Life With Max Pt 8 - Max the Instrument of Mass Destruction

My Max, looks so sweet butter wouldn't melt in his mouth... HE HAS YOU ALL FOOLED!!!!!!!!!!

This is what Max looked like the day I brought him home.

and what he looked like 2 days after I brought him home.

Please note the attitude change.  It became a permanent fixture.

I noticed from the beginning that Max was frequently chewing.  If it wasn't on a toy or piece of furniture, it was like he was a cow chewing its cud.  I have had many pets before and all of my dogs had done the same thing while teething so I didn't really pay much more attention to it.  I had expected things to get chewed on during the teething phase.  So be it.  It's the price you pay for having a baby pet.  But it didn't stop when the teething ended.  Two and half years later, it still hasn't stopped.  Life with Max...

The destruction count attributed to Max has wound up being rather expensive:

5 play mats torn to shreds
2 sheets of rigid foam insulation shredded with claws
3 sofa cushions snagged
1 king-sized, hugely expensive Rachel Ashwell shabby chic quilt torn in several places
4 knitted throws chewed along the edges
1 Ikea Poang chair cushion shredded at the corner
1 Ikea Poang chair cushion needled half to death and covered in pills from needling
2 rag rugs chewed in the centre
1 yoga mat chewed along the edges and a hole chewed into the center of it
1 front load washer door seal chewed to the point of needing replacement
1 coffee table scratched, chewed and needing refinishing
5 lamp shades with tooth holes all around the bottom edges
2 wicker chairs ripped by claws
4 extension cords, 2 lamp cords, 1 washing machine cord, 1 iron cord and 1 laptop cable chewed almost all the way through in more than just one place on each.
3 interior doors and door frames shredded by claws (the other cat taught him this trick)
and the list goes on.

Yeah, she isn't so sweet either...

But this is only a fraction of how expensive Max's little teething habit has been.  I woke up one day to find him lying in a chair with a very different look on his face.  He was very still (NEVER happens!) and had an odd expression on his face.  When I went to get some cat food out of the pantry, I discovered a ginormous puddle of vomit in the laundry room, two of them in fact.  And it wasn't the usual half-eaten food kind of look, either.  I figured he had eaten something really bad and would puke the rest of it up or sleep it off during the morning, so I headed off to work but I worried the whole time I was at work...

I came home at lunch to check on him and he was no better.  He hadn't moved at all from where he had been sitting when I left for work.  I called my vet's office and was referred to a vet in another town (GAH!) so I had to take the afternoon off work to take Max on a road trip to the other vet.

Max didn't let out one single peep in the car.  He didn't move at all.  He just watched me the whole time with a very frightened expression in his eyes.  Poor baby!

I got him into the vet's office and she examined him but was unable to diagnose without tests.  I  had to leave Max behind while he was put under, x-rayed, needled for blood tests and who knows what else they did to him.  I called just before the clinic closed for the day and was told they were keeping him overnight for observation.  Although one has to wonder what kind of observation they do when nobody is even there overnight!  The vet told me that two sets of x-rays had been taken and there was a blockage that had not moved between the first set done shortly after noon and the second set done later in the day.  I told her to prep Max for surgery if there was no change in his appearance or behavior the next morning.

At 8:30 am the next day, I called the vet's office to find out how Max was and was told that he had been given another x-ray and the blockage hadn't moved.  He was headed for surgery...

I had a very anxious morning waiting for some word on how the surgery went.  Finally the phone rang and the vet had good news.  She had retrieved a piece of playmat that had completely obstructed Max's small intestine.  He was going to be fine. He was a very lucky boy!

I wasn't able to bring him home for yet another day, but at last the time came when I could pick him up.  Eloise wasn't too impressed with the way Max smelled when he got home.  As I recall,she hissed and smacked him across the head before heading outside to get away from him.   Max just curled up in his favourite spot and stayed there with his eyes slightly open as though waiting to be hauled back to that horrible place for more poking and prodding.

The whole vet business cost me $950 which, although high, was less than what I expected the bill to be.

And no, Max has not altered his chewing ways one bit since that time. I got rid of the playmats and put as many of his chew favourites out of his reach as I could.  I just hope and pray that whatever else he ingests will pass through his system without further incident.  Meanwhile we take things day by day around here now and the two cats remain thick as thieves.

Stay tuned for Part 9!

If you missed the earlier chapters, click HERE


  1. I'm thinking you should write a children's book about Maxx and Eloise! Seriously!

  2. Max is very lucky to have you for his mom. And I'm beginning to think I'm glad Dennis is allergic to cats.

  3. Oh my gosh Anne, what a worry! I have known cats to destroy things, but not to chew/eat them...maybe Max is a dog in a cats body?
    I was amazed that was your vet bill, I thought you were going to say 1500.00 at least!
    We are lucky that our dog doesn't chew anything...other than his toys - which is why they are behind closed doors in the basement and he only gets them after his walk when he is 'supervised' with them...otherwise he'd have them ripped apart and in his stomach!
    And I'd say Karen is onto something - a children's book! ;)
    Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
    Hugs, Kimberley

  4. Oh Anne!!!! Max is lucky to have you for his mom. The expressions on his face tell a story in themselves.

  5. Oh, the things we do for our fur babies!

    Glad that Max is better and back to his old antics.

