Jan 30, 2020 – Destruction – AND yet another destroyed toy by Max. This time it was a Jolly Ball. These are suppose to be sturdy toys for animals but Max chewed off the handle. I found it destroyed on the 20th and then fretted that he ate the pieces. Remember the incident with the garage foam mat? So, I began checking his poop and didn’t find any red pieces. Our snow melted and behold… red pieces on the ground. *phew*
Feb 8, 2020 – Snow, Ice & Clearing – Just another day in the Northeast where snow needs to be removed from shelving and walkways. Max doesn’t seem to mind not one bit!
Feb 24, 2020 – Early Brushing – I expect a lot of fur shed in March but it seems Max’s shedding began a little early. Okay, not that early but it seems like it. One brushing produced a handful of luscious fur.
Mar 24, 2020 – 4 Inches of Snow! – Wondering if this is winter’s last stand?
April 12, 2020 – Fence Panel Fix – When Max marks his territory it means I need to repair fencing because his urine will rust a panel clean through in two years. I first need to remove grass and dirt from around the panel, wash & rinse it, sand down the rust, prime, paint and protect with plexiglass. With these two panels, I placed straw and grass/dirt so he isn’t suspect and try to pull on the plexi.
May 4, 2020 – Happy 9th Birthday! – I produced a birthday Video Max on YouTube and clipped a few photos from it, so they are not quality like my camera. I saved a reindeer toy my cousin gave him for Christmas as a present for his birthday. I have to space out his toys because he destroys them quickly. He also got a can of Tuna. What did I buy him? I’m having a Cat Loft built – $1100.
May 9, 2020 – Winter’s Final Say! – Okay, now this is crazy! You can’t trust the weather stations! Dusting to 1″ my butt! 11:20am update – Just spent an hour cleaning off Max’s wire top. Oh, the sun & rising temp only made the wet snow concrete and 3 of his sections collapsed. I really wish I had the money to put in posts with wooden beams but this was my best choice at the time. I will be doing some repairs this summer but in the meantime, it’s fixed. Oh, and he attacked me in the middle of it all, gripping onto my head which was inside a parka hood. Haha Max, I was protected! Little stinker thought it was funny!
May 20, 2020 – THE LOFT! – I love it, Max loves it! He was pretty stressed out because we closed him out of the enclosure while the men worked. Of course! Once introduced, he ignored it while we watched him. I gave him an extra bowl of water in which he guzzled it down. I found him investigating it after we all walked away. Of course! I received a donation by some wonderful friends, Christine & Evan to help with the cost. ❤ See Loft Video.
Aug 9, 2020 – Summer News – Check out Max’s video Max’s Summer Slimsuit. It has been really hot this summer. Max is not liking it and I give him extra water and a spritzing on occasion. I’m looking into a corner water fountain. How cool would that be? Christine and Evan have already made a donation to help. ❤
Max has been loving his new loft that was built in May and is up there every morning. He didn’t lose his winter weight. Oh, the fur is gone but for some reason he held onto those 5 pounds. Now he is at 43 pounds! Whoa Max! You can see the video Max Middle-aged.
All of our educational programs were cancelled this summer. It figures. Hopefully, we can pick them back up next summer.
Sept 26, 2020 – Another Rusted Panel *tears* – The title says it all. These two panels connect to the ones I fixed in April. Max seems totally content with himself. LOL
Oct 31, 2020 – Green Ball #2 Retired – Well, Max’s soccer ball number two gets retirement. That’s okay. We have another one in storage. See Video. Also, I was putting straw in his doghouse and Max decided he loved the bag more. It’s a Bag video.
Nov 7, 2020 – New Toys! – I purchased a bungee toy for Max. He says it’s okay but really wants me to put the ball on the end AND we dug out another green ball from storage. See Video.
