Welcome to Max's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Max
I will remember how soft your fur was.
I will remember your "boy paws."
I will remember that funny, loud growling noise you made, running as fast as you could when you needed to express the joy and energy inside you.
I will remember how pink your nose was.
I will remember how quick you were to purr.
I will remember how you enjoyed your fresh catnip plants and tuna fish.
I will remember how tiny you were when I first brought you home.
I will remember how you turned backflips when we played outside.
I will remember how you tore holes in the under side of my box spring and pulled yourself up into it when you wanted to hide.
I will remember how you loved to walk beside me in the yard.
I will remember that you were the only cat I've ever known who could make me laugh so much.
I will remember all your silly nicknames--Guppy-Headed Monster, Sparkle Bear, Boy-Boy Gitano.
I will remember finding out later that Gitano was the name of a tribe of gypsies, the gypsies who do not wander.
I will remember how you would jump your front feet off the ground, arching your back to meet my hand when I wanted to pat you.
I will remember I assigned your birthday as October 3rd, 2003.
I will remember the horror of your cry of pain.
I will remember how you lost control of your bladder.
I will remember how you couldn't move your hind legs as I tried to get you into your carrying case.
I will remember praying.
I will remember having to make the decision that will haunt me forever.
I will remember holding you as you died.
I will remember how all the tension left your body and I knew you were gone before they told me.
I will remember your greenish-yellow eyes.
I will remember trying to close them...unsuccessfully.
I will remember holding you as your body lost warmth.
I will remember handing you to a stranger.
I will remember the awful feeling of having to pay, of having to put your death on VISA.
I will remember coming home with an empty carrying case.
I will remember I lost you November 1st, 2009.

I will remember my beautiful, mad Max.

Let me be aware of the treasure you are,
For one day I will dig my nails into the earth, and
Shatter the sky with my screams, and
More than all the world,

Max, you were taken from us 4 months ago. Now I'm in a completely new city, new home. I've lost the remainder of my relatives. I adopted Jack Sparrow, a tuxedo like you. Ebony is distant from us both, but I hope she'll adjust. With all the changes and sudden shocks of betrayal and abandonment, I sometimes feel as though all my life before this moment was just a dream. I look at the photos I framed of you, Max, and I wonder if you were real, if such a furry soulmate ever truly was. And every so often I find myself in the middle of some ordinary act, suddenly hit by a blank kind of horror: what purpose was served by taking you from us? You're in my heart and soul every moment. Nothing is real sometimes, except the pain. I wish so hard for you.

It's May, Max. Five months without you. Life is a struggle with much pain and loneliness. I'm grateful that your life was full of love and care. I'm angry that you were taken. What great, eternal plan would have been altered if one little soulmate had been granted more time? You would love it here now with flowers and space and air enough for all the energy and laughter you seemed to bring with you. Come back.

It's June, Max. Please come back.

July, Max. I keep looking for you. Come back to me.

Today is August 1st. I miss you, Max. Come back. Come back. Come back.

September is here, Max. This used to be such a joyful time of year. It's not anymore. I miss you. I wish you were here with me. I keep remembering more about you. Your eyes were so big and round. You reminded me of an owl. So I sometimes called you Wol, after the misspelled name that Owl used in the Winnie the Pooh stories. I miss you, my little Wol.

Today is Sunday, October 3, 2010, Max. You would have been 7 today. I would have given you tuna for dinner and bought you a new toy and a fresh catnip plant. Your ashes are by my bed, except for the few bits I left at our house in Bothell under your favorite snowball bush. I guess I don't heal as quickly as others do, because it still hurts so much. Maybe it's the curse of having such a powerful memory. I don't tell anyone how much I miss you. Just you. Do miracles ever happen? Can you come back? Please try. Happy birthday, my beautiful little friend.

November 1st, Max. One year ago at about 4:30p.m. I lost you. I let them kill you. I still don't know if I did the right thing. You were in such pain, but at the last second, you jumped out of that horrible vet's arms. She said you would have to stay there and dared to say "He'll still be able to have some quality life." But how could I leave you alone where everything smelled of fear and death? Please, please forgive me, my beautiful little boy. I miss you so much. The thought of joining you makes Death seem unexpectedly kind. I will light candles for you this afternoon. Please see them burning and try to find your way back to me. I love you. Please try, Max.

