7-25-18 Wednesday

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2004 – 2018.

The night before last, Maxi started digging at her mouth, and had been drooling before that started. We nearly took her to the emergency vet, but she settled down after a little while. I dropped her off yesterday morning with our regular vet so that they could work her in among their other appointments and surgeries. Fred and I both expected that a dental cleaning and perhaps some extractions would fix the issue, but when the vet called it wasn’t good news: he’d found a large mass in her mouth. After hearing all of the options and talking it out, we opted to let her go while she was still under sedation.

This post is my tribute to her.


We first met Maxi in August of 2006. We were at the house that wasn’t yet ours – you know it as Crooked Acres – and with the owner’s permission we were spending a lot of time walking around the house and property, making plans. We were walking out the door into the back yard when she came strolling across the lawn toward us, speaking her mind.

This is the very first picture I took of her.

She was clearly nursing kittens, though we didn’t know where she was keeping them. She didn’t hesitate to let us pet her, and it wasn’t long before she was showing up at the house every time we were there, expecting to be fed and petted. After we’d bought the house and were spending every spare minute there working on the inside, she was almost always there. We’d take a break from working to sit on the front porch, and here she’d come.

(The people who sold us the house told us that they weren’t taking her with them because they “couldn’t catch her.”)

One fall morning, while I was painting (or cleaning or something), Fred came into the house and told me to follow him. Maxi had shown up again… but she wasn’t alone.

She had four kittens with her, and Newt. We initially thought Newt was perhaps the father of her kittens, but when Maxi and Newt were spayed and neutered, the vet said that she thought Newt was actually Maxi’s son from a previous litter.

We fostered her kittens until they were ready to be spayed and neutered, and then they were adopted out through Challenger’s House. That was the last time in her life that Maxi had ANY patience at all for kittens.

Newt was really the only cat she ever had patience for, and even he annoyed her after a certain point.

She was so TINY.

Tiny but FIERCE.

Maxi didn’t care for the other cats, and it seemed to infuriate her that other cats even existed. She’d sit out on the side stoop asking to be let in. I’d let her in, she’d realize that there were other cats in the house, and she’d want right back out.

We loved to say that she had the flat, dead Tony Soprano eyes. That girl was NOT messing around.

She was such a pretty girl.

I don’t think I ever quite made it clear how much of a people cat she was. She was almost always up for being petted, even by strangers, and people didn’t much scare her. She loved to be brushed, she’d let me kiss her on the head. As long as you weren’t a cat, she thought you were okay.

She didn’t mind being flipped onto her back and held like a baby at all, though when she wanted down it would behoove you to put her DOWN, thank you.

Fred built this house on the front porch for her, and she spent many an hour in it, with the heated pad under her and the heating bulb above her.

“You ain’t got other CATS in there, do you?!”

A few years ago, she started asking to go into the garage, and pretty quickly discovered that there was an old cat bed on a chair on the second level of the garage. She claimed it as her own we added a heated pad to the setup during the colder months, added dishes of food and water, and the garage became her property. She would have spent 24/7 in that garage, except that Fred would occasionally make her come outside and be sociable with us. She’d VERY occasionally venture into the house, but that’s really not where she wanted to be; she knew it, and she made sure we did, too.

Maxi was the one I worried the most about when we moved from Crooked Acres to Shady Cove, and she turned out to adjust with no trouble at all. She didn’t pick fights, she didn’t wail to go out – she just adapted, declared her favorite spots as her own, and as long as the other cats left her alone (and they usually did), she was fine. She’d spend her days moving back and forth between the back yard and sleeping on my bed, and her nights were spent sleeping in the corner of my room or sleeping in front of one of the windows in Fred’s office. She’d greet him outside his bedroom door in the morning, and lead him downstairs for morning snack time.

She had a thick, glossy black coat, a sweet little white locket, pretty green eyes with a deadly gaze, and a funny, husky meow. She lived life on her own terms, and we were lucky she showed up to join us. There’s a space in our home where a tiny black, occasionally annoyed Maxi belongs, and we will miss her very much.

Goodbye, sweet Mama girl. We’ll miss you.


