if you supply chart with enough labels then they will be used instead of numbers. example: http://jsfiddle.net/z1yencny/2/
categories: ['jan', 'feb', 'mar', 'apr', 'may', 'jun', 'jul', 'aug', 'sep', 'oct', 'nov', 'dec', 'jan', 'feb', 'mar', 'apr', 'may', 'jun', 'jul', 'aug']
max property does not work the way you are thinking. it is not a cap value that will stop the values from going higher, it is the constant max value of the axis.
if you provide a max value, and you don't provide enough categories to reach the max, the chart fills in with the only thing it knows to do.
as mentioned in comments, you have a few options.
the most common and useful is to simply not specify a max; let your categories and data determine the max automatically.
another solution is to simply play around with formatter: http://jsfiddle.net/z1yencny/4/
var str = this.value;
str = '';
of course, above solution won't work with numbers in categories. however, simply change condition to compare value with value under the category index.
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