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RIP, Maximilian

Friends, like me, many of you are reeling at the news that beloved cactus Maximlian passed from this world into that Great Desert In The Sky.

Illustration for article titled RIP, Maximilian

LaComtesse broke the news to me early this morning:

"Today I buried a dear friend—my pet cactus, Maximilian. I got Maximilian five years ago from a cactus rescue someone in writers co-op had told me about. I went there, a warm, cozy house on the outskirts of town, and saw him, in his pot, groggy, as he always was. There were dozens of cacti there, but he was somehow different. Special. Imbued with empathy and sense of humor that most humans, in their desire to conquer and hurt, lack. He was sick at first, spindly and malnourished. I think he must have suffered at the hands of cruel men, for at first he wouldn't cuddle. He would shyly, bitterly, stay away from me. I was determined to show Maximilian the love he deserved. I fed him a raw diet, took him for walks, and sang to him while playing my zither. Slowly but surely, he enlivened. I had saved him. Now he did not shun my touch, but welcomed my hand as I ran it through his hundreds of spikes. I didn't mind the pinches and pokes. He was mine. My own. My love. My confidant. He was my soul mate. On the morning of July 2, 2013, I noticed he wasn't acting like himself. That sparkle that I had rekindled in him was still there, but dulled. He courageously hung on for another four days before passing peacefully in my arms. I contacted the rescue, somehow managing to dial the phone through a veil of tears, and Matilda, the owner, put me in touch with a well-regarded cactus funeral home. I cannot recommend the business (The Great Desert in the Sky) enough. They treated Maximilian with great dignity and the service was beautiful. Farewell, my darling Maxi. I'll miss you more than you can ever know."


Maybe you remember Maximilian for his sincere friendship. Maybe you remember him for his renowned skills as a glass blower. Or perhaps you remember his tireless work with Natural History Foundation on the preservation of 18th Century shoehorns. Or maybe you just remember 'Maxi,' the comedian, who always had a witty limerick to share when you were feeling down.

In any case, this is for you:



Many of your tributes have been touching and inspiring. Thought I'd share a few:

Via Zapp Rowsdower

Penabler's story brought a tear to my eye:

When I was homeless I had a particularly bad night where I was drinking Carlo Rossi in the park and a raccoon came up and drank from my bottle, I was too afraid to move. I told this story to Maximilian once, describing one of my lowest moments, and old Maxi said, "Shut up, dude! I wish I got to party with a raccoon!" His enthusiasm turned one of my saddest sorry-for-myself moments into one of my happiest. He had that effect on people. I think everyone has a story like that about Maximilian.


ThereisnoFluffy remembers fluffernutter and support:

This one time, I ran into Max in the park, and I was having a really bad day. He shared his fluffernutter sandwich with me, and gave me a hug and said "it's going to be ok." And when I started crying a little, he didn't get weird at all. He just sat there and held my hand.

He was right. It was ok. RIP Maximilian.

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