Tuesdays With Murray. (Chapter 2)

I’ve grown really attached to Murray. I simply cannot help myself. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that my “Motherly Instinct” scale currently goes all the way up to 11. And all that motherly concern I have brewing for the baby is going directly toward Murray. One of the side effects to all the pampering is the constant worry. I worry nonstop that he’s going to drop dead and/or hurt himself at any given moment. I worry he’s not eating enough, eating too much, getting into too many playful fistfights with Tucker. I’m worried about his ringworm, which has yet to go away. I worry about him all the time.

In spite of all this worry and concern, I still make some really careless mistakes. A couple of days ago as I sat in front of the TV watching the best show on television, I saw a small green rubber band on the floor at my feet. Instead of getting up off my lazy ass and putting it in the trashcan so Murray couldn’t get to it, I decided to put it on the green desk, which was at arm’s length. Murray is still very small so I figured he couldn’t get to it up there. (And I’m going to be a mother soon? Are you kidding me?)

Last night we attended our first Preparation for Parenthood class at Cornell. At one point the instructor had us go around the room and share with everyone our biggest fear. I said the first thing that came to mind, probably the most cliché response possible. I said, “My biggest fear is being totally and completely responsible for another life for the rest of mine.” And that’s true. But I have a new biggest fear every minute of the day. Last week, my biggest fear was potentially shitting myself during delivery. Yesterday, my biggest fear was bringing a child into the world. My biggest fear changes every day. I don’t have a biggest fear; I have ever-changing ones.

The class went until 10 PM. By the time it was over I was exhausted. Tobyjoe was as well. As we stumbled home from the subway, it suddenly occurred to me that in just five small minutes I was going to see Murray. My spirits rose. I hadn’t seen Murray in almost six hours. I never spend that much time away from Murray.

When we got home I immediately did a cat check. Tucker? Foyer. Pookum? Bed. Murray? Hmmmm. Where was Murray? We found Murray resting on top of the green desk.

“That’s weird.” I said to Toby. “I wonder how he got up there. I wonder why he’s up there.”

I switched on the light to get a closer look at the green desk. Lying before me was half a green rubber band.

“Oh my god,” I gasped.


“I think Murray ate a rubber band. What do we do now?”

“Well, if you’re sure he did, then we have to take him to the ER.”

“Mother[expletive]. This can’t be happening. What the [expletive] are we going to do now? We don’t have another six grand to spend on the cats. [Expletive!]”

“Call the ER. See what they say.”

I called the 5th Avenue Vet Specialists, the same emergency hospital who took care of Schmitty when he was sick, and the same hospital who put him to sleep a week later. I managed to get a doctor on the line who told me to wait it out. He told me to see if the little guy vomits and if he does so to bring him in immediately. He told me that if there’s any diarrhea bring him in right away. Otherwise, the rubber band fragment had a pretty good chance of passing right through him.

I listened all night for a fit of vomiting. I waited with flared nostrils for the smell of kitten diarrhea. Thankfully, neither came. I didn’t sleep at all last night, but my Murray seems to be doing just fine today. And I was reassured of that fact when he made this face during a one of his vicious morning hunts.

Today my biggest fear is that my son will eat a green rubber band and I’ll have to rush him to the ER in the middle of the night because I had been too lazy to pick it up off the floor.

Or perhaps by the time he comes, by the time I give birth, I’ll be better prepared for parenthood due to the delicate instruction of 2-pound kitten.


  1. I adore that picture of Murray.

    A few months ago I was thinking heavily about the whole issue of having a kid, should we even consider it thing, and I wrote about it somewhere. I got this back from a friend of mine:

    “No child, anywhere, has a mother who is always at 100%. It is just not possible. All any of us can ever hope for is that at least some small portion of the time, we are the best mothers we can be.”

    I do think Murray is helping you get into parenting mode… having a kitten around is far different than having mature cats, and you do have to be more aware of leaving things around, shutting doors behind you, all of that. It’s amazing how quickly you can forget those things as your cats (or kids) get older. So yeah, maybe Murray is your refresher course, and that’s cool.

    Don’t beat yourself up too much for little mistakes. They happen and the best you can do is learn from them going forward. ;)


  2. We have one cat that I think of as our little vacuum cleaner. String? Rubber band? Paper? Plastic wrap? Tape? Hair tie? He’ll eat it.

    I try to keep these things out of his reach, but I KNOW he’s ingested a few things. So far though, it’s been OK.


  3. three things:
    1. murray is so insanely cute he makes me want to buy ten kittens on my way home.
    2. i have that same bedspread.
    3. the bigger problems – according to my vet – are plastic grocery bags and string. both of which my cats love more than life itself. rubber bands are little more than an hors-d’oeuvre to them. just keep murray away from the bags, and you’ll be A-OK. :)


  4. I relate. One of my dogs (a very, very naughty beagle) grabbed a brand-new bottle of Tums off the dining room table, opened it, and ate the entire contents on the one Saturday night we were actually out till midnight. A week later, she fished another bottle out of my purse while we were at dinner with friends and ate three quarters of it. (The first time, we called the emergency vet, had her sleep in our bed to watch for signs of distress, and took her to our regular vet the next day. The second time she just seemed so proud of herself, so we kept an eye on her but weren’t too worried.)

    As I told my husband, I’m going to make an excelent mother.


  5. KidKate, I’m happy he’s ok. That’s good news for sure. So, forgive me if I giggled a little bit afte reading this. I assure you, I would not have laughed if the ending had been anything other than happy. :]

    Animals, they are funny little creatures!


  6. Oh, we giggled too. Even the vet laughed; apparently Tums aren’t really toxic (though the damn dog did eat 74 of them in one sitting-not sure why she left that token ONE behind). Now the hubs asks every night before bed, Where’d you leave the Tums? Of course they’re never far from me anyway :)


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