Three coyotes encroached and interrupted his coveted reflection time, most likely with the intent to turn Max into a meal.
But the fiery feline refused to be on the menu.
What the coyotes didn’t know was that Max is a seasoned street life veteran. He survived alone in Long Beach before being adopted by his current family nearly four years ago, Maya Gurrin, his human, told The Washington Post. Max has probably seen and been involved in scuffles for which he has no words — or meows.
Rolling over to those three coyotes was not an option Max was willing to entertain, clearly. Instead, he arched his back, raised the hair on his neck and poofed out his tail to make himself look as large and threatening as possible. He slowly swayed his black tail like a battle flag.
The blood-craving canines tried to surround Max; one of them lunged at the cat.
Max jumped back, yellow eyes gleaming on the security camera, causing the coyote to retreat. The other two coyotes thought they could take the street-smart cat, but Max glared at them and pivoted in their direction. The coyotes stepped back and rethought things.
The coyotes leered at Max and inched toward him, but Max would not yield. He leaned heavily on his back paws and lunged at one of the coyotes as its friends looked on, as if considering whether they should jump back into the fight.
Max turned to face the other two ― letting them know he still had his eyes on them. He jumped at them, paws spread wide, which frightened one coyote enough that it jumped onto a ledge.
With his tail erect and white paws out for blood, Max strategically swatted away the beasts.
Little did he know, his humans were about to break up the fight.
Gurrin and her husband, Eliot, saw some tails wagging through a glass door, and decided to go outside to investigate the noise.
“We thought it was a raccoon,” she said. “We went out and saw that he was surrounded by them. The coyotes hurried off when we went out there."
Max walked back inside unfazed and unsullied.
“He wanted to go right back outside like a psycho,” Gurrin said.
Gurrin said she’s seen coyotes in the area before but never three at once.
Since his brush with death, Max has been inside, but the Gurrins know that they can’t keep him indoors forever, based on experience.
Max had grown seemingly sad about the decline of outdoor activity in his life once they moved from an apartment complex to their current home, she said. He started urinating in the house, gaining weight and crying as he looked longingly at outside life, she said.
She and her husband supervised his outdoor time and noticed he would often return after 30 minutes or a couple of hours of exploring, she said.
That’s no longer enough given recent events, so the Gurrins are working out a compromise that would ensure Max’s safety and give him the freedom to smell the outdoors in the form of a catio or cat patio, which is an enclosed outdoor structure for cats still tapped into their wild side.
The structure will be built in coming days, she said.
Max is very intelligent, according to Eliot, who said Max can open doors with horizontal handles.
“He’s a weird mix of friendly, of independent and loud and sensitive,” he said. “He’s a very hard cat to define. He’s super smart.”
He’s also still alive after a battle other cats would have lost.