Murray was named after the dog on “Mad About You”. He came into our life as a rescue kitten in 2006. We affectionately called him Muzz, Puss, The Cat, Moustafa (my Dad’s Arabic name for him), Pusstopher and Moostie. He quickly became known as a feisty cat with zero tolerance for affection, unless it was on his terms!! Definitely an acquired taste. He attacked both my Mum and nephew on their legs just because they were in range of his claws. I personally have two scars on my hand and arm from disagreements over food with Muzz. He was the biggest guts you have ever met. You never, ever leave food on the bench or table!! He would be up and into it as soon as your back was turned, even if it wasn’t. He ate everything. Cashews, avocado, packet potato chips, yoghurt, corn! You name it, he ate it with gusto!
But he was fantastic with my kids. I could never understand how they could give him so many pats and kisses, and he never attacked them. It wasn’t like he had never attacked a child before. My nephew was only little when he was clawed. He tolerated the affections of my two toddlers with aplomb.
About 6 months ago he started losing weight very rapidly. I wormed him regularly, but I knew he was getting on in years. This September would have been his 15th birthday. And over the last week he really started looking old. In my mind I was taking him to the vet to say goodbye. On Sunday night, when I came home from photographing the WGQHA Show in Garfield, Matt said he didn’t think Muzz would last the night. I thought, no, he’s just resting in front of the fire on a cold day. But the fire wasn’t on and he didn’t look rested. I brought him inside on his bed and after everyone went to sleep I layed with him and listened to him breathing. I knew he wasn’t going to make it when I offered him food and he turned away. That’s something he’d never do. He drank a little milk and water, but he just didn’t have the energy. I stayed with him until about 1.30am on Monday. And he must have gone not long after that as I checked him at 4.45. He was already well and truly on his way to Feline Heaven.
He’s now in “his” garden in the back yard. Trying to explain to my 3 year old boy and 4 year old girl what had happened to Puss was tricky. When I explained that we buried Puss’s body in the garden, my 4 year old ask what happened to Puss’s head. I laughed at the absolute cuteness of her take on the death of our cat. And explained that his body included his head too. We didn’t separate them.
I’m going to miss that painful brat of a cat. I put chops on the bench this morning to thaw for tea and it took a moment to realise I did not have to be careful about the whereabouts of Muzz. Fifteen years is such a long time to be part of your life. It won’t be the same without you xx