Nov 20, 2020 – To Book or Not? – So, I’ve been doing some thinking. Uh-oh, that can be dangerous. For the last couple years, I have had people tell me that I should create a calendar of Max or a coffee table book of his gorgeous face. Calendars come and go but a book would be nice. However, wouldn’t that be expensive? The cost of producing and then international shipping might be beyond my means or even chaotic. I can see myself on a Saturday morning shipping to the U.K., Spain, Italy, Australia, etc. Oh boy. I’m sure there are probably other options. Another thing to consider is the cost of the book. Oh my, most of us are on tight budgets during this time in our lives and it would need to be affordable. Some have suggested a smaller version of the coffee table book that could be handed out as gifts. (Food for thought)
I thought of creating a website showcasing his photos. Would I want to add his story or our stories? Maybe. I would need a premium site which would allow for monetized advertising and a donation button. But I’m not a non-profit, so donations would not be tax deductible. I have discouraged donations to date because of that and because I can afford Max. I knew what I was getting into with the cost of meat, veterinarian care, housing, fencing and enrichment. However, new state regulations have put me in a financial bind and will continue for as long as I own Max.
Some have suggested creating a children’s book of Max’s adventures. Wouldn’t that be fun? I could get local children to draw the pictures depending on the theme. Okay, that’s a possibility.
I really want to give back to his followers. Yes, I have a YouTube channel and the Wildlife Education by Bernie blog, but really that blog is about my educational programs with all my animals, not just Max. Setting it up will be a nightmare with nine years of great photos to upload and each will have to be optimized to save on space. There are many possibilities.
Well, I put the question out on YouTube and the comments are flooding in. I will give it a week and then make a decision.
Nov 26, 2020 – Happy Thanksgiving – Max and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! You can view his Thanksgiving Video. I have been busy in the last week installing a second double entry and perimeter fencing although we are not open to the public. It’s just a few hoops to jump through. I’m working on Max’s small photo book and his own website. So stay tuned.
Dec 13, 2020 – New State Requirements – In addition to having a 2 million dollar insurance policy on Max, there are enclosure requirements. These will definitely kill off the small wildlife educators and rehabilitators, too. I started upgrading Max’s enclosure November 11 by expanding my double-entry system. I had been wanting to do this for some time now, so it’s not a bad thing. My good friend, Deb, helped me put in posts and put up the wire. I don’t know what I would have done without her. Another friend, Lorise, found me an insurance company with a reasonable rate. Well, if you can call $900 reasonable but better than the $2400 I was quoted from another! Anyways, here are some photos of the progress. I must say, it looks darn nice and actually, it has given me peace of mind when it comes to Max’s safety. Friends…are the best! ❤
Dec 14, 2020 – Wind Barrier & Fresh Straw – I caught Max not spending much time in his beloved loft and came to the conclusion that it was probably quite drafty up there with the winter wind whipping through. Deb helped me secure a shower curtain on the west side on the 13th. Of course, he noticed it and had to chew on the seam. So, we quarantined him again to fix it, let him back in and then, he ripped a hole in it! Today I gave him a couple flakes of straw to make it cozy and that’s when I noticed that he’s been marking his territory against the plastic sheeting and urine has settled at the bottom of where it’s stapled. You have got to LOVE this cat! LOL Straw was also put in his corner cubby and in his covered area to make that cozy. I would like to replace the metal roof with a new one next year and find a better way of covering the sides to keep the snow from drifting in.
Dec 20, 2020 – 32″ of Snow! – Wow! On December 17, we got 32 inches of snow. Predictions were for a foot, maybe. It took 6 hours to snowblow my driveway halfway, and then I found someone to plow the rest of it. Max didn’t care about how deep the snow because he made tunnels and has the fur to deal with it.
Dec 24 & 25, 2020 – Christmas – Max gets Turkey breast cutlets for Christmas Eve dinner. I tried to do a video with Max today but the weather is a windy 50 degrees. Our snow is melting! He was very agitated with the wind. I even tried timed photos but he would not hold still. Christmas day…no snow! Max gets a animated fish from my cousin and a purple fishy chew toy from me. See Christmas video.
Dec 29, 2020 – Vet Checkup – I love our veterinarians, assistants and technicians. They take excellent care of all my animals and Max, too. He had a great checkup! However, it’s difficult finding the right dosage of meds to keep Max under sedation allowing all of us to be safe and thus allowing him to come out of it fairly quickly. Exotics can easily burn off sedation meds if they get excited. We are careful to be quiet and to keep Max calm. I was lucky to have remote desk set up for work, so I could keep an eye on him and do my museum work too. Max matters. Thankfully, he doesn’t go back for vaccines for a few more years and by then we’ll have the dosage perfect. Deep gratitude to Dr. Bo and Jana, Vet. Assistant. See Vet Visit Video.