Maximus in his part-Maine Coon glory.
Maximus came to me as a birthday gift from my brother, an orange tabby cross between an American shorthair and a Maine Coon. With a twin brother named Sparticus, Max was literally climbing up the screen door at my brother’s when I met him. My first cat as an adult, he won my heart quickly. And I took the role of fur parent rather seriously, reading several books on cat training & thus I carefully avoiding playing with hands. (Believe me, friends & family were harder to train on that point!)
Many people think adult cats who scratch are mean, when in reality those cats could be just playing; yet, what was once cute to adults then becomes quite painful when the cats are full-grown. To help him play appropriately, I bought Max a small Tigger with a rattle inside, a baby toy. He grew attached to it, playing and sleeping with it. He still carries his Tigger around the farm in his mouth (he carries it by the scruff like a parent cat), talking to & batting at it.
Maximus with his lion cut.
Now nearing nine years old, Max remains my baby. He has a lot of quirks that give him a unique & charming personality. For example, he does have pica, which means that any strings, cords, wires, plants, sticks, etc., of a certain thickness will be chewed if left out or in range. When my nephew stayed, Max chewed through his iPhone charger cable. Max also likes playing with water, meets me at the door like a dog, & meows like a barking squirrel. His meow is odd but adorable.
Soaking in the sunshine.
Maximus also has a few nicknames: Handsomes, Handsome Boy, & Red-Headed Boy. Clearly the Alpha of the pets, Max lets others know who’s boss & his confidence amazes me. Even a 100-pound yellow lab will back down when Max acts possessive & chases off other pets from visiting me. He will demand attention by putting his paw on my arm with light claws, trying to drag my arm towards him. He loves to curl about your neck & nuzzle I mean, how could anyone resist?
He’s my familiar, my Crookshanks.