A Nebraska farm is also home to a family of mice, including young Max. While Max was on a trip outside to gather some corn, exterminators arrived to eliminate the mice. Once Max noticed the exterminators from a distance, he quickly returned to the basement only to witness the death of his entire family. Before Max's mother was killed after a failed rescue attempt, she told him to leave for Washington D.C., where his cousin Berkeley could be found. Upon his arrival in the nation's capital Max encountered a rat named Jammett, who resided along with Berkeley in the White House basement. After meeting Berkeley, Max met a former lab rat named Muggle, and Jammett's mother Trixie, who allowed him to share her son's room. A new set of cats called the Presidential Cats (named "President" and "Vice President") were just beginning to be a nuisance for the mice before Max's arrival. Also, the familiar sight of rat poison was a part of Max's life in his new home. When death appeared to be his fate, a cockroach named Moze came to his aid and brought him outside the White House basement. When Max returned to the basement, the sight of Muggle unconscious brought back terrible memories that caused him to run outside toward a presidential helicopter preparing to take off. Jammett managed to join Max on the helicopter before returning to the White House, giving the two plenty of time to know each other better.