Max: Stray kitty once, king of the household today

Max may have a ‘resting grumpy face’ but he’s affectionate and sweet-natured. (Brenda Poh pic)

“It all started that fateful morning 13 years ago, when I was just an ordinary high school girl enjoying my seemingly never-ending school holidays,” Brenda Poh says about the day Max came into her life.

She says the family was at her grandmother’s place, chatting in the living room when they heard a kitten desperately meowing from the kitchen.

“As I went out to have a look, there he was, half hidden in a patch of grass. He looked alone, lost without a family in the world,” Brenda says, explaining that despite her pleas, her father insisted they leave the cat alone.

Max lounging on the cool floor on a hot day. (Brenda Poh pic)

Although crestfallen, she obeyed. However, she heard the same pitiful meows again later that day and hurried to find the kitten.

“This time that same helpless kitten was sitting alone in the middle of our cold kitchen floor, staring back at us with watery eyes,” Brenda recalls, saying that this time her parents even made the effort to look around the area for the kitten’s parents, but to no avail.

“I knew deep in my heart that a kitten of his tender age would not make it through the cruel and harsh reality of this world. Young and helpless, without food and water, and without a mother to care for him and love him.”

Max sleeps every night in his favourite spot on Brenda’s bed. (Brenda Poh pic)

She says that as fate would have it, the little kitten became a part of her family because her parents relented and welcomed him with open arms.

“Our very first pet cat. We fed him, cared for him, and showered him with all the love we could give him,” Brenda says.

Over dinner that day, they decided to name the little critter Max.

“Max started off as a needy kitty, having to be bottle fed every three hours. It seemed like ages before he could eat solid food,” Brenda says, adding that the kitten loved sleeping in her bed.

“After 13 faithful years, he has fully developed his personality, albeit a bit grumpy every now and then. He is still the big brother to all the other rescued felines in our family. Yes, even after all this time, he still sleeps on my bed!”

Despite being a confident boy, Max is terrified of thunder. “Whenever there’s a heavy downpour, and sudden flashes of lightning and loud thunder, Max can be seen running helter-skelter looking for a place to hide,” Brenda says.

Having a sound snooze. (Brenda Poh pic)

Feeling sorry for the little feline, Brenda filled a box with comfy pillows so Max could feel safe and warm when it was raining outside. “Don’t worry Max, we’re here for you, buddy.”

Although he is super affectionate, Max has a “resting grumpy face”, Brenda says, quick to point out that it does not reflect his true personality.

“In fact, he is a very obedient and lovely cat. Of course, we refrain from touching his ‘sensitive areas’ – like his belly and legs. Do so at your own risk because he’ll at fly at you, ready to sink his claws into your skin with all his might.”

It may look weird but Max sometimes sleeps with one eye open. (Brenda Poh pic)

When it comes to sleeping arrangements, Brenda says Max has his own favourite spot.

“As the eldest member of the feline household, Max sleeps on my bed! Every night without fail. When outside, he will scratch the door with his sharp claws, and as we bend to his will opening the door for his grand entrance, he’ll quickly squeeze into the room and jump on the bed, right on his comfy spot, and doze off into dreamland.”

Brenda says the family always knew Max was no ordinary cat – he has a refined palate. “He has acquired a strong liking for ‘bak kua’. This seasonal delicacy is offered to him once in a while, and is preceded by us asking: “Yao bu yao??” (Want or not?)

“Just say those words and he’ll come sprinting towards us in hopes of having some bak kua,” Brenda says laughing.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: FMT Lifestyle readers are invited to send in pictures (landscape format) and a short video (if any) of their furry, scaly or feathery friends to l[email protected]. Don’t forget to include details like your pet’s name, age, breed and a short story about them.