Tuesdays With Murray: Chapter 86

I visited our local pet store recently to get Murray some vitamins. My hopes are to stifle whatever is that’s making him consume weird and dangerous plastic things. The owner there knows all about Murray.

This last visit, she stopped me midway through my purchase and said, “I was thinking about you recently. I was picking some things up from our distributor and I saw these rubber chew toys for cats. So I got a couple.” 


She told me that they are tough, designed specifically for cats to chew on.

“Keep an eye on him.” She said. “If he does manage to chew through it, take it away immediately.”

 I was so excited for him! He was excited for him as well.


He chewed through the green one in less than five minutes, so I took it away. But then later, somehow, he got a hold of the purple one. Toby Joe came home to find it in two pieces.


The good news is, all the pieces have been accounted for and the items have been stored as proof just incase we have to sue the company in order to help pay for yet another pricey operation. (I’m only slightly joking here. I normally wouldn’t sue even my worst enemy, but this is getting to be too much.)

We have a long road ahead of us when it comes to Murray and his strange impulses, which has us both walking around like we’re dodging land-mines. This worry has become so prevalent in my life, I do the same thing whenever I visit my parents—hide plastic nipples, worry about what he’ll find while I’m asleep, worry about the pills in the house—even though he’s a hundred and fifty miles away. 

Anyway, yesterday was a long day for our family. All I will say for now is that at the end of that very long day, we welcomed one of these into our home:


This would be really damn funny if it wasn’t so potentially serious. 

Scratch that, it’s still a little funny.


  1. Ugh. I assume that’s for Em? Poor kid. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing. :(


  2. Yeah, for Em. He’s had a rough time where sickness is concerned. I go back and forth between feeling happy that it’s this because we know now and unhappy because it’s this.

    Does the damned thing have to be made of rubber, tho? I bet it’s tuna flavored, too.


  3. I forget, have you tried applying bitter apple to things as a deterrent? When we first brought Kirby home, we pretty much doused all of our cables and cords with it to get him not to chew, and it worked pretty well. Maybe that’s something to try with the nebulizer?


  4. Poor Emory. :( My Amelia had to have a breathing treatment last time she was at the doctor’s office, and it was horrible. You would have thought there was burning acid in the dragon mask rather than just albuterol. I hope Em does better than her with it! And I hope it helps him out.


  5. Ah, the nebulizer. Anthony had croup twice this winter and we had to use some steroids in the nevulizer to help him breathe. He HATED it at first. Mommy had to try it, Daddy had to try it, Grandma had to try it, etc. Finally, when he realized it actually did make him feel better, he would chill out in my lap and we’d read books together while using it. I never could get him to sit through an entire treatment though, we had to break them up a bit. Good luck! I think you’ll be amazed at how much help this will provide for your little man.


  6. Jessica! I know, right? He screamed like he was being tortured. I had to hold him on my lap the entire time. And boy did Mama get dizzy! I couldn’t drive for a bit afterwards. (I did, however, go for a run after one of his treatments last night and felt like i could take on the entire Nike running team!) heh

    Patty: yes, this morning we turned on Jack’s music Show and Binka and he did better after a few minutes. Screamed at first, tho.


  7. Asthma? My little cousin used a neubulizer and got to be great with it after a while, though sometimes he’d get bored and try to walk away. Is this a permanent thing, or just till this bout of sickness is over?

    I have asthma and pet allergies and am hoping my daughter doesn’t end up with same.

    Hope Em is feeling better soon! And let us know which trike and kitchen you end up with! :-)


  8. dang! I wish I had one of those cool faces on my nebulizer! Good luck with Em’s asthma – I’ve had it since I was his age and other than several rough visits to the ER, I’ve lived to tell the tale…but it can be pretty scary.


