Saturday, October 4, 2008

Farewell My Little Friend...

In August, I introduced you to Maxwell. He was a stray who came wandering through, looking for love and food. Max was a wonderful cat. Hesitant at first to trust a human he didn't know, Maxwell wasn't sure how to react to my desire to help him. He would stand back and watch me as I worked in the garden. I would put down food and fresh water for him on a daily basis. Eventually, Maxwell learned that I was someone he could trust.

Maxwell and I bonded. He responded to me when we would talk. He loved to be loved. I would spend a great deal of time with Max to socialize him, and reinforce with him that he could trust me... that time proved to be the key to a much happier life for Max. He was my buddy. Max would follow me around the garden, (helping where he could) and frequently would cozy up on one of the patio chairs for a long nap.

As the weather turned rainy and as the nights began to cool down, Max had his own outdoor home. It was cozy and warm on those cool nights and protected him from the rain on a shower filled day. Maxwell had found a home. Maxwell found love. Maxwell found me.. as if it was meant to be.

Despite my best efforts at keeping Max happy, I could not change the fact that he was indeed an outdoor cat and preferred it that way. If I saw him wander off on his next adventure, I always would call for him to come back... but he was a man-cat who enjoyed the great outdoors and wasn't about to give up that part of his spirit. Thankfully, Max always returned, greeting me the next morning for his breakfast and very often would be waiting for me as I arrived home. This was his usual pattern until just a day or two ago.. when Max didn't come home. I was worried that he was lost, or too cold, or something worse.

Yesterday, I discovered that Maxwell's desire for adventure took him to a place where he didn't stand a chance... a very busy street. Maxwell was struck by a car and was killed. My heart sank when I saw him. My little buddy... my little Maxwell. Some say that cats have nine lives... he must have used the prior 8 before coming into my life.

I've cried a lot since yesterday. I've felt guilty for not changing his ways and bringing him indoors. I've said plenty of "...if only I had...." And yet, I wanted Maxwell to be happy... being who he is... with his spirit for adventure.

In the last couple months, Maxwell experienced something that so many animals never have and that's the love of a person. When I held him in my arms, he would burrow so hard against me. He couldn't get enough. He often times would fall asleep in my arms. He knew he was safe. He knew he was loved. I knew that Max loved me too.

The hardest thing to do is to say, 'goodbye' to someone or something you loved so much. But, reality is that I'll never have that time with him again. I'll never see that look of gratitude in his eyes. What I will always hold with me is knowing I did the right thing in giving of myself to a deserving animal. I gave him the best couple months of his life. I'll always love you, Max. Farewell, my little friend.

6 comments:

Elaine said...

Oh, Kenn. I am so very, very sorry about Max. I know you loved him and he loved you. He looked so happy in his pictures - we know his last few months were happy because he was with you! Don't blame yourself for what happened - Max was an outdoors cat and it probably would have been very difficult for him to adjust to being indoors all the time. He was a free spirit.

John said...

Kenn--

Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened.

Claudine said...

I am so sorry you lost your little friend. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things. John is right, smile because he touched your life and you his.

ANDREW RITCHIE said...

Oh, Kenn - that breaks my heart. You'll always have fond memories of him and even though your time together was brief, he was happier because of it.

hugs,
Andrew

Matt said...

This was especially touching because my affectionate little cat had to be put to sleep this year. She was the opposite of the stereotypically aloof cat and preferred the constant company of people. I do believe that animals, like people, come into our lives for a reason which is most likely to give and receive love.

Matt said...

This was especially touching because my affectionate little cat had to be put to sleep this year. She was the opposite of the stereotypically aloof cat and preferred the constant company of people. I do believe that animals, like people, come into our lives for a reason which is most likely to give and receive love.