Happily Homed: Maximus
Sometimes outdoor cats turn out to be indoor friends. That’s the case with Maximus, a petite young adult tuxedo cat who found his way to Cat Care Society after life as a barn cat in 2020. Unfortunately, his previous owner was unable to keep him after discovering that he had FeLV (feline leukemia virus). Because FeLV cats can only live with other FeLV cats, she couldn’t risk spreading it to her other cat and brought him to us.
This same previous owner shared that Maximus was friendly and loved both his food and people. We were hopeful that his gorgeous features and loving personality would win over the right adopter. Thankfully, that was the case!
Maximus was only at the Cat Care Society shelter for about a month. He did encounter some congestion issues in our care and was treated for a URI (upper respiratory infection). Because of his FeLV, Maximus had to be isolated from the other cats. For a social cat with so much love to give, it was hard for him to spend his time alone!
Thankfully, Emma and Ryan came along soon. After recently losing their cat Olive to stomach cancer after only two years together, they decided to open up their hearts to a new cat with health conditions. “After all, our healthy cat became sick in an instant,” Emma shared. “We wanted to take in another cat who would bring joy to our home and who we felt we were helping, too.”
When Emma and Ryan came in to visit the shelter, they weren’t planning on bringing a cat home right away, but Max quickly changed those plans. “We honestly didn’t have a choice, he was ours instantly!” Emma recalled. “When we sat on the bench in his room, he immediately jumped up on Ryan’s shoulders and settled in. He was tiny, adorable and so friendly. We were ready to take him home!”
Because of his congestion, coupled with FeLV, Maximus was part of our foster to adopt program, which allows someone to “foster” a cat with the intent of adopting them while they continue to receive medical treatment from our shelter medical team. After a few weeks, Maximus was cleared for adoption, and Emma and Ryan officially became cat owners once again.
Emma works from home, so she was able to spend lots of extra time with her new companion. Because he is their only cat, she makes sure to spoil him accordingly.
They are new to owning a FeLV+ cat, though, and are a testament to how anyone can provide a loving home to a cat, even if he has special medical needs. At first, neither knew much about the virus or how it would affect Maximus, but did understand that it was an immune disease that would affect his health for the rest of his life. “For the most part, we care for him like any other cat,” she said. “He isn’t on medication, but we do put immuno-boosters in his food. In addition to FeLV, Maximus has a chronic upper-respiratory disease, so is regularly congested and has a constant runny nose. When we adopted Maximus, sometimes it seemed like he could barely breathe through the congestion. In the three years since, his nose has cleared up and his breathing is much better (it’s still a little runny, and he leaves adorable ‘nose boops’ on all the windows when he watches the squirrels outside). Sometimes he will have 2-4 days where his congestion gets really bad and he becomes lethargic and isolates. Considering he is so outgoing and energetic most of the time, it breaks our hearts to see him like that. But, overall he’s an energetic, happy cat who loves people and playing. We’re thankful every day that Maximus can live a mostly normal life.”
When he first came home, Maximus adjusted quickly. He immediately started scouting the best places to curl up in. Not long after, he walked around like he owned the place.
True to his original owner’s word, Max loves people and has been known to turn non-cat people into cat people (or at least, Max people, Emma says). They learned to ensure that their visitors are OK being around cats, because he has a tendency to curl up in the laps of new human friends.
If there is a game night at Emma and Ryan’s, Max puts himself at the center of the crowd. “I’m including a photo of where he settled in on poker night — right on the table, so he didn’t miss any action,” she wrote. “He sat in this spot for four hours while a group of 10 people played cards around him.”
Emma describes him as extroverted, cuddly and attention seeking. “If Ryan and I get too close to each other and he isn’t in the middle, he goes crazy,” she said. “When we hug, he immediately runs to our feet and starts cooing until we pick him up and hold him in between us.”
Maximus likes being held, playing kill with his people’s feet, chasing squirrels along the windows in the house, and being smushed as close to his people as physically possible.
His ultimate goal in life is to love and be loved. “He shows us in so many ways” Emma said. “When we come home from a trip, he becomes so excited that he begins to drool; he even plays with us differently because he knows each of us so well.”
Max has very occasional FeLV-related issues like seizures, but they are rare, Emma said. Overall, he’s a happy cat who loves playing games, following his humans around, staring out windows and zooming up and down the stairs. “No one can resist this adorable love bug,” she said. “We are just so thankful for Maximus, and for CCS for taking care of cats like him.”
Have you adopted from CCS in the past? We’d love to hear how it’s going! Send us your adoption success stories (and photos!) to be featured in our #adoptionupdate series on social media or on our website.
Feel compelled by our work and want to help more cats in need find loving homes? Please send us a financial gift to provide life-saving medical care and adoption services to cats like Max. Donations can be made online HERE (and all funds received from Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, 2023, count for our Colorado Gives Day fundraising goal, with extra opportunities for matching incentive funds. We appreciate your support!