The Maximum Cat

 

When a cat knows he’s done, he stops eating. It’s not just that he refuses food, he’s forgotten what food is. Muscle memory leads him back to the bowl at meal time but even if you put the food in his mouth he won’t swallow.

As mammals, we share some things in common with cats: live birth, lactation, and a beating heart, to name a few. As animals, we all share mortality. 

My cat max stopped eating three days ago. His heart stopped beating today.






Life is full of beautiful moments and flowing sources of inspiration. It is also full of inescapable pain and death. Cats sense things that we cannot. They anticipated hurricanes and earthquakes long before humans had satellites and Richter scales. They hear notes at pitches beyond our perception. They know when they can’t trust someone. They know when they’re dying.

There are momentous events going on in this world that tower in significance over a dead cat, or a dead human. Unless the death takes someone you love. Then there is nothing more important. A unique variation of love exists between ‘pet’ and ‘owner.’

We named our roman-nosed tuxedo Max because he was the maximum cat.

 

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine, among others. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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