I keep remembering the first night Max and I spent together. He meowed incessantly and I thought I would surely kill him if he didn't stop. We made it through that one and became quick BFF's. Max showed me places of my apartment I'd never before seen. Like the gaping hole in the wall under the kitchen cabinets that somehow lead to outside. He went in and never came out. I found him outside the front door the next day waiting patiently to come inside. I immediately patched up that hole. He taught me to close the dryer door or else a kitty may crawl in to nap... that was scary. He showed me that without fail, if it's something I want to read, he's going to lay directly on top of it but only until I stop trying to read it. He also proved his artistic abilities by placing his paw prints on more than a few of my paintings. He was almost renamed Picasso. He showed me how to go with the flow. As long as I was there, he didn't much mind where we moved or who moved in with us (except that one roommate...). He showed me that no one is exempt from maternal nurturing for those who need it.
I learned from Max that home is where you hang your hat and that as long as you have love in your life you are rich beyond measure. Max was content whether living in the tiniest of apartments or the bigger house we ever occupied. Even the stint in the hotel when we had no real home of our own other than room 227 of the Red Roof Inn. Max taught me what unconditional love is.
Later, after our extended stay in room 227, when I'd finally rented a new apartment, Max again showed me hidden caverns in the ceiling of my closet and utility room. I quickly learned to patch those as well. Max was an expert explorer and a seasoned traveler. I'll never forget the looks on the faces of the people as they passed us by when they realized that was a CAT on a leash getting his kicks on Route 66! What better companion could I have asked for to accompany me during my past eleven years of Nursing school, cross country moves, life changing break ups, and everything else in between. Max's spirit of love and adventure only matched mine making us kindred spirits from the start. Today I raise a toast to Maximilian and say thanks to my little man for all the great memories that I will cherish forever.