It’s been a difficult couple of months for little Max the Magnificent Manx. The brave baby kitten had been taken into foster care when he was around a month old. But his battle was far from over. From that moment on, Max put maximum effort into conquering each day. His heart was full with the love from his doting foster mom. And his spirit burnt bright with a “pawsitivity” that couldn’t be extinguished–no matter what the day brought. But the most inspiring thing that little Max did was simply go through each day with his head held high.
However, for Max the Magnificent Manx, holding his head up at ALL proved to be difficult.
Max’s story began with his mother. She was owned by a woman who unfortunately had recently become homeless. Another individual stepped in to help her continue to care for her cats. And this was about to get worse as sadly, one cat had become pregnant.
The female had the litter of kittens and they were happily being raised by their mamas. When the time came to adopt them out, they would do so. And then mama would be fixed. But one of the little ginger boy kittens began having health issues.
When the illness didn’t clear up and things became worse, they knew they needed more help. So they reached out to The Bitty Kitty Brigade, a orphaned neonatal kitten organization in Twin Cities, Minnesota. With their experienced foster based team, they were happy to step in and help little Max. Max joined the foster home of Sam Jackson, who knew there was something special in her newest charge.
This is Max the Manx. Max cannot use his legs or lift his head right now.
The vet believes he has toxoplasmosis so he has started treatment for that. It can take 48 hours to see results so we’re still waiting. The other potential diagnosis was a botfly that had migrated to his brain and the outcome for that is not good. Since he arrived last night, Max has increased the amounts he’s willing to eat a little bit and has been taking some luxuriously warm naps in the incubator. We’re so hopeful that soon we will see improvement.
It was the very next day that “Max the Magnificent” emerged during his first successful roll-over!
And each day in foster care, Max managed to take baby kitten steps towards a healthy life.
Hi guys, it’s Max the Manx! I was just havin’ some lunches and belly rubs and then I did a rollover! I am tryin’ very hard to get better so that is exciting that I could do that.
I’m doin’ big stuffs over here today! I’m lifting my head the tiniest bit when my foster mama talks to me. This is a big deal she says. Also, I’m still doin’ rolls. But now I do ’em just to get on my belly. I like being on my belly.
I still will only eat a couple mls at a time….but thats ok – foster mama says she will feed me every 2 hours because she gets to give me extra loves that way anyway. Take that, toxo!!
Three day’s into foster life and Max was continuously improving.
Look at how good I am eating! I can also hold my head up for longer but it’s still pretty heavy. I am gonna keep workin’ at it! After this dinner, I did a really big poo all by myself and foster mom and her friend got very excited. I dunno what that’s about but I feel pretty good now.
Today I can holds my head up all by myself – A LOT. In even bigger news, I am taking a few wobbly steps!!
His first week was full of amazing–and what made him magnificent–feats of strength for his determined soul.
Today….I attack!!! I doin’ big things – killin’ stuffs. My heat disc….DEAD. Butterfly trying to sneak attack me….DEAD. Yeah don’t mess with me, stuffs! Now I do rests and clean my feets. Killin stuffs is hard work! (P.S. I moved out of the oven and got my own ‘partment! Can’t contain me!)
Do u even lift, bro? I do. Look at me liftin’ my whole self and just standin’ around for some glamour shots. I need to do a little more exercises because my legs are still pretty weak but I am gettin’ there!
By July 27th, Max was finally eating his big kitten gruel…mostly.
Guess what?! Today I eats big boy food! It’s really the best if you stick your whole face in it.
But then Max began feeling not so magnificent anymore.
And just a couple days later, they shared a post on their Facebook page to keep everyone informed. Little Max had easily wormed his way into the hearts of their supporters.
We are really sad today to report that Max the Manx is not feeling so mighty. After days of increasing progress and strength, Max appears to have regressed back to his initial state of being unable to walk or lift his head very well.
The vets are now leaning away from the toxoplasmosis diagnosis and more towards a neurological issue like hydrocephalus. Max has a consult with neurology on Thursday and we will hopefully know more then but it feels like it’s forever away. Poor Max is very frustrated to be immobile again. Please cross your fingers that we can get some answers for Max soon and get him back on the road to magnificence.
Overnight though, Max didn’t improve how they’d wished. In fact, he continued to steadily decline. Sam did everything she could to get an early neurologist appointment and they were able to squeeze Max in.