November 10th, Max. One year ago I went to that horrible place where I lost you and picked up your ashes. I left a small bit at our house in Bothell, but the rest are still by my bedside. Now, I have to tell you something I'll probably never reveal to anyone else. November 1st I wrote that I'd light candles for you and wish you back with me. I did. Something so odd happened. I went to bed and turned out the light. I heard scratching like someone using the litter box in the next room. It went on and on to the point that I thought Jack or Ebony must have missed the box and were now trying to cover up their mistake by shoveling all the litter out onto the floor. I said loudly, "Come on, guys!" and turned on the lamp, thinking I better clean everything up now or face a bigger mess in the morning. The first thing I saw was Ebony on top of her kitty tower, staring toward the bedroom door that was just barely ajar. The next thing I saw was Jack, tense and crouched a few feet away from the door, fixated on whatever was on the other side. The litter box noise continued. I felt this total terror of something being so wrong, I couldn't move. Almost as soon as I did, the noise stopped. I took a few minutes more, but then I went through the house, trying to see what could have made the noise and scared Ebs and Jack...and me. I didn't find anything. I wonder now if you came back and were driven away again by my fear. Crazy sounding, I know, but I've never experienced anything like that before. Anyway, Max, please try again. I promise I won't be afraid, only amazed and grateful. I do love you so very, very much. I still can't understand why you were taken. I don't just want you back. I need you, Max. Come back. Try. I'll light the candles again today.

November 25th, 2010. Happy Thanksgiving, little boy. I miss you.

December 1st, 2010. I miss you, little boy. Forgive me.

December 26th, 2010. Christmas has come and gone. That's two without you. I miss you more than can be told. Wait for me.

January 9th, 2011. I'm a little late writing to you, Max. I had some health issues and they still haven't cleared up. Guess what, little boy? A couple of stories I wrote are going to be published this year. Just an e-zine, but that's more than most people get, right? Ebony keeps going to the closet where I have the box of mailing materials I used to use for e-bay. You liked to jump into it and I think she's looking for you. Still. So am I, so am I, so am I. I don't understand why you were taken. I'll never understand. I want you back so much it hurts. Please be somewhere happy and wonderful and peaceful. But most of all, please just BE. I love you, Max.

February 1st, 2011. I'm still not well, Max. I've always dreaded February. When most people think of valentines and love, I've never been able to have those sorts of comforts. I miss you. I hate God for taking you away from me. Please forgive me.

February 9th, 2011. Thinking of you so much lately. I can feel spring coming. I always wanted to share spring with you. You should be here. I should be holding you. I will never understand. Come back. Or wait for me. I had a dream, but it's one of those dreams that don't fade, so is it really JUST a dream? There was an old man. He was my grandfather, although I've never met a grandparent. They were all dead before I was born. He was taking care of you, Max. I asked him to keep you close and safe. He said he would. Wait for me.

March 5th, 2011. All I can say is the same thing: I love you. I want you back. My life has so little in it compared to others in way of friends and society and love. Maybe that's why the hole you left has yet to be filled. Or maybe I just miss you that much. Come back.

April 1st, 2011. Love you, little boy. I had a strange dream last night. It faded quickly, but I recall Jack died in it. I was holding your body, Max, the way I did when I lost you. Somehow it turned into Jack's instead. He's only one year old. I do love him, but I knew you longer. Miss you. Come back, Boy-Boy.

May 1, 2011. Please come back, Max. I don't want to run out of space with the word limit. Just know how much I miss and love you. Forever.

June 1, 2011. Wait for me, Max. I'll always look for you.

July 2, 2011. Why were you taken? I don't understand. Come back.

August 1, 2011. There are no more words. Just look in my heart and you'll know. Come back.

September 2, 2011. I want you to be happy more than anything, Max. Always remember how much you're loved. Wait for me, please.

October 1, 2011. I always say 'goodnight' to you. I can't, however, say 'goodbye.' Love you always, little boy.

October 3, 2011. Happy Birthday, boy-boy. You should have been 8 today. Love you.

October 22, 2011. Hi, Max. Buffy died 8 years ago, 7:30a.m. You never knew her. The two of you together would have been heaven, so now I hope you've found each other and will wait for me. Candles tonight.

November 1, 2011. Two years today, at 4:30pm. Loved and missed as much as ever, more than a heart can bear.

December 1, 2011. I'm holding you close to keep you warm, little boy. All my love surrounds you.
December 25, 2011. Merry Christmas, little boy. You are sorely missed.

January 1, 2012. Happy New Year, little boy Max. I miss you so much it hurts.