  9. we are also not-so-thrilled owners of a nebulizer. we started using it when jack got rsv at 6 months old. and now i am happy to have it because the minute a cold worsens to a wheeze we are all over it. you never know how a person will react to it. some get hyped up and some get sleepy. we try to read a book with a treatment or drink a bottle or have a cookie while keeping the tube hovering near his nose. i will say- and i wish someone had told me this when we began using one – that for some reason jack always sounds worse for about 10 to 15 minutes after a treatment. the first time this happened i freaked and called the dr. she said i could bump up the every four hour treatments to two hours for a short spell. so we waited. and sure enough he started to sound better. so now i know that after each treatment to give it a minute to work. i will say we had to ditch the fish mask. just was not working. it does help to direct the flow but it was really in the way and he kept messing with it. i’m am very truly sorry to see this machine in your home now only because i know that every time i hear my son wheeze it detroys me. i can’t sleep, focus – nothing. i only want to monitor him 24/7 until it gets back to normal. there is nothing scarier then watching your child (any child) struggle to breathe. i’m sorry you are having to go through it, too. it will get better.


  10. Houpley: Thank you for your thoughtful response. You are right. It was hard hearing him wheeze. Sadly, because I had taken him in so many times recently for similar reasons, I thought it was just some cold stuff. You know? Now that I know what was happening, I’m a little crushed.

    I think the craziest part was watching the transformation. He was in my arms yesterday, truly struggling to breath. I thought maybe he was just stressed out with being at the doctor again. But then they brought out the nebulizer and told me I had to sit there with him for a while with it under his nose. After a few minutes of breathing and screaming, his chest totally loosened up. It was like a new baby.

    The doctor had said she wanted to check his breathing before and after treatment to see if it was indeed asthma. I knew immediately before he was even finished with treatment, we were looking at asthma.

    It was such a huge difference!

    And yes, btw, he got a little sleepy yesterday (Not today). And he slept better last night than he’s slept since he was about six months old. I actually woke up at 3:30 AM to check on him I was a little nervous.

    I guess this is a good thing, knowing.


  11. Well now that you know, you can treat it and handle it. Poor baby. I hope the nebulizer helps. Best wishes and thoughts to little Em.
    As for Murray, I have no thoughts. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that he won’t end up in the hospital again.


  12. You know, my dd Amelia doesn’t have asthma but we are still proud owners of a dragon now. It made such a difference over Thanksgiving holidays – we were traveling, she got bronchitis… and after doing it just once she happily sits there with it on, watching Sprout on tv or whatever else is on. We sit next to her to make sure it stays on but it works. I love that your dragon actually has eyes! We call it that, but I hadn’t seen it with eyes, that’s great.
    While I hate to treat her with anything – knowing we can stop things before they get to bad makes it all better.

    There are a few different medicines they can prescribe – I think abuterol (sp?) is one of the main ones but they gave us xopenex which they said has less risk of hyperness and seems to work great for Amelia.

    Good luck keeping Murray from the plastic parts and I know Em will be just fine.


  13. Thanks, everyone. Your comments and stories mean a lot. And yeah, I think he’ll be just fine. I’m happy we finally know! Plus, we get to sleep now! He used to wake up every 2 hours if not more.

    As for Murray? It’s a good thing we love him so darn much. This cat doesn’t stop at 9 lives living here. He has 18 at least. :]


  14. Oh, wow, so glad Em and the two of you are getting some sleep (I had no idea from reading your blog)! I had childhood asthma and the meds were not very good then. I had to go to the hospital all the time to get my blood drawn and spend a fair amount of time in the ER getting emergency shots of epinephrine (sp?) and an airway opener. I still have asthma as an adult but the medications are so much better now that I really do see a HUGE difference. I would never be able to be a pet owner if it weren’t for the newer drugs. I remember trying SO many different kids of inhalers (in different colors, LOL–pink, blue, yellow, etc) as a kid, and nothing ever quite worked.

    I hope Em has every bit of luck that I did. I think they say it’s a myth now that kids outgrow but I sure hope Em does!


  15. maybe Murray would like a Kong.

    we use them at the shelter I work at daily for the dogs, but since Murray is such an intense plastic/rubber chewer, it might be a really good option for him.


    they’re basically kind of snowman-shaped thick rubber, but hollow. they can be filled with treats or regular food so it’s interactive for them to chew the toy *and* get the treats out (good for fast eaters, too). they come in all sorts of sizes, so a toy-breed size in puppy or senior rubber maybe (softer than the classic or extreme) would be good for him. they have cat toys as well, but not the same as the regular Kong.


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