When it comes to getting his point across, one shelter cat called Max knows just what to do.
“He’ll reach his arm right out through the cage and smack if he needs to,” Tracy Marcotullio, shelter manager at Oromocto and Area SPCA, told The Dodo.
Max has only been at the shelter for a few weeks, but he’s already made a name for himself amongst staff members. As a senior cat looking for a forever home, Max soaks up the attention he gets from his caregivers, but he has limits — and he’s not afraid to let anyone know when they’ve been crossed.
“He’s sort of a cranky old man,” Marcotullio said. “If you don’t read his cues properly, then you’re getting smacked.”
In response to Max’s smacks, the shelter decided to make a sign for his cage to keep track of his no-smacking streaks.
Every time Max goes a full day without smacking anyone, shelter staff add a day to the sign on his cage.
His longest streak so far has been four days with no smacks, but he is currently back down to zero days.
Although Max likes to use his paws to communicate with his visitors, shelter staff know that the senior cat means well.
“It’s not that he’s a bad cat,” Marcotullio said. “He just gets overstimulated, and when he’s had enough, he’s had enough.”
To the staff, it’s all about knowing what Max likes and dislikes. When it’s time to clean his cage, Max’s caregivers know that he gets overwhelmed easily, so they let him run around the shelter with the other cats during the cleaning process. They also make sure to have his favorite snacks at the ready whenever they need to get back in his good graces.
“He’s a treat monster,” Marcotullio said. “The way to his heart is with canned food or Temptations treats.”
Even still, no one is exempt from a Max smack. No matter how many days he goes without smacking someone, Max’s no-smacks streaks always go back down to zero eventually. And anyone who is lucky enough to break his streak gets to keep a commemorative pin of the experience.
Marcotullio and her staff are having fun getting to know Max’s quirks and sharing his spicy tendencies with their social media followers, but they’re hoping that he’ll get to leave the shelter soon.
“As much as we’re having fun with it, we really want him to go to a forever home,” Marcotullio said. “He deserves to get out of here and find his people.”
Since posting about Max and his smacking habits, the shelter has received an influx of calls not only inquiring about the sassy senior cat, but about his other friends at the shelter, too.
“He’s helped to bring attention to other cats in the shelter, too,” Marcotullio said. “He’s helping his buddies get adopted. It’s a win-win.”
As of now, Max is still at the shelter waiting for a family to scoop him up and love him forever. In the meantime, he’ll keep dishing out smacks to his favorite people as he sees fit.
To help cats like Max get the care they need, make a donation to Oromocto and Area SPCA, or check out their list of available adoptees.