I was putting together the paperwork for an insurance claim for Max's treatment and cremation last night, and I found myself wandering through the paperwork they gave me when I got him in October, 2002. I suppose I glanced at it back then; not really much since. As with Twinkle when she died and I wandered through the notes and remarks about her life before me, I found myself wondering about Max's.
His vet was in Thornhill, a little north of here, which would explain why he was at the PetSmart in Markham when I got him. It records his birth as being in November, 1999, not some time in 2000 as I'd imagined. His first visit to the vet was Nov. 17th. He was neutered right around his first birthday (happy birthday, kid); the paperwork records Nov. 17 again, this time in 2000.
All of this stuff gives his name as "Morris". It's crossed out and replaced with "Max" once we get to records put together by the adoption agency. So he was actually just shy of three years old when I got him, and would have been 13 in a few more months.
But that means he was "someone else" for nearly three years. What was his life like? Why in the world did anyone give him up? With Twinkle, it was less of a mystery. She was feisty and more than any other cat I had, peed and crapped on anything and everything. But Max was never anything but a good ol' guy; hardly a lick of trouble out of him in ten years. Clearly, he wasn't given up because of any behavioural problem. I wonder if perhaps his owner—whoever loved him as "Morris"—passed away and orphaned him. I really wish I knew. Living alone as I do, that worry haunts me too, I figure there'll come a time in my life when I just stop adopting cats for fear of what will happen to them when they survive me.
Well, whoever he may once have been in the springtime of his life, he lived and died as Max to me... and to himself, since he almost unfailingly came when I called his name. And now he's home again, for good, though not in the way I would have wished a few weeks ago.