Respite Open Thread: Meet Max


A few days ago, Msilaneous told us she was thinking of bringing a new kitten into her home after losing her beloved cat of 17 years in January. As us cat lovers know, you don’t choose the kitten, the kitten chooses you.


“There was a surprise waiting for us when we arrived at Heaven’Lees Rescue yesterday afternoon. A tuxedo cat had given birth a half hour before our arrival. The boys were awestruck as we each took a quick peek through the tiny opening next to the heater keeping them warm. The boys are my three grandsons. My younger daughter also met us there, “there” being Elizabeth’s house.

Elizabeth runs Heaven’Lees Rescue with support from her husband and occasional volunteers. While we were there she was on and off the phone to the vet who was helping her monitor the newborns. Soon she was answering questions from a caller and prospective adopter. Her last call before we left was to the vet’s admin to forward Kitten #8’s records.

Elizabeth handed me a kitten when we first got there, but I hardly had a chance to get a look before I felt something land on my foot and start climbing my leg. Laughing, I handed the kitten I was holding to my daughter, and plucked Number 8 off my pant leg.

Elizabeth could not remember his back story, but I’ve been monitoring the rescue websites for the past few weeks and recall a huge litter of black kittens being posted a while back with no mention of a mother. I think Number 8 was the last of his litter and last to be adopted. He is 9 weeks old.

His name is Max. (Full name Maxwell {how about Maximilian} Winston Snackwellz Familyname, Familyname, Familyname the 8th) The boys reserve the right to add.

TaMara, I’m so grateful for everything you and the commenters shared with me Wednesday. I very much liked the idea of adopting two, but in the end Max chose me, and from what I can tell so far, he is going to be quite enough for a while, I think! Elizabeth told me he craves attention, which is true enough. He is also in need of some serious socialization. The boy plays rough! He is also adorable, funny, sweet, bright, curious, a real love bug, and a purring machine. We are all head over heels.

We had our first bath this morning, both of us going into the experience complete newbies. Not sure who came out more traumatized. LOL  He vocalized his woes, I commiserated, and we cuddled until we felt better.

He had company today and played hard. To relax him, I found this video on YouTube. He was enthralled – for all of two minutes, but it did the trick. He just conked out.”

Black kitten watching youtube video of fish


If that doesn’t brighten your day, well, I refer you back to my anger journal and how it has lightened my days. It started out today:

“Dear Anger Journal, once again, Anne Laurie and John Cole bragging been bragging about their first tomatoes, while I look at my garden and know I’m still a solid month away from my first ripe tomato. Sigh, I kinda hate them now.” 😜

Respite open thread.

67 replies
  1. 1
    FelonyGovt says:

    Awww, what a cutie Max is! Thanks, TaMara!

  2. 2
    RepubAnon says:

    I always wanted 2 black cats named Boris and Natasha, as an homage to Rocky and Bullwinkle:

    “Boris dahlink – you have fiendish plan?”
    “Natasha! Ven do I not have fiendish plan?”

    – Alas, the current feline population at my place don’t feel the need for additional laptime competition.

  3. 3
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Helluva Wimbledon final. I still cannot believe that Federer could not put Djokovic away when he had 2 championship points, after 2 consecutive aces. Fantastic tennis and hard to believe that guys my age (and older, in Federer’s case) can slug it out for 5 hours.

  4. 4
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Hi there Max, you handsome devil 💖
    Thank you, TaMara 😊

  5. 5
    germy says:

    Max Midnight.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:


  7. 7
    Mary G says:

    So glad Max chose you, Msilaneous. He looks like he’ll be a handful!

  8. 8
    RobertDSC-Mac Mini says:

    Black cats rule.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    You are barely out of childhood. OK maybe it’s just not barely. Or is it the other way around?

  10. 10
    Matt McIrvin says:

    We are in the process of adopting a kitten who looks just like Max!

