RIP, Murphy 1996 – 2012 

friday, september 21st, 2012

Another Sad Day In The Life

i slept-in until 6am last Friday, and Murphy was still asleep next to me. Although I prepared his food, as usual, he'd stopped eating on Thursday and only drinks a little water, before he goes back to sleep on the Sunroom Chair. His kidneys have begun to shut down and he's slowly dying. His bodily systems are shutting-down. I had Fresh-Squeezed OJ w/ lots of pulp, Fried Ham Hash, Eggs & Ancho Catsup and French-Roast, Turkish-Grind Coffee (from whole, freshly-ground Dunkin' Donuts beans) with my Chemex® Drip System. I opened-up the Condo's windows and doors to a delightful 52°F, low humidity and clear skies. After checking the weather and news sites, I checked my "To Do List" for today, tomorrow and Sunday, and at 8:30am, drove over to the Rite Aid, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, PNC Bank and a few more places to get some combined errands done. I was back by 11:45am, gently-carried Murphy over to

the sink so he could have a drink, and back to the Sunroom chair. Although his kidneys are slowly shutting down, but he's in no visible pain. He now sleeps most all day, peacefully. (sigh).

A little history about Murphy. Although I had Pickle (initially as a 2-3 week old kitten) from my first day of construction of the Garden Center in May of 1990, I later took-in an unwanted, stray mother cat – Momma Kitty – and her litter of 5 one-day-old kittens, kept the oldest male – Murphy – in 1995, so they wouldn't be put to death, by the woman who brought them to me. My cousin's daughter adopted the youngest female – 'Miss Every day which goes by, I now miss a beloved person or a favorite pet, who has died, either prematurely or of old age, and is now gone forever from my Life on this earthly plane. I mourn their passing, but rejoice in the fact that we once crossed paths and shared Life, Love and Companionship, together. Coleman' – butt I was unable to save the other 3 kittens, as they'd gotten into some rat poison in one of my GHs. I buried them on the GC&N Complex Property, with dozens of other stray cats and dogs killed nearby the facility, over the years. Pickle has his own special grave site, at the top of the Garden Center front steps. After bringing them to my Condo, I didn't have either Murphy or Momma Kitty declawed, so they did damage to my Condo over the years, but that can be repaired and some furniture replaced, since their companionship was always paramount to me, to the pain of declawing to them. No matter: material possessions can be easily replaced; a pet's loyalty, companionship and friendship can't. Murphy was a 'little devil' at some times, but an 'angel' at most times. If you have had or have a pet, you know what I'm talking about. He was always very affectionate with me, and occasionally with others he took a liking to, quite a "talker" and a great little companion to come home to everyday. He was always overjoyed to see me. And I, him.

I had a Egg & Olive Salad Sandwich for lunch, prepared Murphy's usual food, and

lifted him up to the sink for water 9-10x, during the afternoon and evening. I tried coaxing him to eat, but he'd have none of it. Water and sleep, only. I'd go out to the Sunroom chair where he was sleeping, and stroke him for a few minutes, each half-hour, just to let him know I was still with him. After listening to several 3hr Chris Plante Show Podcast Replays until 9pm, I gently-carried Murphy upstairs to bed, we went through our usual "hold & nuzzle" routine, as though nothing were wrong, and we drifted off to sleep. I woke a couple of times and he was still next to me. He left sometime during night and went back downstairs.

I woke-up on Saturday at 5am, splashed some cold water on my face, as usual, went downstairs and found Murphy, sleeping on the Sunroom chair. I prepared his food, he ignored it and wanted water. I put him up to the sink, so he could get his fill. After I put him back down on the floor, he went back to sleep on the Sunroom chair. I had some Texas Red Grapefruit, made Breakfast and coffee, grilled a Bone-In Broiled Allen Bros 10oz Filet Mignon for later lunch, and got ready to leave for my 10am meetings in Southern York County. I watered Murphy again, gave him a small plate of warm filet mignon, which be ignored and went back to sleep on the chair and left at 9:15am.

I got back at 12:15pm, checked Murphy, stroked and talked to him, made myself a Sliced Filet Mignon, Onions & Cheese Sandwich and chips, and worked on my Condo's 4th Quarter Budget. Nothing more I could do for him except make him comfortable and give him water when he wanted it; God's in-charge. I checked my food shopping list for my usual Sunday 7am trip, loaded one of my shovels into the Jeep so I could dig Murphy's grave after going over to Dad's, and began packing-up the numerous cans and bags of his cat food, which I'll give to my next door

neighbor for his 2 cats. I also have to throw-out his 2 litter boxes and clean-up the area surrounding it, but I'll wait until after he's gone, to do that. This is all very depressing. After 57 of my 62 years of having and caring for mostly cats and a few dogs, Murphy is my last one; I just get too attached to them.

