Murray was dumped at a construction site in Williamsburg. He was motherless and barely a week old. He was found by a Hasidic developer and dropped off at BARC in a box along with his brother and sister.
That’s how Murray came to be in this world.
Yesterday, Lisa Cat (of BARC shelter fame) put up this amazingly cute photograph of a very small, orphaned kitten. I was beside myself. (Click that link, I dare you.) As with many of the little guys, this baby will be bottle-fed by one of the staff members at BARC. Our Murray was bottle-fed by a gentleman named PJ for the first few weeks of his life. Later, Lisa fostered him and her job was to plump him up, play with him, and love him until he grew old enough to be neutered and adopted.
Right about the time Lisa was fostering Murray (at the time his name was Cherokee) we were saying goodbye to our most beloved cat, Schmitty. That was a really rough time for both Tobyjoe and me. A lot of tears were shed; we suffered through a lot of really sad days and a lot of sleepless nights. Saying goodbye to Schmitty was one of the harder things I’ve had to do to be perfectly honest. (It’s still hard.) One day, while looking at my computer screen through a blurry wall of tears, I saw this picture on Lisa’s photo stream. Distraught and missing my striped man, I left a comment asking if he was still available.
That’s how Murray was introduced to us.
What I didn’t know at the time of leaving that comment, was that Lisa had already emailed me suggesting we come to BARC to meet Cherokee, that he was an old soul and she thought he’d be a perfect match for us. But what I remember the most about her email was when she wrote, “You need to laugh.”
That’s how Murray came to be in our home.
I read recently that a cat’s personality is defined during the first couple of weeks of its life. I can’t say whether that’s true or not; I haven’t asked. But the more I get to know Murray and the older he gets, the more and more I’m starting to believe it. You see Murray is one of the most trusting animals I’ve ever met. He is not afraid of anyone. He is kind, playful, alarmingly snuggly, and needy as all hell. He looks to us for food, comfort, love, and companionship. It’s almost like he was raised by humans, humans named PJ and Lisa.
Like every other cat, when Murray sleeps he dreams. I watch tails flick wildly when it’s naptime. I watch their whiskers twitch, their eyes move rapidly, and their little feet move. Of course they’re dreaming about living in the wild ready to take down a large antelope or a New York City cockroach. Murray dreams like that as well, but he also does something much more peculiar and adorable. He doesn’t knead pillows and human bellies like Tucker does. He doesn’t make us biscuits like Pookum. He probably doesn’t even know what that means since he never had a mother. Instead of pushing on plump, soft things in search of milk, Murray nurses a bottle when he sleeps. And today I have video of it.
That’s how Murray makes me thankful.
To Lisa, PJ, and the rest of BARC, thank your for being so loving toward animals. You make me believe in angels.