Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Max!

I was settling in to watch the evening news and glanced at the camera that monitors our front door. A dark cat was on the porch, drinking from the heated water dish. It wasn't the fluffy red cat that regularly patrols our lot. Could it be Max? Could it?

I crept downstairs to peek out the window, trying not to make any sound lest I send the cat running off before I had a chance to get a good look at him. Leaning over the sink, I could see gray tabby stripes. The next thing I knew, I was throwing open the door and calling his name--"Max! Max! Kitty kitty..."

He made a move as if to jump off the porch until it sank in that I was calling his name, then he turned and came to me. I gathered him up in my arms and took a quick inventory--he was thin but not critically so, and his red collar had slipped to around his chest. It was tight--too tight to unfasten--and later when I had cut it off of him, I could see it had rubbed his fur into clumps around it and there was a patch of dried blood where it had cut into his skin at some point.

Oh my poor Max... I am sure it was a relief when I snipped it off of him, but by then I had transported him to the back room and he was so torn between confusion and joy that he probably didn't notice.



Anyway, I have him settled in the big cage in the shop--familiar to him from the days he spent there last year--with food and water and a bed and litter box all his own. He ate a can of Friskies and drank half the water, then settled in to appreciate warmth and safety.

I slept so well last night--without the half-waking and the worries about where Max was and if he was warm and fed. Finally I knew the answers to those worries.

6 comments:

Anya said...

Oh my goodness! That is such good news, and I sure I know how you felt when you saw him and snuggled him. Are you going to let him out again? And what is a heated water dish? Is this something you created, or do they sell such a thing? We have some cats coming around that although they have collars, they seem hungry and surely thirsty as well.

A big hug for Max!

possumlady said...

HURRAY!!!

I was just thinking to myself "I wonder if Laura's cat ever came home" and decided to check your blog. What wonderful news!! I wonder if the colder weather brought him back? I certainly know what it's like to finally get a restful sleep after weeks and weeks of worry.

So happy for you and Max!

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

WooooHooooo!!!!

Saw this on Facebook, but had to come over and read about it.

So glad he's back

laura said...

Yes--big smile here today. I keep going out to the shop to pet him and refill his food bowl. And to reassure myself that he really is home.
Anya--they actually sell heated water dishes at the local pet supply or farm supply stores. Ours is a big dish with a heater in the bottom and a sensor that turns it on when the temperture gets below freezing. During the winter, it is harder for the little creatures to find unfrozen water than to find food, so we keep the water dish out until spring. As for letting him out again--eventually. Dennis wants to make him the shop cat in the new addition and installed a pet door in anticipation of having Max use that area as his home base. But for right now, I will keep Max where he is until Denny comes home from a trip to Florida in December. Max can catch up on his eating and sleeping.
I have been living with the hope that cold weather and leaner times would bring him back. I never had the feeling that he was dead. We would call for him when we went outside in the evening but never saw him. I agree--I'm sure the cold and lean times brought him back. I hope he bonds enough with us this winter to stick around closer next summer.

Meggie said...

OMG! What great news, Laura! So happy Max is home and enjoying the warmth and fine care. Has he been gone for 4 months? That's a long time! Makes me wonder if he's been hanging out on the perimeter of your area just waiting for the right time..... Don't ya wish they could talk and tell us all about their adventures?

Kaz's Cats said...

I was so rapt when I saw this post. I really hoped that Max would come back to you, so I'm pleased he gets to hang out with you guys now, and has a warm winter ahead of him as well.

Cheers

Karen