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My Last Ginger - and The New One.

Posted 02-10-2009 at 16:37 by West Ender
Updated 02-10-2009 at 18:43 by West Ender

It's over 30 years since we got our Murphy. We'd been on holiday and the current canine at the time, our Penny, had been in the local boarding kennel. We went to pick her up that evening and while they were fetching her we noticed a large cage containing a white cat and 3 kittens, one white and 2 ginger. There was a notice on the side of the cage, "Kittens 8 weeks old 50p".

Nik was only about 2 years old and she was very taken with the kittens. We'd lost our last cat some years earlier; a lovely white and ginger, he'd gone out one evening and we never saw him again, never found out what happened to him but that was in rural North Yorkshire. My husband looked at the kittens, looked at me then, solemnly, handed me 50p and said, "Go on, choose one." I went in the cage with the proprietor and a little ginger fur-ball ran up to me. That was it - love at first sight - so we acquired Murphy.

As a small kitten Murphy depended on Penny, the dog, as a surrogate mother. She would cuddle him, in her bed, and generally looked after him. They had a lovely game where Murphy would run across the room, from one armchair to another, chased (but, carefully, not caught) by Penny with a big grin on her muzzle. Many hours could be spent that way and old Penny never refused or snapped or grumbled, though she did sometimes look a bit fed up after about an hour.

It was a bit worrying that the kitten didn't eat anything for several days. I bought a variety of kitten foods but he wasn't having them. Then one day I made myself a bacon sandwich and, as I was eating it, a tiny bit of bacon fell on to the floor. Murphy was on it like lightning. I gave him a bit more and he gobbled it down. After that, he started to eat his cat food. I think he'd just forgotten how to eat.

Murphy grew into a very large and very handsome (neutered) ginger. He was extremely affectionate and would sit on the back of the sofa and rub his face on ours. He never scratched anyone, ever, and if he got really annoyed (very rarely) he would make a pretense of biting - but stop short of actually doing it.

His usual sleeping place was on the end of our bed, rivalling the dog, but he also had a box with a blanket in it on top of the central heating boiler. This box was often used to transport him in the car. It had no lid, it didn't need one, he would just lie on the blanket with his head up, looking round. He used to go to the vet's like that and lie in his box in the waiting room, ignoring dogs, other cats, rabbits etc., just looking rather haughty.

My next door neighbour, at the time, didn't like cats. He would shoo away any feline that strayed too close to his property - except Murphy - such was this pussy cat's character he could even charm Ken. If Murphy was shut out of our house and we couldn't hear him he would rattle Ken's letter box and peer through the flap, just 2 amber eyes and 2 ginger paws framed in the opening.

He was 12 when he died. He got cancer in his ear and, after a lot of trying, the vet couldn't do any more for him. He was a super cat - as they say, they broke the mold when he arrived.

OK, so here's little Otis (our Jo's pictures). Isn't he cute?

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Total Comments 4


  1. Old Comment
    Margaret Pilkington's Avatar
    Oh what a handsome wee laddie.

    I know that some women go nuts over babies, but give me cats or kittens every time.

    I want to bury my face in his lovely soft fur.......aaaaaaah.
    Posted 02-10-2009 at 17:55 by Margaret Pilkington Margaret Pilkington is offline
  2. Old Comment
    West Ender's Avatar
    Nik and Laura have gone to visit him tonight. I was running late and hadn't had my tea or I would have gone too. May go tomorrow......
    Posted 02-10-2009 at 18:44 by West Ender West Ender is offline
  3. Old Comment
    shillelagh's Avatar
    hes lovely ... how did they come up with the name otis?
    Posted 02-10-2009 at 23:00 by shillelagh shillelagh is offline
  4. Old Comment
    West Ender's Avatar
    No idea where they got Otis. Could be Otis Redding but he's a bit before their time.
    Posted 03-10-2009 at 17:36 by West Ender West Ender is offline

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