I'd turned-off email earlier in the day, as I didn't feel like being social, and just listened to WITF Classical Music, while reflecting upon lots of things over the past years. By 8:30pm, I'd had enough, armed the Condo's Honeywell® Lynx Plus® Security System, refreshed Murphy's water bowl, left a few downstairs night lights on, basement door open and lights on to his 2 litter boxes, and shut-down the place. I was emotionally-drained and needed sleep. Tomorrow would be both busy and stressful.

I overslept until 6:30am on Sunday, took care of Murphy's water needs, and put him back out on the Sunroom chair to sleep. I decided to skip breakfast and go food shopping, as I could eat after I get back from the 45-50min trip, or just wait until lunch. Somehow, I just wasn't very hungry. I made coffee, started a MalwareBytes full system scan, got ready, retrieved the mail from the CHCA community mailbox, and left at 7:15. I've now got 80pts/ 80¢-off a gallon from Weis Markets, but with a ¼-tank left, I'll get a fill-up on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. At $3.89/gal for Unleaded Regular, it'll help ease the pain. I got to Dad's at

10:15, and sadly dug Murphy's grave. I also had some paperwork and computer stuff to do with Dad, and we finished around 11:45am. I got home at 12:15pm, took care of Murphy's scant water needs, made myself some Soft-Boiled Eggs w/ Toast in a bowl, and had Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry-Pomegranate Juice. My appetite was sort of back.

I listened to several 3hr Chris Plante Show Podcast Replays, did a couple loads of laundry, tended to Murphy's fresh water needs every 15-20mins at the sink, skipped dinner, and listened to live streaming Gun Talk Radio, from 8-11pm. I carried him up to bed, put him on a sheepskin, and he went to sleep, as did I.

I got up at 6:30am on Monday, and Murphy had moved from the bed to one of the Loft Chairs, during the night. I carried him downstairs, watered him, put him on one of the Sunroom chairs to sleep, had Del Monte® Red Grapefruit Sections, three small Fried Ham Steaks, an Egg Omlet & Home Fries and coffee, for breakfast. He was fading fast, now, not having eaten since last Thursday morning. I disposed of his litter boxes, kitchen food/water bowls, towels/sheepskins on Loft chairs, toys etc, and was just waiting for him to succumb to eternal sleep. Soon, he'll be with my other pets at The Rainbow Bridge. Video is here. All he does now is sleep, but he's hanging on to life. He refuses all food and water. I stroked and petted him on the chair.

Massive and violent t-storms, covering 6-7 states, were heading toward our area from the southwest and northwest, would converge and hit us early in the morning and all-day Tuesday. The City of

York emailed and asked if they could get in next week and dig the $10,750 of B&B plant material I'd donated last Fall, after I closed in November. Depressed about Murphy, I listened to some Talk Radio replays, but decided to call it an early night, at 8:30pm.

The hard rain and t-storms woke me up at 3:45am on Tuesday, and I couldn't get back to sleep. I went down and checked Murphy on the Sunroom chair; he was still alive, but barely alert. He looked up at me, tried to meow, but couldn't. I had no appetite, so I just made some coffee, stroked and petted Murphy, and gave him a kiss on the top of his head. His breathing was shallow. I didn't want him to die in a vet's unfamiliar, sterile office from a needle; I wanted him to die here, where he grew-up and lived, in familiar surroundings, with me. Much of the rain moved northwest of the York area, but much more was on the way, so I decided to stay inside with Murphy, for the day, and tomorrow if Memories, especially the good ones, are what count. For when we are ultimately gone from our all-too short stay on this earth, that's all we'll have in the endless void of time: our memories of others, and the memories others have of us. necessary. I'm on his "end-of-life timetable". I brought him out to the Kitchen to be with me, on one of his sheepskins, many times during the day. I skipped lunch; no appetite. My errands from yesterday and today can be easily rescheduled; Murphy's last days, hours and minutes with me, are more precious. Soon, the skies darkened and the steady, cold rain returned.

It looks to me to be an early Winter.

My computer started its scheduled 2x-weekly back-up, and while I scanned some tech news, I noticed a warning for MSIE v7-8-9 Browser users, about a "another new problem". That's Reason #1 why I quit using that piece-of-MSIE-crap 5-6yrs ago, and switched to Firefox, and have now used the Opera Browser on all my machines, for the past 3yrs, and switched Dad's HP Laptop over to it, last year.

Tuesday was a long, depressing day; I'm just not used to staying in one place for 16-17hrs, during heavy t-storms, and nursing my dying cat. With Mom's passing in May, I'd had enough death for one year, or so I thought. All I could now do was watch him continue to gradually decline, from the lack of food (since last Thursday) and water (since Sunday); it was agonizing, but he was in no pain, so I stayed with him, and he knew I was right there. UPS delivered my order from Delallo Gourmet Foods, of 2 Pesto Sauce, 2 Carbonara Cream Sauce, 2 Roasted Garlic Sauces, and 3-lbs of flame-roasted whole garlic cloves in EVOO. I put them downstairs on my basement supply shelves. No appetite. I listened to the Mark Levin Show until 8:15pm, checked Murphy to make sure he was comfortable, and went up to bed.

