I met Murphy when he was about 3. He was having “relations” with a family of raccoons that lived in the parking lot of the radio station I worked for in Tampa. He was starving too. There was an apartment complex just through the fence and the radio station was always dealing with people that would move and just leave their animals. Pretty solid guess that that is how Muph came to be in our parking lot there.
After a couple of weeks of canned cat food, Murphy trusted and relied on me. Daily he would run to meet me and walk me to the door as he heard my car arrive in the lot. The rescue process of getting him into my car is a top 5 funniest life moment for a couple of people who were watching. You know how a balloon does when you blow it up and then just let it go? That was him – inside my car…for like 3 or 4 solid minutes, with me attempting to calm him at first and then apparently the look of me getting nervous after like two minutes of insanity made the viewing even more enjoyable.
Murphy has a new home and a family that would love and care for him ridiculously for him for the next 10 years. He could say MAMA and HELLO and would often cause my wife and I to laugh hysterically at his interchanging the two when one would not get the response he wanted.
He had a type of cancer that we had removed once earlier this summer. It made its way back. With all the signs of not feeling well being quite obvious we brought him in.
That is such a hard moment as a caretaker of an animal – to know what time is the right time?
Did I do everything to give this animal a fair go of it?
One more round of tests – same results.
With my wife Ev holding Murphy, I stared with all the love and peace I could give, directly into his eyes as he returned it to me until the Dr. said his heart had stopped. He lived an amazing life and he never believed he was a cat…he walked and acted like a lion with the heart of a puppy
We brought him home to bury on the farm. I thought this would be an easy task because the weather hasn’t been cold long enough for the frost to be real deep.
Pitch black and closing in on 7pm, I drove the car straight back to the shed that stores the tractor and pulled it around to the spot we had decided on.
I have a post hole auger attached to the 3point hitch. I honestly thought this would be the best way to handle things. It drills deep, it is fast, and to boot, the wind was blowin like 30mph with snow. Hole drilled, I went and got Ev.
I was thinking with all due respect we could hold him by his front legs, hold his head, and slowly lower him in to this 4 foot hole.
Problem: Auger Bit is 6 inches in diameter + Murphy was a big cat = You can’t fit a square dead cat in a hole that’s round.
I got a certain look from Ev…a look that couples can often exchange in which one of the members of the couple is gazing at the other as a means of trying to understand just who the hell is standing in front of them.
Yah.. that wasn’t gonna work. “Just dig it with the loader”, she said.
I then started a hole with the front end loader and then…..the lights went out on the tractor. PITCH BLACK /snow storm/half a hole/holding a cat body. Both Ev and I started laughing. It was just a little too chaotic.
“Funny Murphy, real funny”