2017: “What big teef you have, Mama!”
2016: She’s kind of like a lab puppy in a kitten suit.
2015: No entry.
2014: “Come back here, Mister! I didn’t get a chance to bite you!”
2013: As her eating skills have improved, Arya’s after-eating food beard has been reduced to more of a food goatee.
2011: Want your own “I love cats, it’s people who annoy me” gear?
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: “Yeah, I know. He KEEPS showing it to me. He thinks I WANT to see it. This is what I live with, day in and day out.”
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



7-25-18 Wednesday — 76 Comments

  1. I’m heartbroken for the Love & Hisses family, And so grateful you had close friends visiting recently who gave her extra lovins.

  2. Sweet ever-present, though in the background (or backyard) Maxi. I know you are leaving a much bigger hole in the household than your size would indicate!

    How is Newt doing? Please give him a hug for me.

  3. Robyn & Fred – I’m so sorry for your loss. Maxi was one of a kind, and I’m so glad her previous owners “couldn’t catch her.” She was clearly meant for you.

  4. Condolences. She knew what she was doing when she didn’t let those other people catch her!

  5. I’m so sorry, Robyn. It’s such a shock. The exact same thing happened with one of our sweet old buddies. We were expecting a dental procedure would help whatever was bothering his mouth … and then the vet showed us a massive tumor under his tongue. So hard to say goodbye to him without seeing him awake one last time, but we knew waking him up would be cruel. Our little buddies are all so precious and teach us so much. Purrs and snuggles to you.

  6. I can only think that my extreme sadness at this news is tenfold for you and Fred… and that is mighty painful. I’m so sorry. But, as always, I’m glad that you were able to take swift action to save her any suffering.

    Maxi shall now be added to (what I like to call) the Pantheon on Purrs, where all special kitties go when they pass, after leaving their indelible marks on our souls.

  7. Oh, Robyn!! Lots of sympathy to you and Fred!!

    What a magnificent life she had with you.

  8. Sweet Maxi! It’s so hard to let them go, even when you know it’s the right thing. Hugs to you, Robyn and Fred. ❤️

  9. So sorry for your loss. You write the best tributes. You guys were blessed to have her, and her you. Farewell Sweet Maxi.

  10. So sorry, what a lovely post about her too, i feel like i have a new appreciation for her now, what a complete sweetheart.

  11. Oh, Robyn and Fred… I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye to Maxi. I have always thought that any kitty that hitches on with you and Fred have it made in the shade for life. You have given them all the best care and love they could get. I hope you can take solace in the notion that you allowed Maxi to go on a good day, and not be forced into making that decision for her on a bad day of pain and suffering.

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss. Losing a member of the family is so hard, especially when you don’t see it coming.

  13. Such a beautiful farewell tribute to one of a kind Maxi. She knew what she was doing when she wandered into your lives on Crooked acres. You and Fred were the best parents to her and treated her as a queen. She had the best of lives and will be missed by many. So very sorry for your heart break but you did the right thing in the end. No more suffering or pain . Hugs to you and Fred

  14. She will be missed by all. May she now enjoy her time with the others of your crew in “that other spot”.

  15. I’m so gutted for you, Robyn and Fred. I always looked forward to finding out what Maxi was up to. She couldn’t have had a better life with you two, despite those pesky other kitties. She was so well named: a maximum personality in a mini-body. Godspeed, little beauty.

  16. Sending hugs and kisses your way! What a beautiful, sweet girl, and so lucky you all found eachother!

  17. I am so sorry for your loss. Even though cats are physically small, they leave giant holes in your heart.

  18. Be at peace sweet Maxi. You did right by her and I hope you and Fred will be okay.

  19. What a nice life she led with you–always on her own terms. I’m sure you’ll miss her very much.

  20. I am so sorry about Maxi! She sounds like such a special kitty and an important part of your life. I’m glad you all found each other and will be thinking of you and Fred as you miss her.

  21. I’m so very very sorry. I’ve donated to Forgotten Felines of Huntsville in her honor!

  22. Maxi sweetheart, you really had a fabulous life, and I know you’ll be looking down on your Mom and Dad with love and purrs. They will miss you, as will we all, after all we thought of you as one of our own.

    RIP Sweet Pea.

