Hi, guys. I have some news.
Murphy is gone. I don’t want to cry so just please accept that he was an old man at 16, and that I never wanted either of my little men to be in any pain at any time. Letting him go was best for him and Murphy had always made it clear that his life was not about me, it was about him. He went to sleep peacefully in my arms as I rubbed his scruffy ear. It was his favorite thing in the world.
For those of you who are new, I adopted Murphy and Seamus when they were 7 and 8 years old. I bought a house and decided it needed a cat, so I wandered into the pet store to have a gander at the adopt-a-cat selections. I was looking for a nice, cozy, fat beast to lie around on my sofa and purr and generally make my house feel like it was really mine. The staff presented many selections, all of whom I loved, but most of whom I could see tearing up my furniture instead of lounging on it. When the staff presented two very mature kitties, I was taken. Seamus was promised to be a letdown because he didn’t do normal cat things, and Murphy was promised to be every cat lover’s dream. The two had to be adopted together, otherwise Seamus would have . . . . what? Fallen apart? Hidden forever? Expired from sorrow? I have no idea anymore. Their owner died and Seamus didn’t recover well and Murphy was his only steady source of comfort, so viola! I found myself with two cats.
Seamus really was weird and shy and hid under the bed for four years. That is not an exaggeration. Four years, and I’d only see him occasionally because he had to eat and poop. He’s good now, not a letdown at all, coming out often to eat and poop and also play with his stuffed crab and my ponytail holders and beg for treats. Murphy taught him the joys of drinking from the toilet so now he finds great fun in that. I’m terrified he’s going to slide in and get stuck because he’s as fat as a bear, but who am I to deny him his comforts?
And as it turns out, Murphy really was the cat lover’s dream. He was curious, as evidenced by the shreds he ripped through my curtains when he leapt from the dining room table to the top of the tabbed fabric panels over my glass doors. Ripped his way all the way down and then leapt again in a new spot to shred his way down on the other side. He was friendly, absolutely. I can’t tell you how many people in my neighborhood have entertained him in their homes or on their vehicles on a sunny day. He was a lover. So many fights happened in the neighborhood between Murphy and some nemesis who was encroaching on his girlfriends. Murphy would blow up like a watermelon, all hissing and fur, and get the crap beaten out of himself by a cat with real neuters and twice the weight. His poor little ears were full of dings and chips yet he always went back for more and then strutted around the house like a peacock with raggedy fur.
I said just a few days ago that when I expired, Murphy would go with me because his heart was broken. Well now he’s gone and broken mine. Of all the men who got to choose whether or not they loved me, Murphy did so the longest. We bonded on day one and if he ever caught me prone on the sofa or the bed, he’d drape himself across my legs or my chest and make biscuits, purring until he went to sleep. He never purred otherwise. If I wasn’t prone but upright, he’d perch near my head and make biscuits until he went to sleep. I never got to go the bathroom alone but always had an audience of Murphy at my feet, watching me with sleepy eyes. If we were outside together, he followed behind me wherever I walked and softly meowed at me to let me know he was there. On good days and on bad days, I could pick him up like a baby, head in the crook of my arm and paws up in the air, and rub his ears until his eyes glazed over and his paws splayed wide open. Like the most contented cat in the world.
Murphy lived his life full of zeal. There wasn’t a single part of it that he did not embrace with wild abandon. I’m so thankful he had a good life. I’m so thankful that I could give him the gift of peace when that good life was no longer an option. And I will have you note that my dreams of having a cozy, fat beast to lie around on my sofa and purr never did materialize but the one of making my house mine, well that one did. Ah, yes. Such is life with cats.
Salut, little Murph. I sure do miss you.