  6. Oooh, poor Max. I'm so glad you are a good pet mommy though... even though it's expensive at times. I can't tell you how much I've spent on my oldest dog Roxanne and how much stress and anger she has put me through. Mostly when she was younger, she's pretty calm now in her old age (15). I had to take her to emergency on Christmas eve one year because her back legs stopped working... THAT was expensive! But I feel like you do... once you make the decision to take on a pet you better be damn sure that's what you want because there will be ups and downs. Much like parenthood... oh how many times my daughter has pissed me off AND cost me LOTS of money but do I just get rid of her? noooo. lol!

    It makes me so mad when I see ads for animals being given away... "don't have time for him or her anymore", "moving, can't take with", etc., etc. :o(


  7. Anne, I'm sure you have tried this, but, I had to mention it. Our son & his wife got their 2 cats an interesting scratching post. It has little platforms for the cats to sit on & interesting places to climb on, plus the scratching area. One Dr. suggested that cats who chew a lot can have a vitamin deficiency and they are chewing over much because of this. Do you give the cats vitamins? Another friend installed a cute screened door to her 'cat room' and they stayed in this cat friendly, safe room while she was away from home. Then, when she got home, her cats were free to be in the rest of the house with her. Hope this helps, Bev

    1. Thanks Bev! I'll look into the vitamin thing for sure. I am feeding them food with lots of vitamins in already but there could be something he is deficient in. You never know!


  8. We had Daniel who chewed on and ate things, but he was a dog. I've never heard of a cat doing that. Leave it to you to fall in love with such a challenging little one! I'm really glad that Max was fine after his ordeal.

  9. How frightening...Miss Twiggley doesn't chew on things but I always worry that she might try and eat something that will cause a blockage. Max is a very lucky cat...maybe he will try and reform. As mentioned before it might be a deficiency in his diet, I know that can cause children to eat bizarre things.

  10. Max is so precious. I am glad he is feeling better. When I look around the house and see how my cat clawed the slipcover or something I tell my self that is what makes a house a home and adds character.

    1. That's an excellent perspective Debra! I have come to feel that my pets keep my focus on what is more important in my life, on love and relationships instead of on possessions. Thanks for visiting!

  11. I brought into my house a formerly abandoned (not feral) house cat who had been roaming the neighborhood for at least 10 years. Myself and other neighbors had fed and sheltered him for a long time, but since he was so old and since December of 2012 was so terribly cold, I decided that I couldn't refuse to let him inside any longer. He is wonderfully grateful, loving, polite as far as litter habits are concerned, does not claw on things but chews and eats plastic grocery/shopping bags - his only bad habit other than being attached like velcro to me for attention most of the time. I found out the hard way when he vomited up a ton of plastic bag all over the house that he had swallowed. I must be very careful to make sure all plastic bags are out of his reach and he is so obsessed, he runs to get on the kitchen table when I bring in groceries, hoping some of the bags will end up there. Don't know if something in his outdoor survival all those years makes him chew plastic bags because he doesn't chew on anything else but this bad habit could be deadly and expensive so it's up to me to thwart his soft plastic addiction. Your Max is quite a personality but sometimes that type of cat is its own worse enemy. Keep the stories coming .....

    1. Awww what a sweetie you are Pat! How kind of you to take him into your home. I'm sure the plastic bag thing came from him trying to find food and going after garbage bags - so worrying when they do things that you know can hurt them so much!!

      Thanks for visiting! xo

  12. That last picture of Max and Eloise in the Poang chair. I would swear he has a smirk on his face and with his slitted eyes it looks like he's plotting some further destruction. He really is a beautiful cat with great markings. I also like his ruff. In that last picture he looks like an Elizabethan cat the way his ruff is standingup.
    Though I read all your posts I especially like the ones of Max and you've given us two chapters in less than a month. Thank you. I truly think that if all us cat people got together we could probably spend hours (days?) telling silly stories though I have to say Max takes the cake as far as mass destruction.
    All the best and hope you had a great thanksgiving.

    1. That would be a fun group! Much better than a book club - a cat lovers' club!! Thanks Cathy and Max thanks you too!

      ps I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, too!

  13. I have never heard of a cat causing that much destruction! You would have thought with the visit to the vet that he might have learned his lesson. It so lovely to see how well your cats get on. Sarah x

  14. Mass Destruction Max, oh my goodness. I can't believe he's made it up to your lamp shades and into your washing machine. His uniqueness is a blessing and a curse for sure, but it's very evident how much these two felines are part of your family.

  15. I'm so happy Max is ok. I've had cats all my life but have never heard of one that chews excessively like that. He is a unique one, that's for sure. Hope he stays healthy and happy as his life carries on. :)

  16. Oh, my, what a bad boy he is! You must have been so worried during the surgery! I'm glad it ends well.

  17. So happy that Max is OK....I missed this post somehow....I guess Max must have had lots of other pet the reason he got smacked around!...:) You are a good mommy!....Max is a very lucky guy!


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