  23. Such a lovely tribute to Maxi. Going to miss seeing her at Love & Hisses. 🙁

    My sincere condolences to you and Fred, on the loss of Maxi. Such a beautiful kitty.

  24. What a glorious girl Maxi was. We very much enjoyed seeing her here and thank you for caring for her, loving her, and sharing her with the world. Run free, sweetheart.

  25. ((((Hugs to you guys)))) Maxi was a true gem, and I know you (as well as myself and long-time Love & Hisses followers) will miss that black diamond-girl.

  26. So sorry for your loss. She’s a beautiful girl, and will be sorely missed.

  27. That was a beautiful tribute. I am so happy that she had a good life with people that understood how special she was and treated her with dignity. She was very beautiful and had a wonderful stare. I am so sorrt for her not being in your life.

  28. I am so sorry that you have to say good bye to such a wonderful, beautiful and unique friend. We will all miss hearing of her adventures with you

  29. Oh my, such sad news; she will be missed. Such a great tribute to her. Sending purrs and hugs from me and mine to you and yours.

  30. So sorry for your loss. I’m glad there are people in the world like you who care for our fellow creatures

  31. Goodbye sweet Maxi! My deepest sympathy to you and Fred. I had to let one go last Wednesday, 16 yrs old and had lymphoma. It’s never easy, always heartbreaking.

  32. What a great tribute. And you have some very fine pictures of a black cat, not easy to get.

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  33. I am so sorry to read this. You are my very first blog and I have been following you for a very long time. I will miss her as well.

  34. Maximum Maxi condolences to you and all the crew Robyn. This page is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful creature … I don’t remember ever seeing the pictures of her as a teeny-tiny mama far too young and small to be breeding … especially if she was already on her second or later litter, and da big giant Newt was actually her son! I think she had to grow up too fast and maybe that explains why she was always so wary of other cats. She sure found herself the right hoomins and turned everything around, though. RIP.

  35. Oh no! I am so sorry for your loss, Robyn and Fred. It never gets easier no matter how many times we go through it, does it? Maxi was such a special girl. I loved that she knew her own mind and wasn’t going to let anyone else tell her otherwise. Are you now down to just two girls among the Permanent Residents? (Alice and Sheriff Mama/Kara??)

  36. I’m so sorry, Robyn and Fred. What a sweet, sweet tribute – truly befitting of a one of a kind cat like Maxi.

  37. Looks like she enjoyed living with you very much, and that she gave you a lot of joy in return. What a lovely kitty she was. I know she was loved very much and will be missed. RIP little one

  38. What a lovely tribute to Maxi. You and Fred gave her a much better life than she was getting from her previous owners. For that you should be proud. I have a soft spot for black kitties and she was a beautiful girl. RIP Maxi.

  39. Maxi was such a beautiful and special girl. Until your lovely tribute, Robyn, I had no idea how petite she was – her purrsonality was huge! She had such a wonderful life with you and Fred. You understood who she was and what she needed to be content. And in the end, you made the difficult, but right, decision to let her go peacefully – a final act of love and care. Thank you for sharing her with us…I hope you find comfort in all the messages from L&H readers.

  40. Maxi picked you to be her family. She trusted you with her babies. She made your life more beautiful. You were blessed to be her special people.

  41. So sorry Robyn and Fred. It always makes me weepy when one of your Kids passes on. I become attached to them. I have a cat and a dog and adore them.

  42. I have no doubt that she continues to watch over her people. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  43. Maxi sounds like she was a wonderful addition to your family. I’m so sorry.

  44. My PC was dead for a few days, so I am now just catching up. As I was reading, I was saying, “NOOOOOoooooooo”….. R.I.P. sweet Maxi. What a beautiful beautiful girl. I don’t think I ever realized how small she was because she had a large presence. Robyn and Fred, I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs.

  45. I’m so very sorry for your loss-I’m so sad to hear about Maxi. All losses are hard, but I have found these unexpected ones to be the toughest to deal with. I take comfort in the knowledge that any cat that lives in the Anderson household has hit the jackpot, and she had the very best possible life with you and Fred.

  46. Goodbye sweet Maxie Mama; I’m so sorry Robyn. Losing our fur-babies is so heart-breaking. {{{hugs}}}