Ask Max Monday: The Scoop on the Poop


Dear Max:

My cat Ozzy is bored, and he expects me to entertain him. But he’s not interested in anything I suggest. Screened porch bird watching?(Too hot) Toys? (Boring) Catnip (Also boring) Ice in a bowl? (Been there; done that) Play with sister? (Eeeeewww!!!)

He’s only 8, but he acts like a grumpy old man. Any ideas?

Ozzy’s mom

Da Bird.


Da Bird. I have never known a cat who is able to resist the lure of this magnificent toy. It’s hunting and chasing and interaction with a people all in one. And it’s cheap. And available on Amazon.

Also, a Cat Dancer. It, too, requires your participation, but it’s stupid weird fun, and even I will go after it, and I’m older than fairy-fart dust.

If he won’t play with those, he just doesn’t like you. Or, you know, he’s just lazy.

Hay Max, life is grate. I git to go owtside if I ware the baby harniss, and win we go I git to sit under the berd feeder. I wish I cood stay owt thare all day, but it makes me hungry! And the ladey holds the leesh so I have not bin suksessul ketching berds. I did ketch a baby lizzerd yesterday and I ate it and it wuz kinda like beef jerkey. Dry and a littul stringy. But I’m not cumplayning. Win I’m under the berd feeder, I sniff all the diffring smells, and THARE ARE SO MENNY!!! And thares a big rok thare that the berds poop on and that smells best of all. So my kweshchun is: Why is berd poop wite?

Dood. Think about it. Birds can fly. And like people, they probably have allergies, which makes it hard to breathe through their nostrils, so they flap around the sky with their beaks open. And you know what happens then?

They wind up eating a lot of clouds.

Look up. See? Clouds are white, dood! They’re just pooping out what they take in. So be glad this isn’t, like, mid-70s Los Angeles, or that poop would be 16 kinds of horrific blackness.

I just moved in with my new mommy two weeks ago and I am trying to learn to be nice and not bite her hard or scratch her when she pets me. But I am a sassy torte-calico and sometimes my natural feistiness gets the better of me. My mommy has learned to give me a toy like a nip nanner when I go to bite her and that is working pretty good. My mommy is pretty smart. But I also live with an old big dog who is never mean to me but only wants to be my friend. But I am afraid f him and I hiss and growl and spit and even scratch at him. When mommy gives us treats, she always gives equal pieces to each of us. How can I not be so scared of him? He was friends with the two cats who came before me but have now crossed the bridge.

I have totally been where you’re at. Hank the Dog was super sweet and just wanted to be friends, but he was HYUGE and he scared the c-r-a-p out of me. There was a lot of hissing and spitting, and he just cocked his head like, “you’re so adorable!” which just made me hiss even more.

It just takes time, that’s all. The longer you live with him and he doesn’t try to eat you, the more you’ll relax around him. You may never be great friends—I had a healthy respect for Hank but we weren’t cuddle buddies or anything—but you’ll find a separate peace. Just try to keep it in your head that he’s not going to hurt you, and eventually your heart will catch up.

Dear Dood (Brat says to call you Dood), 

We did the M & it was supposed to be the LAST M EVER but this place and the old woman here are just yuck. Brat keeps attacking everybody and everything, and the Mom even SNIPPED us and got Bachs, which makes me feel pretty groovy but Brat is still attacking me, and Geo, and the Mom keeps getting hurt again. Her heart has gone wonky again, and her leg is hurt from trying to save us from us. She got some Bully stuff and Stress stuff from the Big Cat Daddy, but Brat is still attacking. And now because of all the papers she spent to get us here, then to get water and stuff because there wasn’t any, she says we can’t M and it might kill us all if we tried. But she takes a lot of medicines again, and suddenly doesn’t do playtime any more, and I think she feels she made a mistake coming here to stay with the mean woman. What we need to know is, if we agree to M again, can we have our danglies back? It hasn’t helped Brat not be a brat. And it’s REALLY HOT!


Dood, the danglies are gone. For good. They don’t grow back no matter how hard you wish for it. But still, once everything is in place to do the M-word again, do it without trying to make a deal. There’s no point living with a mean person. Look at it as the light at the end of the tunnel: you’ll get there. Maybe moving there was a mistake, but it was what you had to do at the time, and eventually you’ll get out of there. It’s just gonna suck in the meantime.

And yeah, it can take a while for a guy to stop being a raging dillhole after he gets nootered. I mean, Buddah got his lopped off like 12 years ago and he’s still one. I think he’s an outlier, though. But it might take a few more weeks for Brat to stop living up to his name.

Dood, odd question. We’d never read any Science Fiction before we read your books. What’s something else you would recommend? Just a couple titles to get us moving in the right direction.

Oh, man…good thing you’re limiting me to just a couple titles, or this would take all day. For starters, I’d suggest John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. It’s six books, and they’re fast reads and Scalzi has a great sense of humor.

One that got the Woman into Sci-Fi when she was younger is Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. She was way too young for it, but it stuck with her and she re-reads it every now and then. It’s a grown up kind of book, you should know that up front.

And if you like literary sci-fi, Adam Tchaikovsky’s book Children of Time is aces. I think it even won some awards.

Tell you what, if you ever go onto the Woman’s Facebook page and post this question, you’ll get 1,095,384 answers, because her friends are serious readers.

Hey, Max,
We always enjoy the comments you get from Spider and Gracie and would love to interview them for Mousebreath but we can’t find a blog or email address for them.  We checked Twitter too.  Would you happen to know how to find / contact them?
We love to read your columns.  They are usually funny, but occasionally sad.  You have a knack for saying something helpful when there is a sad question.
Funny Farmer Felines
Cyndi, Percy, Rusty, Micah & Taylor



Got a question for me?
You can leave it in the comments below,
or drop me an email at

You can also find me on Facebook.


12 thoughts on “Ask Max Monday: The Scoop on the Poop

  1. Max, you are a genius! Ozzy & his sister are jumping around like fools chasing Da Bird. We also have Cat Dancer on standby. Thanks for the excellent advice.

    Ozzy’s mom

  2. Just another idea for the sassy calico-tortie girl with the dog issue …Ask your mom to buy you a couple of tall cat trees, or somehow provide some spaces where you can get up high easily (I highly recommend Jackson Galaxy & Kate Benjamin’s catification books for DIY and other ideas). That way you can ‘observe’ and hopefully get used to the big dog but from a place where you can feel safe.

  3. Stranger in a strange land plus anything else Robert K Heinlein and before that Ray Bradbury. But after Heinlein came Douglas Adams and Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy and don’t forget your towel, Arthur Dent, and then it was all Dr. Who after that! Are we on a similar page or what?

  4. Max…a couple of the foster kittens gotted sick and had to have surgery to remove one eye each. Mom has started calling them pirate kittens. Don’t pirates need an eye patch though? We searched the amazon but couldn’t find anything small enough that might stay on.

  5. The IScream truck came by and the mom did NOT let me go out and buy any. I WANT ISCREAM and I think that, since I stole, um, FOUND a whole dollar bill I should be able to buy some. How can I make this happen?

  6. Wow, Max, you sure do have influence! You give a shout and Spider and Gracie respond. it’s like magic. Or is it that every cat has a secret desire to be famous? Thanks for your help.

Comments are closed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers