Ask Max Monday: You’re The Jerk…But Not Really

Ask Max Monday

Dear Max.
Thanks for the Costco tip.
Now as we liked your Christmas decoration post last week, we got to wondering what we would celebrate if, heaven forbid, Christmas didn’t exist. Also how we would celebrate the alternative. What would be your idea of a celebration and how would you celebrate it?

Paws down, I would celebrate Whovimas. We would get a much bigger Whovimas tree, and all the gifts under it would be Who-related and wrapped in blue, and we would spend the entire day watching episodes of Doctor Who.

Now, granted, we kinda do that already, but we have Christmas at the same time. But I am totally down with an all-Whovimas day, and instead of bellowing out ho ho ho, Santa would yell out, “Basically…run!” because that’s what happens a lot on Doctor Who. And there would still be stockings, but instead of coal, naughty boys and girls would get tiny Daleks, and good boys and girls would get tiny sonic screwdrivers. And since all kids are a little bit of both, they would totally get both, and maybe even a Cyberman action figure, because it’s not a holiday without something to play with.

Mostly, though, I would just want a day of watching Doctor Who on someone’s lap, with pauses for real live fresh dead and delicious things to nom on. That sounds AWESOME.

= = =

Max, who is Timmy, and why is he in the well?

Whenever I try to remind my people that it has been 37 minutes since I’ve eaten and I am about to die of starvation, I yell it at the top of my lungs cuz they’re old and they ignore me half the time. And then they say, “What’s the matter, KD? Is Timmy in the well?

Oh, dood. I feel your pain. I’ve gotten that same comment more than once.

Timmy was this kid who owned a dog named Lassie. Now Lassie was freaking smart, so when she kept bugging people, they knew she had something important to tell them. And that something was, apparently, that her Boy—Timmy—had fallen down the well YET AGAIN.

I mean, really, who falls into a well more than once? You think he’d have learned his lesson after the first time someone had to fish his wet, boy-stinky self out of a freaking well.

So really, when they say that to you, they’re complementing you. Because in that scenario, you’re Lassie. And as far as dogs go, Lassie was wicked smart.

Timmy, OTOH, not so much…

= = =

Max, am I the jerk here? Last week a friend blew up at me because I referred to my cat as my son. She has two kids and took umbrage that I would place my cat at the same level as a human child. To complicate things, she recently lost a pregnancy at 7 months, and it was a boy. Without thinking about it, I told her she was being unnecessarily harsh, that since I don’t have children, I have a cat, and he is my son. She thinks I’m nuts.

So. Am I a jerk in this situation? Nuts? Or is she just too touchy?

Okay. Hear me out.

In this situation, you’re kind of a jerk. Not full-fledged, but a little bit. Your friend is a woman who is still grieving the loss of a child, and there is no way, in no situation, where she would equivocate your cat to the child she lost. To put them on the same plane just hurts her. In nearly any other scenario, she probably would have rolled her eyes and said you were kinda quirky, but she’s still in momma-beast mode and will protect that with every fiber of her being. In her broken heart, that baby rates higher than a cat. She’s not going to give leeway to semantics and alternate label in pet caregiving.

You’re only a jerk because you told her she was being unnecessarily harsh while knowing the weight of what she’s carrying.

Here’s the thing. A lot of pet owners consider themselves cat-moms and dads or dog-moms and dads. It’s usually laced with a touch of amusement, but deep down, they are the moms and dads of these furry kids. But they’re not moms and dads. If there was a fire and they could only save some random stranger’s newborn baby or their treasured cat, you know what they would do. And it would suck, but the survivor would have to be the infant.

Your cat is your kid, but he’s also not your kid, if that makes sense.

The Woman often refers to me as her baby. Online, Buddah calls her “The Mom.” But we’re not her offspring and no matter how much she loves us, if her feet were put to the fire, in an emergency, a human comes first. Granted, she would go hungry to make sure we ate, she would live in a car before she would put us in a shelter, and she would protect us with her life—but she has a son, and I am not he.

That doesn’t mean she’s not a cat mom. She is. But she’s not our mother.

Be a cat mom. Revel in it. Enjoy it. But know your audience, because some people will be sensitive to what are really just fun labels, even though it’s not intended to be offensive.

Now, if you offer her a sincere apology—for not thinking, not for loving your cat as much as is possible—and she rejects it, you’re totally not a jerk, and she can assume the title.

I hope you don’t chew on it too much. You love your cat. I get it. She probably gets it, too, but the timing just kinda sucked.

= = =

Max can cats eat vegetables? We’re arguing about it over here.

Cats can eat vegetables, and if you have a cat on a diet that might be a good snack to keep them from screaming at you for food (if they’ll eat them…might not.) But cats are obligate carnivores and NEED meat. As long as they’re getting enough of the right kinds of meat protein, a few veggies here and there won’t hurt (unless it makes them fart a lot and that might hurt you more than them) and can help them feel full.

But good luck on getting your cat to eat any. I sure as heck won’t.

= = =

Got a question? Drop me a line at or leave it in the comments here.

3 thoughts on “Ask Max Monday: You’re The Jerk…But Not Really

  1. hay max! What are yoo dressin up as fer halloween this yeer? How bout Buddah? And how many sleeps till krissmiss? How much longer do I hafta be good for Santa to bring me stuff?

  2. Max,
    The question of “who would you save, your dearly loved dog (or cat) or a stranger’s child” has been asked by Dennis Prager to his classes for years. The one third of the students answered the stranger’s child, one third said their pet and one third could not decide. Mr. Prager, who is a very religious man was not a bit happy with these results, as he believes the clear cut answer should be to save the human. In my case, I would save my cat.

    Having seen many Lassie movies as a kid I thoroughly enjoyed your observations about Timmy!

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