Sunday, April 12, 1998


Max and I have tons of fun. We have little jokes that never fail to crack me up. Every morning as I'm leaving I say, "I'm off to the Office Max," with a chuckle. Or I'll say, "Do you know the Time Max?" I giggle as he looks at me without blinking. Or the classic, "I'm Mad Max." We are after all, both road warriors having come as far as we have. Last week we came up with a new one. I says to him, "It's time to look in the Mirror Max. Hey wasn't that the name of the studio that distributed the Crying Game?" A bit more of an esoteric reference but endlessly funny nonetheless. Hee Hee Snicker Snicker, oh the joy we share. My sides just ache from all the laughter.

And he is a little more wound up than usual. With the arrival of the warm spring air, the windows are open for the first time in a long time and seeing we didn't get out for any walks this winter, this is his first sniff of fresh air in many a month. So he sits in his favorite window for long stretches with his little nose curiously checking out the different smells and then he'll run into the other room where I'm at and he'll meow and gurgle and let me know about the whole world that's been reopened to him. He doesn't quite know what he wants whether it's to go outside or whether it's to sit on my lap. But it just goes to show we both have our own little quirks. And I'll look at him with a blank stare. I suspect it's not exactly the response he's looking for. The look in his eyes is priceless: part restlessness, part scorn, part frustration and wanting to share what is going on inside. I especially enjoy his pointed meows that suggest agitation until they turn into a healthy yawn and he scampers back to the window with a sigh. Man this cat has a life.

We now have new sleeping arrangements and it's great that he is so adaptable. Just for a change of pace I decided to sleep out on the living room couch. Doesn't give us much room to maneuver but he seems content with the lack of space. And it's great to see the little fellow come back to life after his winter's hibernation. Now if only I could train him to help with the spring yard work. The plan this year is a scaled back garden- tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans and carrots. Other plans? Ma and Pa bought me a basketball hoop for the garage and I have a lead on a guy selling a batting cage. I suspect the neighbors now know that a little kid has bought the house next door but at least he's harmless or so I like to think. He just likes to play is all.

On Saturday we were preparing for Easter and because we figured we'd been crossed off the Easter Bunny's route, the plan was to dress Max up in a little pink bunny suit. He just loves the floppy ears. It isn't so much the hunting for hidden eggs that I miss it's all the associated fun involved. Luckily his favorite visitor stopped by and dropped off an Easter bag full of goodies. What a pal. Max was glad to see someone other than me and just as glad to get out of his assigned holiday duties.

And have I mentioned to you all how much I'm enjoying my new grapefruit for breakfast diet? Them things is tasty. Max doesn't particularly appreciate being squirted now and again with stray grapefruit juice but the great thing about them is that the sour taste of the citric fruit is perfect for getting the juices flowing and jolting one awake along with the morning coffee. Reminds me of the only person I've ever known that didn't like popcorn. Man was she missing out on something. Just like reading about Queen Esther in the Bible. Habakkuk too.

Someone mentioned to me a while back that if I wanted to know the difference in my writing from a few years back it's that I used to be inspired by feelings of love and illusions of grandeur and now I'm inspired by my cat. I don't see nothing wrong with that. The little fellow is pretty special after all. A few years back I decided to try my hand at painting having never really tried that form of expression before. I decided I was going to paint a portrait of Max. It was a most interesting experience. There are similarities in staring and starting with a blank page and a blank canvass. The thing I learned from that endeavor was in a painting while it is important to keep in mind the big picture, to get to that point you have to think about every tiny piece of the canvass. What colors are you going to mix? What texture will you choose? How will this corner of the painting add to the whole? Similarly, in writing each word contributes to the end story. My portrait of Max turned out OK. And with it came a lesson of not being too overwhelmed by the big picture to learn to appreciate those little moments one tends to take for granted.

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