February 1, 2012. Hi, baby. You know how we feel about February. I miss you. I don't understand at all why you're gone. God must hate me, but why take it out on you? No sense. No sense at all.

March 3, 2012. Such a sad spring on its way. I miss you. Love you.

April 1, 2012. Thinking of you, Max. You should be here. Why aren't you?

May 1, 2012. Miss you so much, little boy. Not fair that you're gone.

June 1, 2012. How cruel hope is--letting me think I might find you again. Love you always, Max.

July 1, 2012. You hated the noise of July 4th. Even now, I'll keep the windows closed and keep the music playing. Miss you, Maxie.

August 8, 2012. I'm late visiting you, Max. I'm sorry. Does this mean there are now times when I'm NOT thinking of you? I don't know what's worse: my guilt that I might someday forget you, or trying to hang onto something so sad because it's all that's left. I do love you. Come back to me.

September 1, 2012. September's are sad without you here. You loved the cooler fall weather. I miss you.

October 1, 2012. The veil is supposed to be thin in October. I wish we could see each other. Love you, little boy.

October 3, 2012. You would have been 9. Happy Birthday, boy-boy. Wait for me, please.

November 1, 2012. We parted 3 years ago today. Forgive me, Max. Please forgive me. Your ashes are by me bed except for those I left under your favorite snowball bush in Bothell. I hope you can find me. I wish I could see you. Love you always, always, always.

December 2, 2012. I'm beginning to believe that this pain will never diminish. I still feel an outrage toward God, thinking that there is no earthly reason for your having been taken at the time and in the way you were. I can still hate whatever God is. Because I can still love you, my Maxie. I hope you'll meet me when I cross over. I hope that sort of thing really happens. Miss you.

January 1, 2013. Still here. Still missing you. Stay warm and know you're loved. It's the most important thing...

February 1, 2013. I don't think I'll every understand why. Miss you. Not fair.

March 1, 2013. I dreamt of you a few nights ago. You were hurt. But you were with me. Every day we come closer to being together. Miss you, Maxie.

April 1, 2013. Still can't believe how cruel God is. I'll never understand. Miss you every day, Max. Love you...

May 1, 2013. Hi, baby. I miss you. More and more lately. Wounds this deep don't heal. Love you, Max.

June 1, 2013. Still here. Still waiting for you, or for a reason. Love you, Maxie.

July 1, 2013. Think of you often. Miss you always...Love you, Max.

August 1, 2013. Closer all the time...wait for me, Max. Love you...

September 1, 2013. Autumn's almost here. Another year of missing you. I don't understand why God wants me to be so alone. But he does. I miss you, Max....

October 1, 2013. I walk past your picture every day. Just so unfair. You should be here. Or I should be there. Wait for me....

October 3, 2013. You would have been 10 today....

November 1, 2013. 4 years ago today, Max. I held the box holding your ashes to my chest and cried last night. 4 years and I'm no closer to understanding why. And I miss you so, so much. Where are you...

December 6, 2013. I'm late this month. It still hurts, Max. I'm so sorry. I wish I'd been better. Been able to save you. Not fair. So many things are just not fair. There can't be a God in a world like this. I miss you, miss you, miss you...

January 6, 2014. A new year, Max. I've lost the last 2 friends I had. I always think friends will be forever. Must be something about me that makes me so easy to leave. I with you were here. Someday...

February 1, 2014. I wish I could contact you, Max. And Phoebe. This month on the 22nd is when I lost her in 2002; the beginning of the end. Love, love, love you, little boy...

March 2, 2014. Horrible feelings and bad things happening, Max. Jack surprised me with abnormal blood tests. Kidney and liver trouble. He's only 4. I'll check him again on Friday, but, if there's anything to the omen of the number 2-22, I want to put it here, that it keeps turning up lately. A death number. I hope it just means the death of my hobby writing for a fan site, which ended terribly and cruelly. I'll find out soon. I'm so alone, Max. I wish you were here...

April 8, 2014. This is the latest I've been telling you how much I miss you. Not because I'm forgetting you, but because of turmoil in my mirthless life. Cyber-bullying. Apparently, I can't even keep internet friends. God, I wish you were here, my little, beautiful friend. Forgive me for letting you go...Sometimes, I hate God.

May 4, 2014. Really miss you. Wish I could hug you. Wait for me...

June 1, 2014. Thinking of you everyday, boy-boy. Miss you. Love you...

July 1, 2014. You should have grown old with me. Wish you were here, Max. Love you...

