Looking back at The Year That Was is always an ambivalent matter. There have been great moments, but sad ones as well, and while 2011 brought us new friends, we also had to say “goodbye”. I prefer “see you later”, though.
Vally was a stray from the south of France, taken in by the parents of Mrs C. many, many years ago, and ever since then, she’d lived a life in paradise, with a house and a garden on her own and luscious green meadows just outside her front door. While we don’t know her age for certain, she was very old, and enjoyed her years with “her” family to the fullest. She’ll be sorely missed.
Two years ago Max, who had been part of the family for well over twelve years, moved out to live with his dream family, where he enjoyed finally being a “only cat”. Or rather, “only king”, because he was treated like royality. We took in Max, an unwanted Christmas present thrown out of a running car outside the vet’s practice come summer holidays when he was about 8 months old. This crime cost his previous “owners” a hefty fine and him one of his hind legs, but he soon learned to get around on three legs perfectly well. He always agreed with Charlie that four-legged cats were actually freaks and three was the number to go with.
While certainly not unhappy, Max made it clear very soon that he prefered to be the only cat in the house. A very dominant and strong-willed tomcat, he tolerated the rest of the group, but I promised him that I’d find him the perfect home, eventually. We tried to find him a new home several times, but despite involvement of a popular TV show without much luck. Nobody wanted a “dammaged” cat, which just goes to show that most people are really stupid.
Max eventually found his dream home in Mannheim/Germany, with a lovely couple whom he soon had wrapped around his paw. Unfortunately, he developed a cancerous growth in his hind leg, and as he only had one, surgery was out of question, and so he could’t enjoy his kingdom as long as we all would have wished for him to. But he certainly had a happy life, and when he fell asleep on 6 August, he left only friends behind.
Max was an old and wise soul, you could talk to him without speaking, and he always knew when his tin openers felt down and tried to cheer them up. He also had a very special talent – he could sense an impending epileptic episode and would warn his person. He had an inexplicable love for bagpipes; whenever there was a parade outside, he’d rush to the windows and sing along. Personally, I always thought he was the reincarnation of the ancient head of a Scottish clan…!
While still living with us, he was best friends with Bounce. The two would play for hours, and Bounce was the only cat whom Max accepted as an equal. I like to think that they are both resting on the pearly gates now, whacking unsuspecting angels on the halo.
In his memory, his tin openers created a special “Max McPaw Jam Edition”, which tastes heavenly, sold like fresh bread and raised some funds for the animal shelter. It was the perfect “farewell” for Max – he was loved, and shared that love.
We would like to thank C. and H. for giving Max such a loving home and being the best tin openers on this planet.
If you’d like to support the important work of the animal shelter and help them to save animals like Valras and Max McPaw, then please click the “donation” button. Cheers!