Ask Max Monday: What do, what do, what do…?

Dear Max. With a new season comes the eternal question as to what to wear, well for humans anyway. What stye tips can you offer the ill paid housekeeper, or general household labourer?
Do you have any fashion preferences besides the super cool hat. Obviously we Tuxedo’s have the best attire, especially for dressing up, but what about casual add-ons and accessories?
Toodle pips

My only requirement for the humans who serve me are pants. For the love of bast, people, PUT SOME PANTS ON.

I suppose if it makes them feel special and gets them to work hard, you could get ’em a tiara. But mostly pants. They realllllly need pants.

Dear Max,

Congrats on the legal weed. But…I don’t get it. My mom has let me have some a few times and I got nothing. My sister Daiquiri seems to like it. What does it do??

Thanks, Chanel

It just makes me feel super chill. Like, the world has slowed down, no one is yelling, and everything is way funnier. For about ten minutes, I feel radically mellow, and everything is okay.

Hi Max, I’m Spider and Gracie’s Food Lady, and I’m sad to report that Spider crossed the rainbow bridge May 6. She would have been 20 years old on June 27.

Gracie and I miss her beyond words. She was such an amazing little weirdo and possibly the only carbon-based life form (outside my own mother) to adore me totally. She refused to let me out of her sight, generally standing next to me in the kitchen with her tail wrapped around my leg or purring like Harley-Davidson or sacking out in my lap with legs and paws going in every possible position. She saved me from an apartment fire (another story for another day). She could reach me in the midst of clinical depression (an even more complicated story). Loyalty doesn’t even begin to describe it. Dogs had nothing on her.

So obviously, she’s a hard act to follow, and no kitteh would ever replace her. I have the gorgeous company of The Aby-Tabby, The (silly) Goosie, The Tuffy, Gracie, who is Thee Best cuddlebug and comedienne. She and I are totes tight and she sleeps in my armpit every night and monitors my bathroom habits for science. She also is a world-class frolicker and shelf-spelunker and mousie-fetcher. But she’s got no one to talk to or play with all day. She seems a bit quiet and sad. Of course, I only want the best for her. When I brought her into my house, I did an abysmal job of introducing her to Spider. Like bad. Like, let’s never speak of it again. I know a lot more now, but do I really?

Lately, I’ve been spending time with the kittehs at the local shelter, bringing them foods in exchange for pets and I’m getting the hard sell.

Soooo, as a cat, do you think I should be on the lookout for another kitteh soon or give it a lot more time? I know you’re going to say it depends on how Gracie and I feel, but I’m more worried about Lil G. I mean, I want her to have a buddy, but I don’t want to make two kittehs unhappy.

What do you think? Thanks so much!

Jana, Gracie and Spider’s Humom

Oh man. I am so, so sorry. Spider was amazing, truly.

I don’t know about how a person decides when it’s time for another cat. I can tell you that the People thought I was lonely without Hank the Dog, so a year after he was gone they brought Buddah home. And as much as they love him, because of what it did to me—even aside from getting sick—if they could go back, they wouldn’t bring him home.

Now, I know that sounds like a horrible thing to admit, but his being here changed my personality, and I haven’t been nearly as happy since. It’s been 13 years, and I’m still not over it. We never bonded. We’re not buds. He hates me, I tolerate him. It’s not comfortable.

If you’re ready for another kitty, then do what you need to for yourself…but also be willing to undo it if Gracie doesn’t take to the newby. I’m not sure how much time it takes, but if she’s actually miserable instead of just put out for a while…well, she was there first. My people didn’t have the guts to make the hard choice, and they kept Buddah.

I think MOST of the time it works out, which is why I say to listen to your guts to tell you what you need. I just don’t really know. My own experience here is not great…lots of my friends have had terrific experiences, but I wound up with Buddah.

Hey Max, how long duz it take for thoze stoopid kittens not to be stoopid anymore?

Well, Buddah is 13 now. When it happens, I’ll let you know.


Dood. You need to get really worked up about the whole stabby visit. Scream on the ride over and when you get there, start panting like you’re stuck in the Sahara. Once you get good and bothered, your innards start churning, and then it just happens. WHAM, the tech or vet is covered in the glory that is your not-quite-digested-enough lunch. And it smells AWFUL. So, bonus!

I like your transport !
Especially as it has a telescoping handle.
We looked it up under Pet Gear & couldn’t find one to match. The closest was the top photo…but yours looks snazzier. Is yours no longer being sold?
Apparently I’m too heavy ( or my owner is getting too old) to use a regular carrier. Advice? Would you buy the one shown here?
BTW. I luv your photo on today’s post!
Dewey Blue

Mine is the Pet Gear I-Go2 carrier. The Woman got it on Amazon…we have the Extra Large. It’s kinda awesome. It rolls, it can be a backpack, it can be carried by the handle. The stabby people really like that it can roll and has that extended handle. I hate going anywhere, but this at least makes it bearable.

