Good-bye, Max

Our cat, Max, returned to his creator this morning. I held him in my arms for the last few hours of his life and watched him take his last breath. I found the following prayer online as I searched for comfort.

“O God, as we have taken care of Max in life, we ask that you watch over him in death. You entrusted Max to our care; now, we give him back to you. May he find a happy new home in Your loving embrace. As we remember Max , may we love each other more dearly.”

Lord, I am tore up over this; Max was my companion for 17 years. He had learned to enjoy a bath in the tub. I bathed his body for the final time this morning since he had given up grooming himself. He enjoyed riding aside me in my truck even when it was a trip to his doctor. I gave his body a final ride in my truck to the vet’s office for cremation.

His last response to me was at 7:00 AM while I held him wrapped in a towel. The towel was to keep him warm and catch his urine; he had become incontinent several months ago. He was purring when he turned to face me, gazed at me with his big, beautiful yellow eyes and let lose with a series of yowls. He then stretched his legs and neck as if letting go of his spirit, endured the death rattle, and…..Max went home.

He grew up as a trucker cat lazing on the semi’s dash on adventures across the country, east to west and north to south. He learned to accept walking on a leash at truck stops and parks. Many drivers looked at us with a smile, “Cats just don’t do that,” they would comment. At a military installation where we frequently loaded and unloaded, the guard checking IDs and credentials remembered those two drivers with two cats on board…..they did not need IDs or paperwork.

Lord, I pray that I have been a worthy steward of your creature. I’m not sure if there will be another cat to fill the void, but if so, I pray that I have learned from Max how to be a good parent. After all, they are not pets; they are family.

%d bloggers like this: