Max’s Waiting Mode

Warm Day Bird-Watcher

Monday, March 18, 2019

My poor cat, Maxwell, for weeks has been confined in the house. An inside-outside guy, he’s okay out in snowy weather and when necessary getting warm by burrowing into the haystack. For his first seven or so years, Max was outside-only, living comfortably in the barn. He knows how to take care of himself, is a capable hunter.

Some years ago he showed up with an injected jaw, the vet estimated from a cat fight, meaning he’d be tested for kitty aids, which couldn’t happen for another three months. During that time he couldn’t be outside, in case he actually had contracted an autoimmune disease, to infect another cat. During his ensuring weeks of life inside, Max came to like it. Since then, he goes outside, makes his rounds, takes a quick look for barn mice, and soon, returns to the house and peers in windows for an invitation to enter.

He’s slightly undomesticated and can be annoying–under my feet, grabbing at my socks, pulling on clothing, or worst scratching the woodwork. He loves to snuggle but is a heavy lump and difficult to shove away when I want to change position. For the past several weeks he’s been strictly inside, because I’m feeding birds during this area’s big snows. Max, an expert killer, must be isolated from vulnerable wildlife.

So, he focuses on inside possibilities.

Or hangs around bored.

Before he goes outside again after the snow has melted, I’ll remove the feeders and give the birds a few days to realize there’s nothing left in spots to which they currently flock. It would be nicer and fun to keep feeding them, but Max on the prowl would be a constant worry.

He’s a great cat, cool, and just enough undisciplined to be interesting. During his outside-only years, he stayed close to home, worked a couple of neighbors’ properties, and never was seen near a busy road. I complain about him as a nuisance inside, but if Max doesn’t show up wanting to come in near day’s end, I start looking for him.

Like most relationships, ours through the years has taken various shapes and survived.

Dear Friends, Have a wonderful day. Diana

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