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Miracle Max's backstory - why he is SO special! (LONG post)

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Nial gave me permission to talk about Max here, since he is now my boy, so the very best way to tell his story, I think, is to simply reprint some of Nial's postings about the whole ordeal.

When little Maxwell was just 9 weeks old, back in April of 2007, one night, somehow, without being seen, he managed to climb into the freezer in Nial's kitchen (a bottom load freezer.)

This was just one of those crazy freak things - it could happen to any of us, the cat gets closed into a closet by mistake, the refrigerator, a garage - in this case, it was the freezer.

Here is Nial's story in his own words:

This morning started off as a typical day. My wife and I got up about 6 am and started to feed the kittens in the kitchen like we normally do.

I don't drink coffee, so usually I have a mountain dew right after I get up. Looked in the fridge...no dew...none on the counter either. We're out. Have to settle for a glass of ice water. I get a glass and open the freezer to get some ice......... lying inside is a kitten, it's Maxwell.

He'd been in there all night! He's not breathing, his eyes are open, pupils dilated, his body is limp, freezing cold and lifeless. The top 1/4 of one ear is frozen solid.

Shock, panic, disbelief and anger were the emotions at hand. My wife cried her eyes out, as I held him to my chest trying to get some of the cold off him, we both thought he was dead.

I laid him down on the kitchen counter after a few minutes, so I could make sure Teri was ok, as she had left the kitchen. At this point I noticed his pupils had reacted to the light in the kitchen and were no longer dialated.

I yelled for Teri to come back and fill up the sink with warm water, while I did a little CPR on him to see if we could get him breathing again. We imersed him in the warm water, while I gave him some puffs of air every 10 seconds or so. After what seemed like forever, he started coming around, breathing on his own and reacting to stimuli.

It took nearly 2 hours to bring him back to relatively normal and stablized so we could get him to the Vet when they opened. He was purring up a storm and just wanted to be pet. The ear that was frozen was now warm to the touch and I could see the veins in it were red. That was a good sign, even though it had a purple bruised appearance.

His Vet visit went fine and he checked out perfect. The Vet doesn't think he's going to have any issues and he mentioned how resilient young animals are. Just have to watch his ear closely.

I can't even describe that feeling of despair that went through me, when I saw that kitten lying in the freezer. Teri and I are both so thankful he's ok and that there was no mountain dew in the house. I would have never opened the freezer, if there had been.

We still don't know exactly how or when he got into the freezer compartment, but he was in there for a least 8 hours if not more. I don't like to think about how horrible that must have been for him.

Nial felt incredibly horrible and guilty about the whole thing. He felt 100% responsible, but I personally do NOT lay any blame on him, and am absolutely amazed at the steps he took to bring that little boy back to life. As he said:

I hope most of you know I put my cats welfare first, above anything else. (And he does, he REALLY does, I can attest to that!)

He could have so easily died, we just got extremely lucky. I'm grateful that we had our wits about us enough to save him...

The next day, Nial posted an update:

Maxwell slept most of the day yesterday, but did get up to eat and play a little with his littermates last night.

His ear began to swell up some last night and it has flopped over. His back paws are also slightly swollen. Effects of the frostbite. Vet says his little feet will be fine, but we're all worried about the ear. See pic below.

His right ear was resting against the freezer basket and the portion you see flopped over, was basically frozen solid. It felt like wood when I got him out yesterday.

Max has been playing quite a bit today and doesn't seem bothered by his back paws or the ear. Other than his appearance, you'd never know he was nearly dead yesterday morning.

It blows me away that he recovered like that. If we end up having to amputate a section of his ear I will feel very badly about that, but he sure is a 4 legged miracle.

Here is what the ear that froze looked like - it was really bad:

He had some frostbite damage on his rear paws, too, and initially lost a claw, but that healed up and his claw grew back. Unfortunately, he did wind up losing part of his ear.

As Nial said, This little guy has defied the odds on every front.

In another update, Nial decided to give Max to his SIL to live, because he was so special and because he wanted to keep him close to home and heart:
[Max} continues to improve. Other than his ear looking funny, you'd never know he'd been through any trauma.

In the pic below he looks sad, but he's not. I woke him up. He's been rough housing with his littermates as if nothing had happened.

His ear is standing back up again for the most part. The end looks mangled and is still healing. Maybe that ear will end up being a little shorter after all the healing is done..........it'll give him character and something for my sister-in-law to brag about.........the tough kitty that beat all the odds.

I met Max in May when I went to pick up Penny, and he was SO sweet. This is what he looked like the weekend I met him:

So, I know it's a pretty long story, but as far as I am concerned, he truly is a miracle boy, and because of this (and the fact that he is Penny's nephew,) he means SO much more to me than any other bengal kitten would.

