Missing Murphy


Today it's been exactly a month since we've had to say goodbye to our sweet Murphy bear. To say that we have been having a hard time of it, would be a huge understatement. The sadness is so overwhelming at times that I sometimes feel as if I will never get used to life without him.
I know this sounds strange, but at 34 years old, this is the first time in my life dealing with something like this. I've dealt with lots of pain, sadness, stress and fear in my life, I've just never lost a pet before. Growing up we didn't have pets, we didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't afford a pet like a dog or a cat.
And somehow, it doesn't feel right to me to call Murphy and Diego pets. They are so much more to us. They are our family, our babies, just with four legs and a bit (just a bit) more self sufficient than babies.
As some of you who follow my Facebook page know, Murphy had been sick for a little while, but I hadn't seen it coming at all. I had made a post about being relieved he was getting better only two days before he passed away. To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure what he died from. Neither does our vet.
Three weeks before he passed he got a small colon infection which he got special antibiotics for. It was a struggle to get him to take those pills, because they were a bit big. Usually our cats are very easy going with medication and they take what we want them to take. But this time was different. He hated those pills and the whole ordeal got him very stressed and it made him not eat well.
Thing is, Murphy missed a piece of his colon, we had only found that out in October. Which caused him to have a lot of diarrea throughout his whole life, but since October we thought we had a handle on it with special diet food and supplements.
The tricky thing with Murphy though was that when he felt a bit under the weather he stopped eating, which is very bad for a cat. So because of the stress of those pills, he stopped eating almost completely and he developed a bladder infection and we kept having to go get him shots to stimulate his appetite.
Once we were a few days into the bladder infection (which is very common for cats when they are stressed and they usually just need some painkillers, a shot to relax the bladder and some time to heal), we thought we were on top of things. This was on Friday.
Then on Saturday he again didn't eat almost anything on his own (we kept having to feed him with a little syringe) and slept through most of the day. I was convinced that him sleeping a lot was a good thing since he'd been sleeping so little because the bladder infection had been constantly chasing him to the litter box.
But on Sunday he was doing worse and worse and when we got back from quickly getting our groceries he cried for us from the top of the stairs and when we got upstairs he collapsed. He couldn't breathe properly anymore, and the cries he gave is a noise I will never forget until my dying day. It broke my heart into a million pieces. The emergency vet was called, which thankfully turned out to be our own vet who was on call that weekend. He came to us and was completely shocked but absolutely certain that we could only ease his passing, since he clearly was dying already. It was the worst day of my life.
I've had a lot of bad days in my life. I lost my father when I was 18, very suddenly, from a heart attack. I had to leave home a month before I turned 16 because of the bad situation at home. I've had many bad, sad and terrifying days since then. But at the moment, this feels worse. Because Murphy was my baby, our baby. We were his parents who should have taken care of him. Not knowing what caused this and not knowing whether we should have done more, breaks my heart every single day.
Logical thinking tells me we couldn't have done more. Missing a piece of colon is not something that helps a cat grow old easily and comfortably. My head knows that. But my heart will not it accept it. For now anyway. I hope it will some day.
The hardest thing at the moment is the fact that Diego has been left behind now. Diego has never been alone a single day in his life. He is a Siamese cat and a very loving one. Murphy and he came into our house to live with us on the very same day when they were still actual babies. They got along really well pretty much right away and they have been happy together ever since. He is very sad and lonely now that he has lost his big brother. It makes it incredibly hard to leave him when I have to go to my part time job. My gran comes to visit him on those days for at least an hour to break his days up into manageable chunks. I'm so grateful for that, because he really needs the company. But it's so sad to see him sitting so forlornly, staring ahead of him when he feels sad and lonely.

It also means that for now when I go to my little art studio, I don't go for longer than three hours so that I can get back to Diego before he gets too sad and despondent.
This is the reason why, even though we lost Murphy so recently, we are already in contact with a lady who has Maine Coon kittens on the way. Or to be more accurate, some of the kittens are already here since about two weeks and some more kittens are on the way any day now this coming week. It won't be till the end of April before we get to choose one and it won't be till June before the kitten comes to live with us.
It's a bit weird for us to be thinking of a new kitten already, and truthfully we both don't feel ready for it yet. But since it's going to be another 3 months before a new kitty baby comes into our life, and we know Diego needs another cat to bond and live with, it also feels good to have this sorted out already. One less big thing to stress about.
The thing for me that is hardest at the moment, aside from the sadness and guilt I feel every time I have to leave Diego alone, is something that sounds very obvious, but is incredibly difficult to accept, is the fact that 'normal life' is gone. I, we, can never go back to life the way it was one month and three weeks ago when Murphy was still with us and doing fine.
Life isn't just sad now because of the immediate grief, the heartache, the tears, the disbelief, the anger, the guilt, it's the wrenching sensation of the loss of my daily life that makes me feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath my feet.
I can't just go to work anymore and come back in the evening and just feel tired because it was a long day. I go to work, knowing I'm leaving a lonely Diego behind, not knowing how he'll manage today. Will today be a day where he is fairly okay because he'll be asleep and occasionally watching the birdies in the garden? Or will today be a day where he's constantly searching for Murphy, for us and when he can't find any of us will he cry? Will he eventually stop crying because he's exhausted and just become despondent, sit somewhere and stare into the void?
I can't just go to my art studio for a whole day anymore and just create and chat and create some more without a care in the world. I go to my studio to try and get some stock made for the events I have coming up, and in the back of my mind there's always Diego waiting for me. I still love going to my art studio, but I feel guilty when I'm there. But it's a day where I am in complete control of the hours of my day, so I compromise, and I go to my art studio only for a short while, so that Diego doesn't need to miss me too much and too long.
We can't just go to sleep anymore and sleep the whole night through like we used to, because Diego sleeps with us now. Murphy and Diego used to sleep in their own room together. Diego sleeps in our bed now so he isn't alone. But when Diego sleeps with us, he wants to sleep on us. So that wakes us up a lot. So on top of being sad, we are tired. But we do it for Diego.
And there's all the little things. I will never hear Murphy chirp for tuna anymore, I will never hear him rumble down the stairs anymore. He will never occupy the kitchen chairs by the window to look at the birdies in the garden anymore. He will never demand to be given water in a little rimmed pot in the bath tub anymore and walk wet paw prints all over the house. He will never cuddle in bed with us on Sunday mornings anymore. And I will never get to stroke his fluffy fur anymore or get to snuggle his big, teddy bear body and pet his silky soft head and ears. And I will never get to kiss his sweet sweet little face anymore.
And no matter how sure I am that of course I will love this new kitty baby that is going to come to us in June, and that we will find a new normal, I will never get to have my old normal again.


Kitty Love

That was beautifully said Deirdre. I can hear the sincere pain and heartbreak that you're feeling but I can also see the glimmer of hope in your heart. I hope that much love and warmth surround you in your time of grief. Much love, Mare

Hi Mare, Sorry for responding

Hi Mare,

Sorry for responding so late, I didn't get a notification of this comment. Thank you so much for your kind words <3

Lieve d en andy zo'n mooie

Lieve d en andy zo'n mooie herinneringen neemt niemand je af. Hopelijk wordt de pijn ooit draaglijker. Liefs anne

Danke <3

Danke <3

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To help us prevent spam, please prove you're human by typing the words you see here.