Believe me, I realize how sort of sad and absurd it is to call a cat your best friend. I wish I were kidding.

Lots of things happen to a life when the person wearing that life geographically moves time and time again …. when moving is almost as easy as deciding to wear blue sneakers that day.

My life has often been overflowing like a cornucopia with friends and acquaintances and travel buddies and prayer partners and the surprise people who show up and stick like velcro for life.

So to find myself at this stage of life with only the teeniest amount of people surrounding me, comes as an unfamiliar state of being. But I’m strong and independent, mentally sound and resourceful, so the days turn into decades and life is what I make of it.

Max and I feel like siblings; our personalities have meshed. He is quiet and soulful. He likes to stare out windows and circle into a fetus shape while he naps. He loves everyone who walks in the door and assumes everyone loves him. He has a regal bearing. (I do not have a regal bearing.) Eating is his favorite activity, mine too. (That’s a hard one to admit.) He follows me everywhere I go. He is conspicuously sad when I leave. He is attentive when I return.

He likes Motown and if he is resting when the music comes on, he will get up and move around in his unique rendition of dancing. He prefers my iced tea to his water. If possible, he will place himself near my tea and stick his paw in the tea, retract it, and lick the tea off. He would do this all day if I allowed it. I find this so utterly adorable that I do watch him for a while before reclaiming the tea. Being the inbred gentleman that he is, he never sulks when I take “our” drink from him.

He adores catnip, obviously. He adores tuna and salmon. And chicken and turkey and soup. When he is hungry because I have missed his feeding by 15 minutes, he will just stand like a military statue at my feet until I get up. No hysterical behavior, no begging, no scratching, His patience and lack of nagging touch me to my core. He COULD be a brat, he just isn’t.

Max is stoic. He is gentle and meek. He truly cares if I’m crying; he acts as though he is almost panicky. So I stop crying at the earliest possible second that I can. Once he presented himself to a friend of mine who was on a different floor of my house and nudged and whimpered until she followed him upstairs.

He thought I was in medical trouble. I was napping. I’ve owned other cats; none has ever cared THAT much. He breaks my heart with his love.

Gorgeous doesn’t begin to capture his beauty. I am captivated and spend long periods in thought as I stare at him. His staggering looks kiss my eyes. If he were a real dude, I would propose. He’s everything I long for in a man.