  11. 11
  12. 12
    J. says:

    Thank you. I needed that. Black kitties are the best. (My black cat also chose me, jumping over his litter mate, who I was petting, and into my arms. It’s been nonstop cuddles ever since.)

  13. 13
    ixnay says:

    Ohai Max!

  14. 14
    RdDirtGirl says:

    That photo of Max watching the video is so sweet! Thank you for that and enjoy your new bundle of fun!

  15. 15
    Nicole says:

    I love black cats. Max is a cutie.

    Spent yesterday in Phoenixville, PA, which every year at this time hosts BlobFest- a weekend long celebration of The Blob, which filmed there and in the surrounding areas. The highlight for me was going to see a double feature of The Blob and Forbidden Planet in the Colonial Theater- the very theater featured in The Blob (on the first night of BlobFest they even stage a “run out” of the theater, recreating the big scene from the movie). Very meta, watching a movie theater on a screen while you are sitting in that same movie theater.

    Took the 9-year-old with us. He liked The Blob, but Forbidden Planet was a bit heady for him.

  16. 16
    JR says:

    Hey guys, it’s Bastille Day.

    Feels like in these times, more than ever, that particular bit of history is relevant.

    It is not enough to have shown that the privileged, far from being useful to the nation, can only weaken and injure it; we must prove further that the nobility is not part of our society at all; it may be a burden for the nation, but it cannot be part of it…

    Is it not obvious that the nobility possesses privileges and exemptions which it brazenly calls its rights and which stand distinct from the rights of the great body of citizens? Because of these special rights, the nobility does not belong to the common order, nor is it subjected to the common laws. Thus its private rights make it a people apart in the great nation…

    The Third Estate then contains everything that pertains to the nation while nobody outside the Third Estate can be considered as part of the nation. What is the Third Estate? Everything.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    Max looks just wonderful. Black cats attitude rules. Congrats to you and your grandkids and all.

    My cat Safey got me 10 years ago. I’d stopped by to see my niece volunteering at the Humane Society. Bent down to watch a cute little kitten, but someone in the cage above began patting the top of my head. I looked up and she began to perform. …. I was far from home, my mom was dying and I had no intention of another cat. But major flooding had caused the shelter to be way overcrowded.

    A week later my mom, lifelong cat lover, got to hold and pet Safey in her hospital bed, and such a peaceful expression came over her.

  18. 18
    Starfish says:

    I chose cherry tomatoes this year because I am impatient. I have had four cherry tomatoes because I am not great at growing things.

  19. 19
    LuciaMia says:

    Congratulations! What a beautiful kitten.
    I dont know if this is right, but I thought I read somewhere that it was harder to adopt out black cats and dogs.

  20. 20
    mrmoshpotato says:


    I always wanted 2 black cats named Boris and Natasha

    Hehe. My dad’s parents had two black cats named after the Pottsylvanian spies.

  21. 21
    Skepticat says:

    Max made a very wise choice. I’ve always wanted a black cat, especially one that handsome, but I also just finished driving, with various stops to visit along the way, from Florida to Maine with three cats, which is at least two too many. It’ll be a while—a very long while—before I add to this clowder.

  22. 22
    satby says:

    @LuciaMia: it is harder to adopt out black cats (victims of superstition) and black dogs (presumed to be aggressive for no particular reason). Thus, I usually ended up with both black dogs and cats. Black cats are almost inevitably loving, friendly companions and are my absolute favorites.
    Msilaneous, congratulations on your adorable new addition to the family!

  23. 23
    eclare says:

    @LuciaMia: I’ve heard that too, I think Satby agreed. Congratulations! Also, my kitties love the red laser pointers, you might want to try that with Max.

  24. 24
    chris says:

    I love black cats but have somehow never had one. Yet. Go, Max!

    We are just back from the beach on a hot and humid day. Haven’t been there since last year so these boulders are new. Mother Ocean does not care where I wish to walk. Bert is happy to show the way through.