August 1, 2014. You're in my thoughts every day. I love you, Max. Miss you. I still can't believe God took you that way. Can't forgive it. Can't understand it. Sometimes I hate God, if there even is one.

September 1, 2014. You brought so much joy and energy into my life, Max. Thank you. I miss you...

October 1, 2014. On the 3rd, you would have been 11. Taken too soon, by a God too cruel. Love you...

October 3, 2014. You would have been 11. I wish I could hold you...

October 21, 2014. 9:30 pm tonight, 2003 was the last time I saw Buffy. She died the next morning, 7:30am. Alone. I wasn't there.

October 30, 2014. Just got bad news, Max. I might be with you sooner than I'd thought. If that happens, I really hope you're there waiting. Love, love, love you...

November 1, 2014. Five years ago at 4:30 pm you were gone. I don't know if I'll be with you soon, but the time is getting closer. I love you...miss you...

December 1, 2014. Hugs & love & tears for Christmas, my beautiful little boy. Be safe...be happy...I miss you.

January 1, 2015. A new year, Max. It doesn't mean much anymore. I miss you. All of you.

February 1, 2015. Lonely mid-winter. Stay warm, Max. I miss you...love you...

March 1, 2015. Empty heart. Miss you, Max...

April 1, 2015. Some wounds never heal. Forgive me, Max. Love you...

May 1, 2015. Every day that passes brings me closer to you. Wait for me...

June 1, 2015. Now is the time of year you should have known. In this house. In this place. With me. Love always, little Max...

July 1, 2015. Such a hot summer. Your long fur always made you seek out cool places. I would wrap you an ice-pack...remember... Love you, Max.

August 1, 2015. I look at your picture, my mind goes back to that horrible day I lost you. I still don't understand. The quiet horror will never leave. Love you always, little Max.

September 1, 2015. Another season changes. I don't care if it's wrong. I curse God for taking you the way He did. And when He did. I refuse to accept that a kindly power oversees all things because of the needless cruelty of your passing. Love you. Miss you so much...

October 1, 2015. You would have been 12 on the 3rd. Now, you have been gone for as long as you were alive. But it seems like yesterday. Come back to me, Max...

October 3, 2015. Happy Birthday, Boy Boy...Miss you.

November 1, 2015. You have now been gone as long as you lived. Six years. Come back to me, sweet Max. Miss you...

December 1, 2015. You would have loved a Christmas tree with all the adventure and accidents waiting to happen among the ornaments. Thinking of you every day, Max. Love you...

January 1, 2016. A new year. It's still like a wave of shock that I lost you. Wait for me...

February 1, 2016. Happy Valentine's Day, Max. You are in my heart always. You took a piece of it when you left. Wait for me...

March 1, 2016. Still you haunt me. I miss you, little boy...

April 3, 2016. I'm late this month, Maxie. But that doesn't mean I don't think of you every day. I miss you so much. I will never understand losing you. All my love...

May 1, 2016. You know, I still walk by your picture and feel this pang of pain and anger and, most of all, longing. I wish you were here. You would have loved this house and yard so much. You deserved so much more life. If there's a God, It has to answer for that. I miss you, Max. I wish things had been different. Love you forever...

June 1, 2016. Ebony's showing her age, Max. I think of her joining you some day, but mostly I think of how you should have been here for the last seven years. I miss you. I think you would have liked Jack. Love forever...

July 1, 2016. There are no words. I miss you. Feel so betrayed by God. Wait for me...

August 1, 2016. Love you. Miss you. Please wait for me...

September 1, 2016. We used to love the autumn. Remember and wait for me...

October 1, 2016. You would have been 13. You should have been...

November 1, 2016. At about 4:30p.m. today it will have been seven years since I lost you. And I feel so guilty and I still want to scream as I did at the time..."Forgive me, Max" and I still want to scream at God or whatever power set it all in motion. You should be here with me now. There is no Great Plan that required you to die. I don't believe that. You deserved a long, happy life. Wait for me. Please. We'll be together, if there's any sense or justice in the cosmos at all. And if there isn't, then "God" deserves hate and anger.

December 1, 2016. For the first time in years, I'm going to put up a Christmas tree. I'm looking forward to seeing how Ebony and Jack react. I wish you would have been here. You would have loved it. Merry Christmas, Max...and Buffy...and Phoebe.

January 1, 2017. It's cold outside, Max. Stay warm. Stay safe. Forgive me. Wait for me. I love you always...

