Friday, July 6, 2012

A New Family Member...Welcome to Marvelous Max!

Is it Maximillian KittyKat? I-Max? Maximus Kitticus? S'Maxx? Or just plain Max? Whatever it is, meet our newest family member, Max the Cat.

He wears a tux and has a black goatee. Stylish.
Now all he needs is a fedora.

A few months ago, I told Bubba that if any of his clients (he shoes horses for a living and goes to a lot of barns) had a profusion of barn cats and needed to get rid of one, that he could grab one or two up for me since there is a blossoming mouse population in the barn. Even though we keep the feed securely in aluminum trash cans, the kids spill plenty when they scoop it out and the mice are pretty quick to figure out there is always a free meal on the schedule. While the local black snakes, whom we usually don't see (except for the one that was in my bedroom a few weeks ago and bit me when I tried to move it...but that's another story), eat some of the cute vermin, apparently, their numbers are too great for the snakes to keep up and overcome because we continue to see "evidence" (of the fecal kind) of their continued existence in the barn feed room. Sigh. This is when I decided we needed a barn cat.

A few weeks ago, Bubba called me up and said he'd found a cat for us who met all of our qualifications: male or fixed (he is both), nice (because of the kids), free, and in need of a new home. Max is all that and more...he's even up to date on his shots! So we happily agreed to take Max and waited patiently to get the call to pick him up.

A few days of playing phone tag passed with the previous owner, who liked Max, but couldn't keep him. It seems that Max had been inherited from friends who had sudden illness change their plans, and since wasn't an original resident of her farm, and didn't get along with the other cats already there, he was ousted. I foresaw no problems in that area since we have no cats outside, and Molly stays inside. The original plan was to have Max stay in the barn and work for a living.

Really? Do I really have to get used to this photo thing in this house? Geez.

Well, the best laid plans are easily day we arrived back home from church and discovered Max waiting for us on the front porch. Apparently, the previous owner had enough of playing phone tag and decided to just stop by and drop him off. Unfortunately, we weren't home, but fortunately, we do have an enclosed front porch! Max came over immediately and started getting to know us. He was a bit spooked at first by the littler kids (they can be noisy and startle you with their sudden and enthusiastic movements), but he's an old trooper now, putting up with getting grabbed by the tail with good humor, and (usually) flopping over to have his belly petted by whoever will take the time to pamper him. 

Feel free to pet me. Come on, you know you want to.

We started out keeping him on the porch to acclimate him to our house. He did quite fine out there, and as we grew more fond of him, my desire to boot him out to the barn started to shrink. We also did our best to get him and Molly used to each other. It didn't help that Max seemed to have a sense of humor, lying on a bookshelf or chair, just waiting for Molly to saunter by so he could bop her on the back with a dangling paw.

At first, she hated him, hissing and yowling as if she was about to go on the attack whenever she saw him or even sensed he was near. But fortunately, Max is a pretty cool cat, and he pretty much just ignored her. It seems that his lack of confrontation, other than the surprise-paw-batting thing, eventually won her over, because they actually tolerate each other now. She follows him around sometimes, and he pretty much still ignores her. 

...I am waiting for some unsuspecting soul to wander by 
so I can bop them on the head with my paw...

When it got so blessedly hot here over the last two weeks, even though there were three fans out on the porch, it was too awful to think about leaving a cat out there with no place to go...especially while we were doing pre-wedding stuff, and likely to be gone for long stretches of time. So, the plan to kick Max out was changed to letting him inside, and like it or not, Molly had to get over her dislike and/or disdain of the other cat, and learn to live with him...or at least, ignore him.

Well, Max may ignore Molly (for the most part, when he isn't teasing her), but he sure doesn't ignore us. He loves to jump up wherever you are sitting for a little leisurely "lap nap," or rub against your leg and bump you with his head to let you know he wants attention. He and Molly are quite the pair of food stalkers and even teamed up the other day to snitch Tex's leftovers (he babysits for doggie bags...isn't he awesome?). Molly tried to distract Tex with her cuteness while Max tried to pull down the doggie box so they could have a nice meal once it hit the floor. Fortunately for Tex, he thwarted their plans just in time. 

Who? Me?? 

In any case, there is no barn in Max's future any more. He's firmly been adopted as an indoor cat, though he keeps gazing out the windows and has escaped outside a time or two. Maybe once the heat lets up we will see if he can go outside from time to time, but I do worry that he won't find his way home. He seems pretty happy staying inside, and even joins me in bed every night, sleeping at the foot of the bed, now that I've convinced him that camping out on my stomach is not the thing to do.

It's taking a bit for Hubby to get used to the extra body at the end of the bed, but once he's asleep an earthquake wouldn't wake him, so I don't forsee Max's appreciation for the finer things (like a people bed) to be a problem (after all, Molly gets to sleep up in the top bunk with Ladybug). The other night Hubby was snoring to beat the band and I pushed Max over toward him and told him to get Hubby to stop snoring. You'd think he understood English because he promptly climbed up on his chest and settled in, which did, actually, stop Hubby from snoring. Now that's a snoring cure I haven't heard of before!! 

The kids have pretty much decided that Max will be our "Library Cat" since he is so mellow and seems to have a preference for draping himself across books, and for sleeping in the "library" (in our back room which houses all of our books). Maybe one of these days I will come up with a cute cat-on-a-stack-of-books design to integrate into our Lifetime of Learning Library letterhead. Hmmmmm.

By the way, we are still searching for a tried and true barn cat that we won't feel bad about keeping in the barn (a rough and tough mouser who grew up in a barn and likes it there). If you know of anyone getting rid of one, let me know..and please, hurry, before the rodents take over altogether. ;-)


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...