  25. 25
    MagdaInBlack says:

    My black cat I rescued. My bro-in-law, who disliked cats, had dumped 3 kittens at my in laws farmette, knowing full well the dog would prob kill them. ( yes they were those kind of people, my husband was a changeling, I’m convinced) I was sitting at their kitchen table when I heard this story, called them assholes, and rescued the remaining kitten.
    After several name changes, he became Ivan the Dink and lived to the ripe old age of 17, on our 6 acres where dogs and cats ( and ducks, chickens, geese) lived together in harmony 😊

  26. 26
    Msilaneous says:

    @RepubAnon: I love it!

  27. 27
    Msilaneous says:

    @germy: Nice.

  28. 28
    Msilaneous says:

    @Mary G: I’m glad, too.

  29. 29
    Msilaneous says:

    I could use your advice. Coming from a noisy, crowded and active atmosphere at the rescue home, Max isn’t used to being alone. My oldest grandson, who’s 16, babysat Max on Friday when I had to be at the hospital with my cousin, and I’ve been home with him since. Tomorrow I have to be away most of the afternoon. Max will be 10 weeks old tomorrow. Is he old enough? He gets upset when I’m out of sight for too long and will occasionally start to cry. Not sure what to do.

  30. 30
    Msilaneous says:

    @RAVEN: Great song! Thank you!

  31. 31
    Msilaneous says:

    @Aleta:Oh my, Aleta, what a moving story. Is Safey still with you?

  32. 32
    Msilaneous says:

    @Skepticat: One of my goals is to get Max used to the car, though I can’t imagine traveling with three. And such a distance. I would love to hear that story sometime!

  33. 33
    J R in WV says:

    Our very first cat was all black, and wife named her Jezebel — when we got another kitten 3 years later, she learned to roll a ball back and forth in front of the tiny slot under a bookcase where Timidthy would hide. Of course when he lunged out to attack the ball, Jezebel pounced him.

    When either of us went into the kitchen to make coffee, Jezebel would pounce us from on top of the fridge, which was by the doorway into the kitchen. Then to avoid any results from that pouncing, she would dive behind the fridge. Learned immediately when we stayed in a hotel room with her that she could pull the chain to turn on the very bright lights over the head of the bed. Was a really sweet kitty.

    Almost all our 20+ cats have been really sweet. Sadly, I no longer remember every name, some have faded away already. Some were only with us for a short time, sadly. But I still love every one of them…

  34. 34
    Msilaneous says:

    @satby: Thank you! He’s made such a huge difference already.

  35. 35
    Msilaneous says:

    @eclare: He loves the laser!

  36. 36
    Msilaneous says:

    @MagdaInBlack: Ivan the Dink. What a great story.

  37. 37
    Msilaneous says:

    @J R in WV: 20 plus, that’s simply amazing. Max is my second.

  38. 38
    eddie blake says:

    what a cutie!

    we have a black cat named linden.she pretty much runs the house.

  39. 39
    tmflibrarian says:

    @Msilaneous: When i was in college, I’d leave NPR on in the apartment to keep the cats company. I used to work on history papers with classical music playing, so maybe they associated the sound with mellowed out time. They were never destructive, so I guessed that it worked.
    I did have to return before opera started at noon on Saturdays–otherwise, many complaints to management were made.

  40. 40
    zhena gogolia says:


    I’ve never put a cam on my cats when I’m away (catless right now but 34 years of experience). I think they tend to just shut down and go to sleep when their humans aren’t there. They aren’t like dogs, who get all anxious and tear up the house and bark. They’re really only going to meow when they know you’re there to hear them. (This is based on coming home and having them just look up from their peaceful sleep like, “Who are you?”) Kittens do tear things up, but I don’t think there’s much difference whether you’re home or not on that score — they’ll do it right in front of you.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    You might want to reach out to our very own WereBear via her “Way of Cats” blog. There are few things about cats and kittens that she can’t help with.

  42. 42
    zhena gogolia says:


    I had a friend who always left Elvis on for her cats. Unfortunately, my cat Louis HATED any kind of manufactured music. He liked to be sung to and ignored the piano, but he would tear out of the room if the stereo got turned on.