February 1, 2017. Max, Buffy, Phoebe...always in my heart...always with me. I love you all...forever.

March 1, 2017. A new chapter in my life, but still, you are more than in my heart. You are part of my heart. Love forever... Wait for me.

April 1, 2017. Always with me, never far. Missing you every day. Forever. Love you, Max.

May 1, 2017. It's spring, Max. You should be here...Think of you every day...love you...

June 1, 2017. Max, be warm and safe and happy. And don't forget how loved you were in life and how missed in death. Wait for me... I love you.

July 1, 2017. Sweet Max. Time rolls on and life winds down. Wait for me...All of you wait for me...Love...

August 1, 2017. Ever in my heart...I miss you so much, little boy. Love you.

September 1, 2017. Fall is coming. I wish you were here...all of you...to enjoy it. Miss you every, single day. Love you every, single day. Max, Buffy, Phoebe...wait for me.

October 1, 2017. You would have been 14 on the 3rd, little boy. I assigned that as your birthday, and in exchange you gave me a lifetime of love and joy. But too short. So very short. Still I can never balance the scales between us. Could I have done something else at the end? I'll never know, but I think of you every day. You and Buffy and Phoebe. I hope to know you all again when the time comes. Love you, Maxie.

November 1, 2017. At 4:30 this afternoon it will have be the anniversary of your death. I have no words. Only this never-ending ache in my heart. Love you. Wait for me...

December 6, 2017. I'm late, Max. Jack Sparrow was so terribly sick that time had no meaning other than his endurance. He's better, but I see him taking a longer step toward his end than would have been. I miss you more than I can say. Still. Always. Ever. I hope we'll know each other again. Christmas without you, or Buffy, or Phoebe, is just another day. Love you, Maxie...

January 1, 2018. It's a new year, Maxie. Time marches on, but there is a still, quiet place in my heart where you and Buffy and Phoebe live forever. Love you...miss you...will never forget you... Wait for me, baby boy.

February 1, 2018. Happy Valentine's Day, Max. All my love to you and Buffy and Phoebe. Wait for me...

March 1, 2018. Stressful time for me physically, Maxie. I miss you so much. Miss the comfort you, Buffy & Phoebe gave so effortlessly. All my love to all of you...

April 2, 2018. You should be here with me. All of you. I hold onto the thought that we'll all be together again someday. Love you so much.

May 1, 2018. You would love living here, Maxie. So would Buff and Phoeb. I miss you all so, so much. Forever isn't long enough to dim your memories. Love you...

June 1, 2018. Summer's coming again, Maxie. You should be here... Miss you.

July 1, 2018. I think of you often, little boy. Love and miss you every day. Wait for me...

August 1, 2018. Happy August, little boy. I miss you and Buffy and Phoebe more than any of the people I've known who've passed over. I hope when my time comes that you're the ones who'll greet me. Love you...

September 1, 2018. Fall is coming, little one. Aging is painful and lonely, but if, at the end, I can be with you and Buffy and Phoebe and the others I've loved...well, then I don't mind so much. Miss you...Love you...

Ocotber 1, 2018. You would have been 15 on the 3rd, Maxie. You should still have been with me. We should have had years. Your mother, Ebony is still here. You should have been, too. I will never heal from your loss. If there is any justice anywhere in the universe, we'll be together again. You, me, Buffy, Phoebe, and the other fur-children who've peopled my life. Until then... Happy Birthday, little boy. I love you forever.

October 3, 2018. You would have been 15 today. You should be with me. Happy Birthday, beautiful, mad Max. I love you.

October 22, 2018. On this day, Buffy died. Alone. Without me. On an operating table. I will never forget the lance that pierced through my soul the night before when I left her to spend her last night alone in the vet's office. The look she gave me when she realized I was leaving her there. In pain. Alone. And the vet's words, "Is that it?" when I patted her and walked away. Buffy, I thought that if I acted as though everything would be alright, then it would be. I should have known better. God doesn't seem to care if hearts break. And yours was so beautiful and innocent. I left you. I will never forgive myself for that. Buffy, you were the best. Forgive me. I love you and you deserved better than a coward like me. I pray you're in The Arms of the Angel.

November 1, 2018. Nine years ago today I lost you, Max. I will never forget. Please, please forgive me. And wait for me...love you, little boy.

December 1, 2018. Miss you, miss you, miss you. You're all in my prayers every night, Maxie. Love you so much...Merry Christmas, little ones.

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