Maxwell James

A donation was made in memory of Maxwell James by Doctors and Staff of the Redwood Animal Hospital on Oct 28, 2008.

I lost my beloved Maxwell James this past August to an aggressive nasal lymphoma after 10 years of companionship. He came into my life at the age of 5, melded quickly into the existing feline family and, after the matriarch passed over, moved into the position of Top Kitty. He was my best friend; he was loyal and wise, and kind to and patient with the other cats in the household who, in turn, gravitated toward him. He greeted me at the door every day, contentedly lay in my lap for hours, and slept on my chest every night. He was sunshine.

Maxwell was always about quality over quantity so although the diagnosis of lymphoma broke my heart, it was fairly easy to make the decision not to pursue any treatment that couldn't be handled at home. Travel caused Max acute anxiety and the stress of multiple car rides each week would have negated any good such treatment might have provided. I know in my heart it was the right decision for him and I am grateful to Max's veterinarian for supporting that decision. Sadly, it was exactly two months from the date of diagnosis to the date of Maxwell's passing. Two months for me was no time at all; I felt like I never had a chance to breathe. But I know at the very end, when the medication just stopped working, Maxwell was more than ready to be free (on his last day, the changes that occurred in Max's body between the time I left for work and the time I got home were dramatic and unquestionable). However, during those last two months, we spent as much time as possible each day enjoying each other's company. I took vacation time and we spent hours sitting outside, observing the world; wandering the garden following interesting smells; taking leashed walks up and down the street, to the endless amusement of my neighbors. Precious, precious hours.

Despite his illness, Maxwell taught me a valuable lesson: live in the present. Live for the day. Give each day everything you've got. And, it is what it is. He was never afraid of being sick. He accepted it and moved forward. His energy filled our home when he was physically present and his spirit energy continues to keep us company and influences my life as I take tentative steps forward on this new path. I miss him more than I can express in words, each and every day, but I know his spirit travels with me.

Any animal that comes into our lives is a gift; their time with us is a treasure to be cherished. And some of these animals are magic. Maxwell was/is truly magical.

A card I received after Maxwell passed says, "What a beautiful difference one single life made." Indeed, what a beautiful difference Maxwell's life me, to his co-kitties, to my friends and family who knew him. I love you, Maxwell James.

Catherine H.

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