I am SO fortunate to be able to take him in - Nial and Teri are wonderful, caring, responsible people, and I am blessed to now consider myself a part of their extended family.

As we know, bad things sometimes happen, but sometimes good things can come out of the worst situation. Max really is a miracle. I am head over heels in love with him.

Thank you for reading this - I know it is quite lengthy, but I felt that to understand, the story was best told in its original form.
post #2 of 28
Wow, that story brought tears to my eyes. A miracle indeed.
post #3 of 28
WOW. What a survivor! I wonder exactly how long he wasn't breathing?! And then he came back! That's truly amazing. Thank goodness for running out of Mountain Dew! He's adorable, btw.
post #4 of 28
Awwwwwwwwww, I remember Maxwells story I can't beleive you are getting this miracle boy Betsy!! You are truly a lucky Meowmy
post #5 of 28
Aw poor lil guy! He is a sweet miracle! Poor lil guy just had an accident, and like you said, it could have happend to anyone of us! Esp with those lil speed deamons! I can see them easily getting somewhere and not noticing. I think he's still a handsome guy, even with his 'battle scar!'
post #6 of 28
Oh my goodness, Max really has been through an ordeal. He truly is a miracle kitty

No one is to be blamed for what happened, after all we all know how curious kittens can get and it could very easily happen to anyone.

Congratulations on your wondeful boy. He is a treasure!
post #7 of 28
How fortunate for both you and Max that he is going to be with you. Of course, you know we are all very envious of you for getting this wonderful, miracle baby.

I hope you'll continue to keep us updated on Max and post lots and lots of pictures.
post #8 of 28
Max is such a cute boy! What a strong kitty!

That's definitely a terrible accident, but it really could happen to any of us.

post #9 of 28
Oh man what a story!!!!! No wonder he's called Miracle Max! I am so glad he survived without any serious problems - Nial and Teri's fast thinking and ability to stay calm are what saved this litle boy's life. I couldn't imagine what I would do in the same situation!

I'm so glad you are able to take Maxwell, I'd be even more in love with him as well
post #10 of 28
Wow that is an incredible story! What love this miracle has had and will continue to have.
post #11 of 28
It just shows that Love can really heal,

That was an amazing story,

What a lucky cat
post #12 of 28
Oh my goodness. That story and pics just melted my heart. Truly a miracle. What a beautiful little kitty. So glad everything turned out ok.
post #13 of 28
Wow thats an amazing story - especially for me after what happened to Tigger on Wednesday night. What a miracle boy Max is!
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mystiquesmummy View Post
Wow thats an amazing story - especially for me after what happened to Tigger on Wednesday night. What a miracle boy Max is!
Wow - I just read about Tiggy's "joy ride" in the washing machine - I'm so glad he's ok!
post #15 of 28
Wow! That truely is an amazing story! I'm really glad that he survived and wound up in your forever home
post #16 of 28
I'm so glad he is ok. He certainly is a miracle kitty.
post #17 of 28
Max, darlin, I'm so glad you made it... many snuggles to you, sweetie.
post #18 of 28
I remember when Nial posted about Max, I just didn't put two and two together.
post #19 of 28
I'm soo glad he's okay! He is such a handsome boy!!! He's such a little fighter.
post #20 of 28
Oh Betsy...words can't even begin to describe how I felt as I read through the story. He really is a miracle boy don't worry about the ear! It will give him character just like Lexi has!
He is simply gorgoeus and looks like he has a heart of gold. Please keep us posted and I'm so glad that you are able to bring this wonderful boy into your home. They are both wonderful and caring people.
post #21 of 28
He certainly is a miracle kitty and his ear adds to his charm. If something like that was going to happen, which can happen to anyone, he was lucky he was with someone who didn't panic and knew what to do to save him.
post #22 of 28
Thanks for posting his story. Max is indeed a very special kitty. I'm sorry that Nial won't be on the boards any more. Tell him we all miss him and wish him, Teri, and his kitties the best.
post #23 of 28
What a heart stopping sight that must have been! I don't know if I could have kept my wits about me like Nial and Terry did to save him. They did a great job in caring for this little guy and getting him pulled through.
I am glad you got him so we can see his sweet little face as he grows up. He will probably look like a real "tough guy" when he reaches his full growth.
post #24 of 28
What a beautiful little guy!! I can't wait until you get him home and hear of his escapades!
post #25 of 28
That is so wonderful!
post #26 of 28
wow!! what an amazing story!! What a special boy!!!
post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Thanks for posting his story. Max is indeed a very special kitty. I'm sorry that Nial won't be on the boards any more. Tell him we all miss him and wish him, Teri, and his kitties the best.
i really miss seeing the of his gorgeous kits! he got some really unbelievable shots!
post #28 of 28
What an amazing little guy!!!!!! Aww he's just darling and quite the little survivor! I hope you two enjoy many beautiful years together!
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