After several months of wondering what I should do about Max, the situation has resolved and Max is now safely ensconced at the home of friends. J and C had had to have their ancient, ill old Gonzocat put down a few weeks ago and C was pining for him.
She had met Max when she and other librarians from the congregation came over to my place to pick up the load of books I was donating to the church library. He was lounging on my bed as they worked and when she petted him, he purred and was obviously happy to make her acquaintance. She said she'd like to adopt him when they were ready to have another cat, and I had to turn her down, because another woman from the congregation (S) had volunteered to take him.
I thought little more about it, secure in the knowledge that S would be a good adoptive mama and that Max would have a lot of room to roam at S's farm. One day I got an email from S---it would be okay with her if C and J adopted Max. C had called her and asked about her feelings. S had been a little concerned that she might be allergic to Max's particular dander and then there were the chickens who ran loose at the farm: who would win, Max or the chickens, if it came to a showdown?
So C and J came over to visit Max a couple of weeks ago. They lolled on my bed with him, petted him, got him to purr, and went home saying, "well, let us know when you're ready to give him up". We had already arranged that they would take care of him for me when I had to be off-island for a few days in April and in May. I mentioned at some point that they could adopt him any time.
Four days ago, I got a call from C---she was just up the road in Greenbank and she could stop by and pick Max up to take him home with her, if I was willing. Eager as I was to have C and J adopt him, I wasn't quite ready for it to happen so soon! I had the good fortune to be on my way out the door at the time she called, so we put it off until the next afternoon, and by the time she had arrived, I'd gotten him corralled, in the carrier, and ready to roll as soon as she drove up. Only a few shreds of regret remained at that point, for he had bopped Loosy in the head and made her holler once again and I was READY!
C drove up, we loaded him, and she sped off (she didn't need to worry that I would chase her down the driveway----I was ready to let go of the tension that Max has brought into my life as the Little Prince of Catdom, his domineering attitude toward Loosy, and his desperate need to be outdoors). I got an email the next day reassuring me that he was settling in nicely and that I didn't need to worry.
I see C and J regularly and, in fact, I'm going to their house for a church activity in a few days, so I'll get to visit Maxie, but it is such a relief to have him safely located with good people, well before I need to be physically gone from this house. Thanks to C and J and S, who were so willing to help me find the right home for him.