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Max's Vacation Vision

Background: Anila was planning her first long trip since her kitty Tina's passing last summer, and was concerned about leaving Max, Tina’s 17 and a half year old brother, at home alone for such a long time. Fortunately her neighbor Nicki volunteered to have Max stay in her home, which included two cats, one of which is semi-feral, and a small older dog named Colt. There was a lot of discussion about how to best make this work for all the animals, including an exchange of bedding for comfort beforehand. As it turns out, Max was really listening to the plans.

I call Max…

Max: Hello. What tidings of great joy do you bring today for me?

Elizabeth: Max, you are very funny and also very elevated in mood?

M: I am perfectly serious! (he stands up to emphasize)

E: I see that now! You are a Great Being, Max, in a smaller fursuit.

M: But very handsome.

E: I agree. And you are in a great mood!

M: I am going on vacation, I believe. I have been invited to the country estate across the street. It is a farm, with some cows and donkeys, I believe (he shows me the exchanged blankets he’s been smelling).

E: Max, are you serious?

M: Quite so.

E: Well I don’t want to burst your imagination, but in the event that you are not enhancing realities or pulling my leg, I think you need to know what to expect.

M: I expect to have a good time, that’s all.

E: Ok, then you’re spot-on.

M: Excellent. I am not going to ask What did you want to tell me. Do not spoil my vacation.

E: I wouldn’t dare. I’m here as your messenger servant, with the itinerary for your vacation.

M: (Turns his head fast, looking at me) Oh, in that case, please tell me.

E: Anila says to you: “I will be leaving in 8 days. Nicki across the street loves animals and loves Max. I hope she will make Max's stay work.”

M: I will be making my stay work.

E: Excellent. Now, should I skip the spoiler alert about the residents of the farm?

M: Please. (Then), No, perhaps you’d better tell me what humans think is going on over there.

E: Haha ok. Anila says, “Sam and the other cat smell the blanket with Max's smell (we exchanged blankets twice). Colt the small dog barks but maybe Max will get used to it.” Max interrupts me-

M: See, that silly horse thinks he’s a dog. He smells like a donkey. He must be a small horse imitating a dog, having convinced the humans. They’re a little mixed up.

E: (I can’t stop laughing - Max has not been this funny in a long time and I am overjoyed to see him adventurous, recovering from the grief of losing his sister Tina) I see, Max. Anila says,

“Colt relative to dog's age I think is more senior than Max. It may be good for Max to be younger than Colt.”

M: My brain cells are certainly fresher than a confused donkey-dog.

E: Max, these are your hosts.

M: I am anticipating much entertainment on the farm.

E: Ok, here’s how your guest quarters are laid out: “In principle, Max will be in a small room with lots of lights and with a baby door, open to the view but blocked from the other animals' entrance.”

M: Very good. I have a balcony seat.

E: I think so. Further, “If it works, Max will be integrated into the rest of the family, Nicki, Charlie, Sam, Colt, and a wilder cat that I never saw and whose name I don't know.”

M: Wild cats? Does the jungle start on the other side of the house across the street that has a farm inside?

E: I don’t know Max, but surely this will make for great research.

M: It is a working vacation, then.

E: It is. Ok, Just a couple more bits of info: “Max can probably go to their backyard with the other animals.”

M: I do not want to get lost in the jungle with the wild cats.

E: I think there is only one wild cat, who is really only a little semi-feral or shy. Perhaps you can offer some companionship?

M: To a wild cat from the jungle? We shall see.

E: Anila says, “I will be away 12 days and a few hours. Since I leave very early on Thursday morning, I will take Max to Nicki's on Wednesday evening next week. We will see how it goes. I will be alone and missing him Wednesday night.”

M: I think Anila should come with me and spend Wednesday night with me on the farm.

E: I’m sure she would love to, but she has to get ready for her trip to see her family, Max.

M: Oh. I forgot she was going on vacation too.

E: Yes. And, she wants you to know: “But we will be connected mentally through Wednesday night, I will be sending him my love the whole night”...and that will continue throughout the entire 12 days. She will send you love every morning first thing when she awakens, and last thing before going to sleep, and in little jolts of love to you throughout the day.

M: I will do the same (very solemn). All my love will go with her, and will go to her sister Dina, and Dina’s sassy female cat as well (Max knows Dina and her cat through his participation in their Zoom calls, where he is very attentive).

E: Thank you, you are amazing, Max. Be well, have a great time on vacation. If for any reason the farm is too much, it’s possible Nicki can bring you home and visit you at home until Anila returns, but I think you’ll be ok.

M: So much to observe.

E: Indeed. Any questions?

M: No.

E: Then bye for now - I can’t wait to hear about your vacation later!

M: Thank you.


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