Prince Maximilian, Heir to the Snuggle-Throne, Chiller Killer, Cat Extraordinaire

It has been a pretty exciting weekend. But I’ll have to back up a wee bit to bring the whole story together.

I like animals. They’re super cool. Growing up our house had cats, fish, rodentia, and a snake, but never dogs. (In fact, the snake was acquired through an ineffective ploy to get a dog. Sigh.) Working in Hawai’i, for which I started this blog, as you might remember, there were dogs in Honolulu for us to play with and on Laysan their were animals always around us. Not interested in playing with us, but they were there, and I did get to pet an albatross. At Camp, there were camp dogs to play with – Zoey and Amigo. But here in Wooster, while there are plenty of people with pets, opportunities to play with them aren’t massively frequent.

So, I’ve been thinking that it would be pretty cool to get a pet of sometime for the apartment which I am sharing. I brought it up with my roommate, and he was totally 100% on board, with the idea that I would get a pet and he would be happy to help care for it, but it would be mine. His pet history is very heavily dog-oriented. Loves dogs. I am very interested in dogs, but reasonably concerned about being able to spend the time needed to care for one appropriately – sufficient walks and training and attention and such. But, I am also very open to cats, as I have spent most of my life with them. So, the obvious thing to do was go to the Humane Society last Friday and see who they had looking for a forever home.

The set up of the WCHS building takes one first through the adoptable cats before getting to the dogs, so we stopped in there to meet some cats. And here my roommate (I’m going to call him Raccoon, as that is one of his nicknames) met Max for the first time. Max is a seven-year-old larger cat with medium length gray hair, fantastically jeweled green eyes, and the most relaxed attitude I have ever seen in a cat. He takes indifference and acceptance to a whole new level. Raccoon thought he was a darn cool cat. I had my eyes more on Zelda or Zeek, but there were still dogs to meet. So we go and walk some dogs. Well, more run some dogs. They have a lot of energy to get out when they’re out of their kennels. The cutest puppy was in at the time. Miss Sis. this 2 month old lab. So calm and SO adorable. There was a big variety of dogs with a lot of energy. It was definitely becoming evident the amount of time a dog would require. We passed back through the cats on our way out and Raccoon took another hello with Max. His infatuation was beginning to become apparent.

When I get home from work the next day, Raccoon tells me that he called the WCHS about Max and it turns out that one of the guys who works there actually had taken him home that night. Immediately after we had seen Max and Raccoon had fallen in love. If nothing else, this piqued Raccoon’s obsession. Piqued it aggressively. He spoke of Max frequently through the week. You see, the dude who had taken Max home had a dog there already and he wasn’t sure how well they would take to each other. Obviously, Max would take fine because he is the chillest cat ever, which he did. He was trying to love up on the dog. But the dog, was confused and uninterested in Max’s love (how?!) and the dude was worried that the dog would hurt Max, as I learned on Friday (three days ago) when I returned the WCHS to give some animals some love. (To walk dogs, we had to fill out a volunteer form in case we got bit or something, so I wanted to at least act like one a little bit. There are a lot animals there, and in all shelters everywhere, that needed loving bad, so if you can help out, its another great cause to go to.) So, I was at the WCHS, holding cats, finding yet another I would be happy to take home, watching Zelda be adopted, and finding the newbie cat room which had a DOZEN KITTENS IN IT. I just wanted to let all of them out of their cages and let them climb all over and around me. Wouldn’t that be wonderful. But, I also learned of Max’s life with this dude and his dog, and I learned that he would be bringing Max back to the shelter the following day (Saturday, now two days ago). He knew that Raccoon and I were very interested in Max and felt that would be able to provide Max with a good home, so, if we still wanted Max, we should swing by in the morning to get him. I told Raccoon as soon as I could and he was beyond excited. The decision had been made. Max would have a home. A small adjustment to our original agreement was made – Max would be Raccoon’s, not mine. His infatuation with Max was/is much stronger than mine. Whether that is specific to just how we are as people or our relationship with Max is not clear yet. I do think Max is a fantastically wonderful cat now though. More on that in a minute.

Prince Maximilian, in most of his glory. No picture could show all of it.

Prince Maximilian, in most of his glory. No picture could show all of it.

I worked Saturday morning, but Raccoon did not, so he took a friend and acquired Max and a bunch of cat stuff which the dude had purchased for Max and brought him home. After I got off of work, we went out to a pet store and got other important items – food bowls, litter box, a harness and lead because obviously we’re going to help Max be an outdoor cat (but not give him opportunities to kill songbirds). He spent much of the first afternoon home behind a chair in our living room, but by the time we got back with pet supplies, he was ready to explore our humble abode. Now, he is Prince Maximilian with an extensive title. Lord of our apartment. Beloved by everyone who meets him. Everyone. We got a UPS delivery today and of the two things he said to us, one was “That’s a great cat”. Its ridiculous. Dog people love him. Max is litter box trained already (mostly) and LOVES belly rubs. You know how most cats will allow three belly rubs before going for the kill? Not with Max. You could rub his belly all day, everyday. I think one of his favorite sensations is something rubbing against his face, so he doesn’t even mind having the harness put on him. Its ridiculous. Plus, his playful side has started to come out, which I didn’t see as likely when we met him in the WCHS. I’m so glad it has come out. It makes him all that more loveable.

Max loves his belly rubs.

Max loves his belly rubs.

I’m sure I’ll be bringing you more pictures of Max.

Anyway, the rest of the week and weekend. Lots of food going on. So much food. Grilled out with some friends who I might not normally hang out with without other people being around, but we did. It was delicious. Burgers, zucchini, squash, peach cobbler. Mmmm. Saturday night was the Spoon staff party, which was a low country boil – corn, potatoes, sausage, shrimp, and crab legs – in the woods behind a house in a quite rather wealthy development. It was fun and beautiful and delicious. Then, last night Raccoon and I hosted a family dinner in our apartment for a number of senior girls on the Ultimate Frisbee team, which he was a big part of before he graduated and will probably continue to be as he lives next to the campus. Freshman year, these girls started coming over to his apartment (a different one where they actually live now) for Sunday night family dinners (at least partially because they were under the impression that he was gay because his brother changed his Facebook account to say as much). The hope is to start such nights again. It was a baller dinner – started with a salad with local greens, heirloom tomatoes, ground cherries, heirloom zucchini, and a delicious dressing they made, followed by cheesy garlic bread and homemade egg noodles from us, a marinara sauce our neighbors gave us, and meatballs from the butcher at Spoon. So. Much. Garlic. Everywhere. Oh yeah, and we had roasted root vegetables (beets and potatoes from a college garden one of the girls is working in with red onions, carrots, and garlic). It was delicious and filling. It’ll be a fun challenge to go about topping it every week. Ha.

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