  43. 43
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Dinkie to his friends 😉

    If nothing else, give Max something of yours (jammies?) to snuggle in while you’re out. 💖

  44. 44
    Aleta says:

    @Msilaneous: Yes thanks, she’s going strong.

  45. 45
    Aleta says:

    @Msilaneous: there are some long youtubes of cats purring, may be one of a mother cat purring ?
    Or bird song audio to distract him ?

  46. 46
    Skepticat says:

    @Msilaneous: I think you’ll have better luck if you can start when Max still is very young, especially if he doesn’t like being without you. My three were born feral and don’t like to be confined, so getting them into the carriers is the challenge. Once in the car, they’re fine.

  47. 47
    Aleta says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    they tend to just shut down and go to sleep when their humans aren’t there

    That is so true here. Then they are well rested for charging around as soon as you get back.

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    Maximilian is very handsome 😻😻😻

  49. 49
    Msilaneous says:

    @tmflibrarian: I don’t care for opera, either! LOL

  50. 50
    Msilaneous says:

    @zhena gogolia: You’re absolutely right! Right in front of you! Like right now on the couch!

  51. 51
    Msilaneous says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely check it out. Edited typo by kitten on keyboard.

  52. 52
    SWMBO says:

    @Msilaneous: Here he was showing you the magic dance move which you completely did not appreciate.
    Can you keep the 16 yo grandson for a few more days?

  53. 53
    SWMBO says:

    We have a friend from high school who has a few cats. The completely black one is named Sabbath.

  54. 54
    Msilaneous says:

    @zhena gogolia: I think I’ll start him off with The Beatles.

  55. 55
    pat says:


    Get another cat, of course!

  56. 56
    Msilaneous says:

    @Aleta: Good idea!

  57. 57
    Msilaneous says:

    @rikyrah: Hard to tell from here – he’s currently in krazy kitten mode.

  58. 58
    Kattails says:

    Congrats to Msilaneous on being adopted by Max, may you have many fabulous years together. I have had a few and they are the best. Do check out the Wayofcats website as mentioned, there’s a ton of information on socializing and she will do consultations over the phone. As far as black cat superstitions go, I actually had one guy look askance when Becca jumped up next to him to be petted, like is this bad luck? She’s about as non-threatening as a potato, so he finally gave in and gave her some skritches.
    @zhena gogolia: Just checked the Robins’ nest and only saw two eggs, was a little crestfallen then realized that there was a naked pink thing wiggling around a bit, must have just hatched!! Found half an egg outside where the parent must have been cleaning up. I’ll stay clear for a couple of days, want the robins to feel this spot is safe. I have to climb on a stepladder and hold a mirror over the nest to see inside. Clutch #2.

  59. 59
    Msilaneous says:

    @SWMBO: The 16 year old arrived with his 9 year old brother. An hour later they were joined by their 12 year old cousin and his mom. I think I could charge admission.

  60. 60
    Msilaneous says:

    @SWMBO: Oh good one!

  61. 61
    Msilaneous says:

    @Kattails: Bookmarked it right after SiubhanDuinne suggested it. I think someone else mentioned it on Wednesday, too. Sorry I can’t remember who.

  62. 62
    Msilaneous says:

    @Skepticat: I’m sure you’re right.

  63. 63
    Msilaneous says:

    @eddie blake: Like the name Linden very much. Max is already in charge. After 17 years, I’d forgotten what having a newborn is like. When he’s awake, it’s Max Time all the time.

  64. 64
    Msilaneous says:

    @MagdaInBlack: Don’t know why I didn’t think of that – there’s one in his carrier.

  65. 65
    Msilaneous says:

    @pat: You mean get him a kitten?

  66. 66
    TomatoQueen says:

    Hello Max. You are entirely too cute. Mwah.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    A black kitten chose me 15 years ago and remains with me to this day. Black cats are special.

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