Tuesdays With Murray: My Best Friend (Ch 114)

I have had cats for the past 18 years of my life and they have all been super friendly. That’s why it always confuses me when people say that they unequivocally hate all cats. How can they possibly know that? Have they met every cat? Have they met mine? NO! And mine are awesome.

If you give a cat love and are kind to it, the cat will love you back—end of discussion. Our cats have all been cool. They are considered equal members of our family. It will remain that way forever. Our cats are wonderful.

Every cat I’ve lived with has been an equal opportunity scratch hoarder, which is to say that they never seem to care whose lap it is they’re on, as long as someone, anyone is scratching them. They’ve all been a little whorish to be honest with you.

But Murray is different. Murray seems to prefer scratches from only me. He’s a scratch loyalist. That doesn’t mean he walks away from Toby’s scratches or even Emory’s; he won’t turn them down. But when he’s looking for a lap, he almost always comes to mine.

Back up for a minute….

Toby Joe and Schmitty (my second ever cat, the sweetheart that got cancer and had to be put to sleep a few years ago) were best friends. It didn’t matter that he was mine for 8 years prior, when Toby Joe entered his life, I became second fiddle. He and Toby Joe became inseparable. Sure, Schmitty still accepted scratches from other people, but Toby became his favorite. Toby Joe admits this. It’s actually quite heartwarming, which was another reason why it was so hard saying goodbye to Schmitty. I watched my husband’s heart break as well.

After Schmitty died, I told Toby Joe that we would adopt another striped fella and turn him into another best friend. And so we adopted Murray. But Murray immediately bonded with me. I didn’t particularly do anything to gain his loyalty. It’s not like I was sneaking him pieces of bacon or pacifiers. It was that I worked from home back then and was around all the time. We bonded.

So whenever Murray snubs Toby Joe and joins me on the couch instead, I always tell Toby Joe the same thing: that I have Murray enrolled in Professor Snugglesworth’s College For Cats just like I had done with Schmitty.

“How do you think Schmitty got to be so loving toward you?” I’ll say. “I taught him that! I’m doing the same with Murray.”

But I think it’s finally time I admit something: I have no plans on letting Murray graduate. I think he’s going to be my student indefinitely.

I’m sorry, Toby Joe.


  1. Such a lovely post. I wish I could have cats, but my poor husband is allergic! So I will make do by reading about your fab felines.


  2. I have to say that our cat, Clyde, is pretty good about spreading the love around (he figures anyone that might give him food should be befriended), but yep, if it’s a nice, quiet evening on the couch with blankies and pillows galore, he will inevitably choose to crawl up on my chest and curl up for the night.

    My husband swears it is because I have fingernails and thus have an advantage when it comes to chin and ear scratching, but I think it is just my awesomeness.


  3. Beautiful! I love to read about the love you have for your cats. It warms my heart, as one who also loves my cats as equal members of the family. I completely relate to the depth of emotion you feel for them — I wish everyone could be open to feeling the love we have for our animals. It makes me sad to hear people say they hate… clearly, they have just not met the right cat, yet. :)


  4. Even when you’re gone, Murray doesn’t cheat on you. He rarely visits me … which feels odd because I’m used to cats generally liking me. I think it’s due to me being a good scratcher, but no, when I’m there, I’m just a feeder of food, scooper of poop, and opener of doors for Murray.


  5. Two of our gatos love my husband and me pretty much equally, but our third, India, prefers my husband. I try not to take it too personally. :)

    Love the photos of your babies. How do you take such lovely pics (besides the wonderful subjects, that is)?


  6. Thanks, Laura. It’s not me, it’s my camera. It’s a Nikon. I just pull the trigger. :] Also, I do some post photo work in Photoshop. That’s (I think) where all the stuff happens when it comes to digital.

    I should also mention that I have another cat named Pookum. She just doesn’t really come out much to play and so I don’t have many recent pictures of her. (She’s an old lady.) I will try and have her sit in on a Murray post during the month of November. You guys should meet her, too. I don’t bring her up often on here, but she’s outstanding and very well loved. (Except when she barfs all over my floor, bed and everything. Then she’s just loved.)


  7. Thank you so much for posting continuously about the cats! I have to say, that I was never a cat person – I mean, I liked cats (I wasn’t one of those active dislikers!) but we always had dogs, so I just figured I was a dog person. Anyway, it took us taking in our three feral kittens for me to realize how AWESOME cats are. And even though we have lost all three of them, they brought me more joy and happiness at a time in my life when I needed joy and happiness…

    Anyway, seeing all these wonderful stories about your cats just reminds me of the wonderful hilariousness cats bring. The husband and I are preparing for a big move in 6 weeks (Cork, Ireland to Vancouver, Canada) and the second thing we will do when we get there (after finding a place to live) is adopt some cats. My husband is shocked – he thought that I would want to adopt a dog. Sorry to ramble a bit off-topic, but I just wanted to say thanks to you (and Murray, Tucker and the mysterious Pookum!) for filling the temporary cat-story void!


  8. Thank you!

    Finally! Someone who understands that cats are just as lovable and companion-able as dogs.

    I had about 6 cats throughout my life and loved each one of them so dearly.

    Murry and Toby Joe are beautiful felines.

    Actually, I’m pretty jealous of you right now.



  9. LOL

    Silly me, it literally hit like a ton of bricks that I made a mistake with my comment.

    I meant that Murry is one fine feline.

    Toby Joe is not a cat. He is your husband. Please don’t tell him that some crazy lady on the internet had a brain fart and thought he was a cat for a second.



  10. Just one more point…

    Look at my two comments -they’re exactly 12 hours apart. EXACTLY 12 HOURS APART!

    Perhaps not significant, but considering that I’m still up for some strange reason at this time when I should be sleeping (residual fatigue from back to back nights of little to no sleep), I’m checking out your blog again and that’s when it hit me about Toby Joe and stuff.

    So it’s sort of like I was meant -MEANT!- to be back here at this time to correct myself, and then subsequently embarrass myself as I’m doing now.

    I think my fatigue is wearing on me now and I just sound cynical. I do, don’t I?

    Well, looks like I should to stop harassing your comment box (and you) now…

    catch ya later!


  11. IssyCat was my boy… until the moment Marshall walked in the door. He’d wait until Marshall sat down, then he’d THROW himself into his lap, paws up, all big eyes that said “I’m yours! PET ME!”

    He was kind of a little ‘ho, I guess. Hehe.

    MaddyCat was ALL mine, though. She always gave Marshall the wary eye. “Even though I see you a lot, I’m still not 100% sure about you…”

    I miss them both so much.. but I don’t feel ready to get another one yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel ready. But I know where to come if I’m needing a good kitty-story fix. Give Murray a scratch from me. :)


  12. No worries, Amira. I got a huge laugh out of that especially since Toby and I have always joked that if you google images “toby” It’s about 75% pets. We have even gotten turtles!

    Chele: Dive in! A new cat will cheer you up. Murray most certainly did us when Schmitty died. He didn’t replace him, of course, but he helped immensely. :]


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