Good-bye, Little Man

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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I’m Just A Stereotype Waiting To Happen

Picture this:  A woman goes into a convenient store and purchases a Dr. Pepper.  She opens it, takes a swallow, gets into her car and puts the Dr. Pepper into the cup holder with the lid still off.  Her car is FULL of dogs and every one of them makes a beeline for either her mouth or the Dr. Pepper, licking both with full open swabs of the tongue.  She doesn’t seem to mind at all that she shares her bottle of Dr. Pepper and her kisser with all of her dogs and their germs. 

What is your initial impression or assumption?  (I mean other than “Gross!” of course.  You can tell me all you want how dogs’ mouths are cleaner than ours but when I see a dog with his tongue all the way down inside a Dr. Pepper bottle, I’m not going to listen and I will make judgments.)  Do you automatically think she is single and assume that those dogs are her family and that she gives them liberties that other dogs don’t have?  I’ll be honest – I did.  Call me what you will but that was my first thought.   

Now picture this:  A woman owns two cats.  Those cats tend to hog the bed on a regular basis and can spread out like nobody’s business, even though they only weigh 10 and 14 pounds, respectively. She is not wired mathematically on a good day, much less in the middle of the night.  She cannot figure out the logistics of spreading out in a nice slumber with the two cats and spends most of her nights huddled into one corner of the bed with one foot awkwardly bent under one cat’s butt and the other tentatively touching the other’s head in an effort to keep everyone all unharmed and comfy. 

What is your initial impression or assumption?  Single, right?  Crazy cat lady?  She gives them liberties that other cats don’t have?  That this is Jimmie and she is this ( ) close to being a stereotype?  I’ll be honest – that is my impression too.   

Look at this picture. 

 

Do you see?  Do you see how I can’t even say all the stuff that single people say like “I love being single!  I get the whole bed to myself!”  Because I really don’t.  I have to share it with two cats, one of whom invades my personal space so very much so that I’ve woken up with his nose on mine and the other of who regularly snores in a loud squeaky honk. 

By the way, I refuse the stereotype.  I won’t be the single crazy cat lady who shares her Dr. Pepper with her cats.  I’m gonna get married.  I’m not really sure to whom yet, but I’m gonna.  I’ve got plans for that man, and I know his name is not Chuck.  He does have nice teeth, though. 

The Box Of Chocolates Post

I got an email from Dammit Todd about my latest post. It needs to be shared.

Dear Jimmie –

1) I’m never hunting squirrels in your home town, especially if they really can be considered to be a big animal, such as a deer.

2) Your makeover pic is definitely being termed “Eye of the Tigger” in my book…

My makeover, courtesy of Tigger

Love, Dammit Todd

When Woney and I were in the Mexico port on our cruise, we got on this bus tour thing. Time has passed and I’m slightly fuzzy on the details now that I’ve slept. Anyway, the tour guide spoke fantastic English although slightly accented, and this is the thing he said that I remember most, mostly because he was calm and dead serious.

“Jyoo can go to the open air flea market and buy lots of silber, leather, wool. Lots of stuff. Jyoo can get handbags, belts, hats, whips. <shrug> Jyoo on bacation.”

An open letter to Tony, Woney’s trainer.

Dear Tony, oh ye of the chiclet teeth, giant arms, positive attitude and Navy Uniform which you refused to wear for me no matter how much I really, really wanted you to or how much I wheezed when I ran to show you that I was serious about the workout –

I heard that you made Woney flip over a bunch of tractor tires as part of her training for her Sheryl Crow arms. I hate to tell you, Tony, but you live in CALIFORNIA. Tractors just don’t really seem indigenous to CALIFORNIA and I’ll bet people snickered behind your back.

However, they do seem to be indigenous to TENNESSEE, where I live. I do believe that here in Nashville we even lay claim to a country music singer who writes songs about how tractors are sexy (Yes, it is a great source of embarrassment for many TENNESSEE natives, one of which is me. Was that Kenny Chesney? Cause if so, he should be strung up by his toenails and tortured mercilessly. Anway . . . .) Tractors and their tires belong here and honestly, I could use some Sheryl Crow arms myself.

I propose an idea. Tony, you come here (and bring Woney) with your tractor tires (and your uniform), and we can flip tractor tires all day long and no one will think it is weird at all. Maybe you can meet Kenny Chesney. And later we can check you for ticks. Deal? Deal.

Smooches,

Jimmie

A Guest Post, by Murphy

People. Tell The Smushy One that the garage is not outside! Frick.

It appears that Christmas is upon us. One of my neighbors put up the whole Clark Griswold-themed light show in their yard Halloween weekend and since then has been blazing the trail nightly in their quest for the Christmas Spirit.

I put my tree up this past weekend and wondered what the cats would do to it. The first year the kitties were with me, I had the tree up but Seamus hid under the bed all the time and Murphy was too busy digging in my cabinets and in the bathroom to notice it. Last year the tree didn’t make it off of the garage shelf.  This year I fully expected Murphy to tear it to shreds or at the very least, pee on it.

Instead, every day when I come home I see this:

Seamus is in love with that tree. He makes a running leap, slides onto the tree skirt and skids across it like he’s sliding into home base. Then he’ll lump himself up underneath the tree skirt and “hide”, except his butt is so big it sticks out. I find new ornaments on the floor every day and I’ve noticed that more and more of my lights on my pre-lit tree are going out. I’m going to have a non-lit tree before it’s over with.

Murphy with the tree:

Meh. It'll do.

Seamus with the tree:

You touch this and I will kill you.

That’s it. Chocolate gone. The end. 

(In case you now need a chocolate fix, all those images came from Godiva.  Just remember me when you go buy some.)