Monday, 13 January 2014

Only a Cat






The house is in disarray, the fire keeps going out, the chicken-pen fence is down. Korean pilgrims come and come. Murphy Cat is dying.

The vet says Murph ate a mouse or a rat last week, a mouse or rat that was poisoned. He ate an awful lot of the poison, a kind that attacks the liver and kidneys, that causes internal bleeding. A slow-acting kind.

If you have stayed at The Peaceable, you may have met Murph, he has been here almost from the start. He snuggles with pilgrims sometimes -- especially those who dislike or are allergic to cats, or who are fastidious about getting fur on their clothing. He has a big voice, and greets Patrick in the morning with noisy demands for food. He is a fine mouser.

Murphy has tried to die several times already. He was poisoned before -- poisoning rodents is something farmers do. He was run over and broke three of his legs. He disappears periodically, and comes back all thin and hungry. He´s gone toe-to-toe with Lulu the Greyhound, and only a few weeks ago recovered from an infected bite he suffered in a cat-fight out back. He is just a cat, but to the local veterinarians he is a cash cow.  

And so, since Friday we´ve taken Murph to the veterinarian in Sahagun each morning for injections of several kinds. We force-feed him with soft things, squirt water down his throat til he yowls horribly. He tries to go to the window to go outside, and on the way he totters and falls. He passes out of consciousness, his eyes staring empty. 

Tim and Rosie and Momo come and sniff him, then turn away. For hours at a time, Murph´s not here.

He is only a cat. I asked the vet if we shouldn´t just put him down.
“He has a chance,” he says. “Why take that away from him? He isn´t suffering,” he says.

Murph is suffering, goddammit. I hold him and cry while he cries, and then when he stops crying. I put food into his mouth and he arches his head back and goes stiff and still, his eyes go blank. His fat, glossy body is a limp, ragged sack of bones and misery. 

I love him. I hate this.

He is only a cat, but I love him to death.

I love him, so I want him to die.   



Note: Murphy died on 15 January at 11 a.m. I was holding him in my arms, Paddy was alongside, Bruno and Rosie right there, too. He did not go easy, it was horrifying. John Murphy is the finest cat I ever had. Please, if you live in an area where rodents are routinely poisoned, DO NOT WAIT when your cat shows lethargic behavior and gets a runny nose. It may not be a cold. It may be rat poison. Get him to a veterinarian. If discovered early, this kind of poison can be counteracted with vitamin injections, his life can be saved. 

18 comments:

Ingrid said...

Rebekah, my heart is crying with you. If he suffers so much, do him the kindness of an easy death.

Light and Love, Ingrid

mizmol said...

This is the price we pay for love. Am praying for you all, Feb. God bless, Alex xxxx

Libby said...

The suffering is what gets me too. I can handle the death part, because then at least there's no more pain. I hope one way or another, Murph won't suffer anymore. I hope you and your menagerie will be okay, too.

Emily said...

One of the things you can give him is catnip tea. It helps with the pain and nausea. Sending lots of Love and Light to help you and Murph get through this, whatever the outcome.
Emily

susanawee said...

Sending my Love, my prayers and lots of gentle strokes and pats for Murph...I am sad with you and I hurt with Murph....go peacefully beautiful fur person and I pray that your suffering and pain will not last for much longer.....hugs for you Rebekah...

Heda said...

My love and prayers for a gorgeous living being.

Claire Bangasser said...

Love is love, Rebekah. but Murph the cat is lucky to be dying with you rather than all alone in a field.
Prayers for you and the cat.

EileenHamer said...

Been there, done that. Tears ad prayers for Murph and you .

Anonymous said...

I was sad to read about Murphy, for he is a very fine animal who I instantly liked. Cats such as Murphy endure suffering with dignity, as I wish I could.

I once had a cat put down and my betrayal remains with me, after decades.

To be positive! - as I write, a stray cat which found me mews for even more food - and she will have it, in remembrance of Murphy.

I hope Murphy passes peacefully at home. He's had a great life.



D

Carol said...

I had a cat that was poisoned and it left him blind and deaf but I went to the vet's office every day and held him. One day he turned when the vet came in the office and followed him with his eyes. It was a miracle. Don't give up on him yet. Carol

Tracy Saunders. said...

Dear Rebekah,
Bunkle too is dying. He is on borrowed time. Last spring I prayed: "Please let him have another summer in the sun". He had it. Every time I left The Little Fox in someone else's hands I knew I was asking a lot of them: what if he goes while I am away? My granddaughter and I found a photo of a ginger kitten. We put it her room. We send Bunkie energy and love. He not only enoyed another summer, but a fall too. Then this Chritsmas I left him once again, this time following a diagnosis of a growth above his right eye which was growing alarmingly and polyps in both nasal passages which sometimes just bled and bled. I talked with my vet. Maybe weeks, he said. Is he in pain? I asked. No. I reminded him of our agreement. He said he remembered. I came back yesterday to a blood soaked pillow, but a Bunkie remarkably alert, alive and looking for his egg. He slept on my hair. I love him so much; for 17 years he has shared my life not as a pet, not as a child, but as a true friend. Will we make it through the winter? I don´t know. But I do know he isn´t ready to go yet. You will know too. Love is the answer? It must be true. And Murphy loves you enough to conquer many things which might have meant the end for others who have not known your love. have to end here as have cat on lap... suddenly. much love and extra prayers. cant do caps... t and b.

Leslie David said...

As you know there is no such thing as "just a cat." I am so sorry to hear about Murphy, but it does sound like the best thing for him is to let him go. I had to put my cat of 13 years down and I never expected when we went to the vet that morning that he wasn't coming home with me.

Anonymous said...

My 2 kitties found, played and ate rat poison 2 months ago and spent a week in the vet ER with plasma transfusion and daily injections, taking away more than a month's salary. We visited everyday and eventually they made it back home. Rat posion is tricky for cats, but I think your cat has a chance to make it. The vet told us that sometimes cats are fine but are having internal bleeding and sometimes they look very sick but recover without internal bleeding. The Vitamin K injections can also be given orally or mixed with food (but if he is not eating might be best to squirt down the back of his throat). I hope the suffering passes soon!

Beth Caporali said...

Been there (albeit with a dog, but still). It is just awful when a "just" a pet dies, there is no way around it. Murphy was not "just" a cat, anymore than you are are "just" a sister. Much love to you & Pad, and all the other family mourners.
We are sad here for you loss.
Beth

Anonymous said...

Grieve Not,
Nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh, and talk of me
As if I were beside you...
I loved you so....
'Twas Heaven here with you.

Heda said...

So sorry darling. He had a wonderful home and a family that loved him very much. And a life is a life. And his life was very blessed. He had a life that was well lived wrapped in love. You have done your absolute best for that little one and it's time to take care of yourself now. We have these little angels that come into our lives and go as well. Always sad but that's the price we pay for having them. And it is worth it. Or at least that's what I think. My thoughts are with you and hubby.

Anonymous said...

Footnote...

"But the wildest of all the wild animals was the Cat. He walked by himself, and all places were alike to him."

And so too in the ninth life.

Anonymous said...

I just checked back to see about your cat. I am sorry that he died and that he suffered so much! He is is kitty heaven now happily chasing non-poisonous rodents...

I agree with getting the cat to the vet as soon as possible if there is the chance that they might have ingested poison, even if there are no signs indicating anything is wrong. A quick blood test can tell if their coagulation profile is altered and something bad might be going on internally...