It's been hardest getting used to the transformation of "the Maxxer," as Kim calls him, into Max-gone-wild, since he was always the most pet-like of the four, but has become almost impossible to find when we actively seek him. Kim was excited to discover his hiding place the other day, because she hadn't even seen him for weeks.
Today, though, as I talked to Joel on the phone, I noticed that both cats were looking out the glass patio door with enormous interest. I went to determine the reason for their heavy watching -- bird, lizard, tomcat? -- and there was Max, tumbling Hummer-like over the irrigation line towards the blue plastic cutting-board filled with the day's carefully arranged tortoise buffet.
While keeping my mind's eye on Joel's travails -- hang in there, man -- I used the hose's "Mist" setting to rehydrate both Max and his food. He would have eaten it dry, I suppose, but the moisture is good for him and surely makes the food taste better too.
Then I took pictures, because we never know when the next sighting of the orange-spotted one will occur.
After he was done eating a large portion of the buffet, I gave him some head rubs and wished him well on his travels in our surprisingly varied backyard. Have fun, Max!