The neurologist does not feel that Max has hydrocephalus. She does see some neurological issues which she feels may be the effects of toxoplasmosis.
She doubled the dosage of his toxo meds and prescribed a 4 week course. If we don’t see any improvement within a week, it is likely an indicator that his brain has already been too affected and cannot recover. We are hoping with all of our might to see rapid improvement in him like we did before.
The vet also commented on the fact that, despite looking so poorly and feeling so badly, Max purred his entire appointment. There’s a special spirit in this boy; let’s hope we can heal the body that encases it. Thank you so much to everyone who donated on our previous post – it’s your support that allows us to provide a high level of care for Max!
Max the Magnificent spent the next week with his foster mom, relaxing and allowing the medications to work.
They increased his dosage of steroids and after a couple days, he began to shine again.
Guess what??!! Today I can lift my head up! And I’m doing rolls! I have been so frustrated not getting better. Mom cried when she saw me lift my head up this morning- she’s kind of weird, but she loves me A LOT and and seems pretty happy about it so I am going to keep tryin’ hard. Maybe tomorrow I will be runnin’!
On August 8th, little Max took a step backwards. But it wasn’t a sad move, more of a “boot scootin’ boogy!”
I just had a baff and I smell so good! Mom has been tryin’ to do physical therapies on me and move my legs all around. So then I start licking my toes extra cute and she gets distracted and gives me kisses instead of exercises.
Max the Magnificent Manx, his foster mom Sam Jackson and The Bitty Kitty Brigade did everything they could to give him an amazing life.
As I followed Max’s story on social media myself, it was inspiring and heart bursting to see his successes. Every lift of his head, every tiny step he took–even if wobbly–and every time he rolled over, life was his. And Max wasn’t going to let any of those moments slip by.
I gathered Max’s info again and sorted through the adorable photos and videos I had saved. About an hour into the work, I refreshed The Bitty Kitty Brigade Facebook page.
**WARNING: POSSIBLE TEARS AHEAD**
And what I saw broke me. The reality of cat rescue slapped me in the face and pushed me out of my chair. My heart dropped, broke and crumbled simultaneously.
As I read their update through a layer of foggy waves in my eyes, I knew they were right.
And I knew that it would only fuel their desire to help the next feline, and the next, and then the next…..
Friends, we are heartbroken.
Max was not his usual self this morning. His legs had stiffened up again, he wasn’t swallowing well, he was moaning and, most of all, he seemed defeated. When his breathing became labored, his caregiver rushed him to the hospital. Max passed while she held him.
Max had such tremendous support from all of you and we’re so grateful for that. He was able to touch so many lives in his own short life. We are especially grateful to Max’s foster mom who doted on him day and night and gave him the best possible life – bathing him, feeding him, medicating him, bringing him to vet visits and most of all, loving him and nurturing him.
Max had a tireless spirit and so much fight in him but was such a tenderhearted boy who loved being held and petted and purred accordingly. His body just wouldn’t cooperate.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
I’m no longer by your side, But there’s no need to weep;
I’ve left sweet recollections, I’m hoping you would keep.
Eternal joy and memories Stay in our hearts forever,
Strengthening our special bond that parting cannot sever.
Now it’s time to journey on, So let your faith be strong,
For I am in a better place…I’m home where I belong.
And if times of loneliness Bring sorrow and dismay,
Don’t despair, for I am there…Just a Memory Away R.I.P Little Max. You were and always will be loved.?????
~ Bina Wagner, comment on The Bitty Kitty Brigade Facebook post
Related Story: (Happy Tail UPDATE!) 3-Week-Old Kitten Found Hanging Tied To A Tree By Her Leg
sweet, sweet little baby.. he is in a better place now..
hugs to all touched by this story ♥
Dear sweet Max…your spirit and your love of life from such a tiny man was amazing. My heart is so sad but it’s your time to be free and run with everyone who’s crossed the rainbow bridge.
Such uplifting and sad story. I had several kittens who were rescued because irresponsible owners abandoned these babies.
So many fought but their trauma and little bodies cannot take it.
I remember them all. RIP baby Max. You fought so well and brought joy to everyone you met.
I am bawling my eyes out right now, I so hoped Max would pull through. I hope he is running through the fields of flowers and tearing up the fishy toys on the other side of the bridge. You fought hard little man, rest well! I could never foster, it would break me