On July 4th, 2004 I was 19 years old and hopelessly lost. I was on my way from Texas Tech University to Dallas, to a party for the 4th. I never made it to the party. This being long before the iPhone and widespread GPS, I decided to pull into a gas station to buy a map of Dallas to find my way.
It was raining . . . really hard. If you’re from Texas or a gulf-coast state you know what I’m talking about: Rain drops that fill a shot glass and no hope of not getting drenched, even in the shortest dash from your car to a building.
As I pulled into the lot I noticed a “dually” diesel truck that had been left running as the owner went into the store. The driver of the badonkadonk truck had *just* exited the store and was moving quickly to avoid being drenched. I calculated he’d click his running truck into reverse and start backing up in a couple of seconds. I was already aimed at the spot next to him in front of the store. At the last second (and through the pouring rain) I saw the tiniest of kittens was sitting behind the dual rear wheels, shivering and trying to get out of the rain. It was not possible for the driver to have noticed a kitten cowering behind the rear tires.
At that exact moment I saw the reverse lights illuminate, as I was about to pass his rear bumper to occupy the adjoining parking spot.
I’m something of a fast driver myself. Okay, that’s an understatement. At 19 I was unadulterated hell on wheels. So I was still going 15–20 mph as I approached the store front.
I had just taken my foot of the gas and was about to brake. Instead of braking I yanked my wheel left and rammed my Sentra into his large, diamond-plate steel bumper farm truck. I hopped out of my car without taking it out of gear and grabbed this very lucky kitten, amazed I wasn’t too late to avoid a severely-squished kitten. I was scurrying back to my car as I realized this angry redneck was literally leaping out of his pickup, fists clenched. Before he could could utter a word I told him to “Fuck off asshole!”as I hopped in and sped away, front tires spinning wildly. I ended up buying a map a couple miles down the road and proceeded to head back to Lubbock, a 4.5 hour drive.
I estimate he was born sometime in May 2004. I like Cinco de Mayo, so today has been Mr. Maximus’ birthday for about a dozen years.
He truly has nine lives . . . this was not his only brush with death:
At age 6 he was 24.5lbs, which is morbidly obese even for my gentle giant.
At age 9 he was diagnosed with a fatal heart condition. After beta blockers and multiple kitty cardiologists, he’s still here today on his 16th birthday. My last visit for an EKG nearly two years ago showed, to the cardiologists astonishment, a normal heart.
Not until earlier this year did he have kidney issues, and now they’re totally under control with Science Diet k/d food.
-Canned food only (DVP’s Natural Balance or Tiny Tiger if no medical issues).
-Lots of love.
Happy Sweet 16 Maximus! I love you!!!