Dear Max,

I am visiting my son for ten days in another state. I miss my three cats so much that yesterday a neighbor lady loaned me her two new kittens so that I could have a cat fix. I dangled my Eiffel Tower bookmark for them and they chased it until they were tired out. My daughter sent me a picture of herself sitting in my chair at home and two of my cats are sitting with her and she is petting them! My husband is still at home with them. My question is this: Will my cats miss me even a little bit? I play with them, pet them, groom them, and give them treats every day! Will they be nice when I go home to them or will they not even notice that I was gone?

Missing my cats

A lot of the time when the Woman goes off, the Man stays with us, and we spend a lot of time hanging with him, and when the Grandma stays we suck up to her and sit in her lap. But I *always* notice she’s gone and I miss her. I look for her for a day or so, too. But when she gets back?

Oh, I missed her all right, but she must pay for the abandonment. So I ignore her for a little while, until I’m sure she’s learned her lesson. Then she gives me some real live fresh dead things to eat, and I grant her my forgiveness.

So there’s your solution: be prepared to bribe. I suggest steak. Steak bites make up for *a lot.*

Hi Max

Wez wondering how wez can as kitties getz other humanz to help kitties. Our Meowmie volunteerz at a no kill shelter and she wishes dere was a way to get more humanz to help.  Wez was both adoped as adult kitties..what iz yourz an Budda story? Dey do gud wid de fundraising tankfully but itz getting people to help wid dat and at de shelter.

Wez always looking fur gud suggestions to trying to get more human servants..errrr purrents for de kitties in de orphan kitty home.

Your Canadian fans

Oakley and Sugar

P.S. diz be Sugar do you have a gurl catfriend oh handsome Max?

Man, I dunno. People like the idea of volunteering to help, but real life gets in the way a lot. Social media might be a way to work it…if you can get someone with a really good camera to take pictures of the animals, run them on FB or Instragram with things like, “Gorgeous female panther seeks friendly and gregarious minion to help with chores in my domain.” Make it sound like they’re winning something, and they might come. Also, that might garner some adoptions.

Buddah’s and my story is available in my books BITE ME and EPISTLE (Heh. See what I did there?)

DOODS OUT THERE! You got any ideas?

Oh, and Sugar…I don’t have a girlfriend, but I do have an imaginary boyfriend (he’s on TV! He shows houses to lottery winners!) and I’m also going to marry the next Doctor. But she doesn’t know that yet, so, ssshhhh. It’s a surprise.

Dear Max,

I iz confused. My hoomans act like I am the best thing since sliced bread, which is the way it should be, of course. But then, if I’m so great, why do they go away for two weeks  on something called a HOLLERDAY? They disappear completely and let total strangers in the house to feed me and give me pets twice a day, and even though I like the attention, I don’t get nearly enough of it! What gives? And why do they have to go away to Holler? Can’t they Holler right here at home? I have a good mind to run away and do some Hollering myself!

Mr. Buttons

There are probably noise ordinances where you live, so they have to drive off a ways away to holler. It sucks, but if they did it at home someone might call the cops, and then you’d have to scratch up bail money…that sounds spendy. It’s probably better that they go far away to do it. The neighbors probably think so, too.

Hi Max. Sasha here. And boy, am I in Trouble – with a capital “T”!

A little background first. I’m a 5-year old, not-quite 7-pound petite Bengal mix – maybe. We’re not quite sure. I was only about six months old when I adopted my Forever Peeps. We don’t know how long I was lost in the Oakland hills and we don’t know how I was treated by my first Peeps. So we don’t know why I attack the Man Peep – but only for the 15 minutes or so while he is getting ready for bed and after he first crawls in. He would consider that I was “just playing” except my inner Mr. (or would that be Ms.?) Hyde comes out. I get a mean look on my face and sometimes I draw blood when I attack. I’m doing damage to the sheets and blankets with my teeth and claws. They try playing with me before bedtime but I usually can’t be bothered. The Lady Peep has tried leaving the bedroom until the Man Peep gets into bed thinking that I’m trying to protect her but that doesn’t deter me. The squirt bottle has reappeared. THE SQUIRT BOTTLE.

I love my Forever Peeps and I know they love me. They have never been mean to me and they always feed me good noms and give me lots and lots of scritches and laps to curl up on and make sure that I am healthy and that I don’t ever get lost again. 

