When it comes to making his point, one shelter cat named Max knows just what to do.
“If he has to, he’ll extend his arm straight out through the cage and slap,” Tracy Marcotullio, shelter manager of Oromocto and Area SPCA, said in an interview.
Max has only been at the shelter for a few weeks, but he’s already established himself among the employees. Max, a senior cat seeking for a permanent home, enjoys the attention he receives from his carers, but he has boundaries – and he’s not hesitant to express them.
“He’s a grumpy old man,” Marcotullio added. “If you don’t read his cues correctly, you’re going to be slapped.”
The shelter decided to construct a sign for Max’s cage to keep track of his no-smacking streaks in response to his smacks.
Every day Max goes without slapping someone, shelter workers add a day to the placard on his cage.
So far, his greatest run has been four days without a smack, but he is now back to zero days.
Although Max prefers to interact with guests through his paws, shelter employees are aware that the senior cat is well-meaning.
“He’s not a terrible cat,” Marcotullio explained. “He just becomes overstimulated, and when he has had enough, he has had enough.”
It’s all about knowing what Max loves and hates, according to the employees. Max’s carers know that he is easily overwhelmed when it comes time to clean his cage, so they let him run about the shelter with the other cats while they clean. They also make sure to have his favorite treats on hand if they need to regain his favor.
“He’s a treat monster,” remarked Marcotullio. “Can food or Temptations snacks are the path to his heart.”
Even still, no one is immune to a Max slap. Max’s no-smacks streaks always return to zero, no matter how many days he goes without smacking someone. And everyone who is fortunate enough to break his streak receives a commemorative pin.
Marcotullio and her team are having a good time getting to know Max’s eccentricities and sharing his spicy inclinations with their social media followers, but they’re hopeful he’ll be able to leave the shelter soon.
“As much as we like it, we genuinely want him to go to a permanent home,” Marcotullio added. “He has earned the right to leave here and find his people.”
Since publishing about Max and his slapping tendencies, the shelter has gotten an inflow of calls enquiring not just about the cantankerous senior cat, but also about his other shelter buddies.
“He’s also helped draw attention to other cats at the shelter,” Marcotullio remarked. “He’s assisting his friends in being adopted. It’s a win-win situation.”
Max is still in the shelter as of today, waiting for a family to adopt him and love him forever. Meanwhile, he’ll continue to bash his favorite folks as he sees appropriate.