levels and the quality of my life, and then do what’s best for me. That’s the hard part, figuring out what’s best for me over what their hearts want. I trust them to do the best for me because they did the best for Buddah, despite how much it hurt. And how much it still hurts.

I’m too old for the cancer to be treated aggressively, or even really at all. The stabby guy agreed that the things they could do if I were half the age I am would be a bit cruel, given that I might not recover from an amputation and the anxiety of chemo and radiation would probably do me in. And that’s all right…I did make it to 19, after all.

What they are doing is giving me medications to increase my appetite so I’ll eat better, and an anti-nausea medication that also has a bit of an analgesic effect to it. So I’m still eating and I’m getting around well enough, and the people will count my good days and bad days and stack them against each other, looking for the time when I don’t have enough good days.

It could be weeks; it could be months. There’s no telling, really. Every good day is a gift, and I’m happy to have them.

= = =

Keep asking questions, doods. I could be here quite a while.

= = =

Got a question for me? You can leave it in the comments or email me at askmaxmonday -at- gmail dot com.

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 (4)

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  1. When we had Sammy cremated, we didn’t know we’d get a box! Heart-shaped, but a box nonetheless. And both Angel and Chuck have oblong wooden boxes.
    Purrsonally, Max, I think you should have your Tardis, but I hope it’s not for awhile yet, dood.
    Here’s a question:
    Do you think that cats KNOW a cat-loving human? I’ve made friends with many neighborhood cats, however some of the strays continue to avoid me, like I was just some random human! Perhaps it’s because they already have a clowder human, and I’m just 2nd fiddle.

  2. Mary McNeil says:

    I am glad for the advice you gave Oliver’s owner. I have had inside cats suddenly want out, and usually – even though they don’t wander off – they are in a (slow) declines. So Oliver’s owner definitely need to keep him safe – unless they can let him out and supervise him in a safe yard and he feels old and achy enough that he is not gonna sprint away. Sending purrayers to you and your humans – and Oliver and his humans too.

  3. Mango and Moms Brenda says:

    Dear Max, Well do you remember my older sissyfurs Aspen? Well, Mom was truly planning that Aspen would live to at least age 18 +- however she got sick and hid it that she wasnt eating like she needed to be. Mom took Aspen to the Veterinarian Stabby Guy! However, Aspen ran off to the Rainbow Bridge anyway! And Aspen had a bñack face but sky Blue Eyes! Well when Mom got her Brown Box Urn, there was a very noticeable Black Spot on the brown wooden box! Mom really believes Aspen was letting Mom know, “Yes, my Ashes are in here! And I am truly okay! MOM! REMEMBER ME, Black Face with White Here and there! And oh my back was a Tweed, Brown, Beige, Black, and White!” Of Course, Aspen, we will not ever forget YOU!”Do you recall Aspen, Max? She had?a crush on you! She also really liked?another lovely brown cat who ran OTRB earlier than Aspen! We miss You Sisfurr! Love Mango! We just want you to remembee Aspen fondly Max!

  4. Dude, you sooo need to have a tardis. one that actually does that strange whirring and whooshing sound that the Dr’s does. PLUS a flashing light to show when you’re off on, or back from you’re travels!
    Me, Id want a Tuxedo princess shaped one (like me, obviously!) with a persistant meow and paw moving to greet my fans. A bit like the waving cats that greet you in Chinese homes, only way ay smarter and better 😉 MOL
    Anyways. What are your thoughts on the new cat in Star Trek? Hit or a miss? Me, I think a hit, but think they could do with more but definitely not more with funny appendages as that would just be wrong and encourage folk to try to dress up their poor, non space travelling, alien moggy cat!
    Purrs till next week!
    ERin

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