Please help me Max! What am I going to do???

Your fan,

Well, there could be a hundred different things at play, but my gut says there’s something about the man that doesn’t smell right, or look right, or reminds you of someone who hurt you in a specific situation: like, when he was getting ready for bed. In that situation, your brain flips a switch and you just can’t help yourself.

The truth is, I’m not sure what you can do to improve. Your people can put something like Feliway diffusers throughout the house, and that might help calm your furry little asterisk down. My people started using them about a year ago, when Buddah was at peak Buddah and they honestly thought he was going to kill me…we have 6 of them covering 1750ish square feet, and it helps a bit. Not 100%. But enough that it’s worth it.

I doubt the squirt bottle is going to do anything more than tick you off, which is kind of counterproductive. Heck, the Woman tried to use one on me to get me to leave her alone at night…so I snuck up on it and killed it.

At least temporarily—and you won’t like this—they might need to ban you from the bedroom at night. Oh, you’ll spend a few nights howling about it, but you’ll get used to it. It sounds mean, but the Man needs a break from being attacked and the sheets and blankets don’t deserve being shredded; being removed from the situation might be necessary, at least until you can figure out what triggers you.

The Woman (mine) can empathize. Buddah goes bat krap crazy now and then and attacks her. There’s never any real reason why, he just goes off and after her. The Feliway has helped with that, too.

Oh! One thing that really seems to have helped—treats. She gives him treats in the spots where he used to attack, and that might be why he’s backed off some. He’s learning to associate her with food, and not just any food but happy food. She does it before he starts anything.

Anyone else have any better ideas? Sasha’s people really want to do good by her…but this is kinda outside my skill set, other than living with Buddah.


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4 thoughts on “Ask Max Monday: What do, what do, what do…?

  1. Max, thank you for your sage kitty advice. I know what you’re saying. Gracie and I are getting to be closer buds. We think we might foster some kittens down the road sometime when we’re ready (maybe late spring 2019). She might like that and we might have a foster “fail.” Maybe pick up a kitty or two, one(s) Lil G approves. Luv, Jana

  2. Wow, Max…you were very busy this week! So much wisdom to dispense. I have friends who find a stray cat, they open the door and the new cat just becomes a happy part of the clowder…but that hasn’t happened to us either! Wish it was easier, but we respect a cat who knows what they want…or don’t want!

  3. Hey Max,
    Dood, purlease explain to my peon/mama why looking out the front door 6ft to the west of my window seat is so important. I have to throw temper tantrums, everyday dood, in front of the front door for like 20 mins or until I get bored to get the door opened to look out! Unbelievable right? She sometimes acquiesces to my demands but most times tells me no. Yes, you heard that right She says no to me?! She says it’s not safe, it makes our home hotter/colder, blah, blah, blah. Dood, you are a wordsmith, so if any can explain it so she understands it’s you!

    Your doodette,

    Puddzee Pye

    For Sasha: Always seek help from your vet they are great resources. If they can they will try their best but may recommend a behaviorist. Feliway makes a spray also there are several good herbal tinctures available that can be used on fabrics or areas that help kitties feel calm and safe. Maybe starting a routine where she gets to play using her hunting skills until she’s panting and then feeding her right after before you go to bed at night. Also maybe daddy needs to always be the parent with soothing interactions never rough housing play with her may help. That’s my 2 cents.

  4. For Jana, Gracie and Spider’s Humom: You will never know if a kitten will work out until you bring home home and give it a shot. Keep the kitten isolated for as long as you have to until everyone is calm and not really upset by the ‘intruders’. Give your residents lots of love and pets and treats whenever they are not grumpy at the new kitten (or kittens) behind the door – even if they are no where near the door. Make the kitten(s) being there a very good thing.. not an intrusion that is going to take up your time and their food and the best sleeping spots and foul up the litter box.

    For Sasha: It can be so hard to stop a behavior when the people don’t understand why the behavior happens. Sometimes humans can look and act like toys and you just want to play with them but they are so fragile and it hurts them. Maybe he freaks you out and you want to defend yourself.. hard to know. The squirt bottle isn’t productive, and I hope that instead they incorporate several vigorous play sessions with you to drain your energy so you don’t have as much to attack the peoples. Getting the people you attack to give you treats and feed you meals also helps you associate them with good things. Getting you to the vet to get your nails trimmed so you don’t hurt them as much and to discuss your behavior a bit more in depth might also lead to solutions. If need be there are some chemical options for you to help “calm” you.. and I have been using CBD on my cat with some anxiety / paranoia issues and it is doing wonders for him.

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