Although up 2x during the night to check on Murphy, I slept-in until 6:15am on Wednesday – at this late point in the year, it's not getting light until almost 7am – and went downstairs to see Murphy, and make some coffee; I still had no appetite. It was 56°F outside, clear and the sun was just coming-up at 7:10am. The week's unanswered email had piled-up in Thunderbird's inbox, but I just didn't feel like sorting through or answering any of it. I covered him with a thick towel to keep him warm in his final hours. I sat and stared at the blank computer screen, drinking my coffee, and the memories came flooding back, of better days, weeks, months and years with him.

Still staring at the screen, I reflected back on Murphy's and my unique night time "hold and nuzzle" routine, among many memorable things about him. He'd come downstairs from one of "his chairs" in the Loft at 9:15 or 9:30pm, and meow that "it's time to go to bed". I'd usually shut down and go upstairs with him. After getting into bed, I'd lay on my left

side, toward the nightstand, and he'd come up and nuzzle against my upper chest, and I'd hug him with both arms, and give him a kiss. Then he'd walk around on the bed and come back to that same position 3-4 more times, for more hugs and kisses. Next would come the "stretch-out" routine. He'd walk around the bottom of the bed and I'd roll-over to my right side, with my arm outstretched, and he'd lay down, parallel to me, fully-stretched-out, with his head resting on my arm, just 10-12" from me. He'd raise his right arm and put his paw on to my chin, while I stroked, petted and talked to him. He purred and closed his eyes in absolute contentment. After 10-15mins, he'd had enough and would get up, go to the middle of the right side of the bed, and curl-up against my side, while I turned-off the light and we went to sleep. I now truly miss that "routine" of the past many years. He was truly a unique, very personable and amazingly affectionate friend and companion.

After 3 mugs of coffee, at 9:30am, I drove over to Weis Gas 'n Go, in West York, filled-up 17.3 gals for $2.99/gal (80¢ off $3.79/gal with Weis Credits), then went over to Dad's to re-dig Murphy's grave, which had partially filled-in from the previous day's heavy rain, spent a couple hours with Dad and came back at 11:30am. Murphy woke-up briefly when I came into the Sunroom to talk to and pet him, but quickly went back to sleep. I tried to get some water into him, but he wasn't accepting anything liquid or solid. I also skipped lunch; again, no appetite. I listened to some Talk Radio, worked on the Condo Budget, paid some bills, and spent the afternoon stroking and talking to Murphy, every 15-20mins. His breathing was getting more and more shallow.

I had some Ocean Spray® Diet Blueberry Juice and Red Seedless Grapes for the day, but that's all I could keep down, considering how repressed my appetite was. After listening to the morning's missed 3hr Chris Plante Show Replay and from 6-9pm, to the Mark Levin Show, I checked on Murphy, stroked and talked to him, gave him a little kiss good night, made sure he was comfortable on the Sunroom chair and sheepskin, and closed-down for the night.

I was up 2x (12:30 & 2:30) during Thursday morning to check on Murphy, and finally got up at 6:30am. He was barely alive, but I petted him, stroked and talked to him and he moved his tiny head

to look at me, opened his mouth to meow and closed his eyes and went back to sleep. I turned-up the heat, again covered him with a warm towel and tried to get some water into his mouth; he wouldn't take it. It's been 8 days since he quit eating; 5 days since he quit taking water. I don't know how he's still surviving. He's wasted away, but at least he's not in any noticeable pain (I would know after 17yrs with him), than I can determine. I'm terribly sad, depressed and despondent about watching it end like this. At least he knows I'm here with him and I didn't just have him killed in a vet's office. All I can continue to do is make him comfortable. And wait with him.

As with Mom's passing, back on May 2nd, I didn't eat for days during or afterward; I just couldn't keep anything down. At 8:55am, while I was stroking and petting him, Murphy put his head back on the seat cushion, took his last breath and died. Finally, he's free of this earthly plane. Yes, I cried at his loss, after 17 years, same as I did with sweet little Momma Kitty, and my GC&N favorite, Pickle, both dying after just 15 years. If you've had a pet as a companion and friend, you know what I'm talking about. He now belongs to the ages. RIP, little friend, Murphy. I miss him terribly. We often mark our time on earth, with the pets we have. I have had many, but Murphy was very special and quite unique.

I drove over to Dad's, buried Murphy in the grave which I'd dug on Sunday and cleaned-back-out on Wednesday, and said a prayer for him. I then spent an hour with Dad, going over some other things, drove home and rolled-up my 7ft x 9ft Oriental Rug, to take over to a local flooring/carpeting specialist and cleaner, Essis & Sons, for cleaning. After 3 cats over 22 years, it needs a thorough deep-cleaning. I listened to the morning's missed 3hr Chris Plante Show Replay, and since I was emotionally-and-mentally-drained from the day, called it quits at 7pm. Tomorrow begins another week here in the "Journal", and it'll be a strange one without Murphy.

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