It was at Glastonbury 1997 14 years ago that the name of Murphy first entered our lives.My Niece Katherine was camped with us with her friend Cherie.They shared a flat in London and were going to Ireland on holiday and asked if we would look after Cherie's cat called Murphy aged 3 for two weeks while they were away.We said yes and a few days later Murphy arrived. Murphy didn't like us at first and spent a lot of time skulking under chairs until i bought a pretend mouse which i tied to some string and started pulling across the floor.Murphy started stalking it and leaping on it and soon lost all inhibtions.Weeks went by and we never heard from Cherie and we realised we had been dumped with Murphy.We would go to bed and there would be a big lump under the covers where Murphy had decided that was a nice place to crash out.Murphy soon got aquainted with the surrounding gardens and was soon threatening the local wildlife.One day i was in the living room and Kim was in the kitchen and i heard her scream.
"Aaaargh!,Murphy has got a mouse".
I ran into the kitchen where Murphy was proudly showing off this tiny mouse which was clenched in its jaws.I grabbed Murphy who dropped the mouse which ran under the fridge.I lifted up the fridge and Murphy dived in there and emerged with the mouse.I managed to prise the mouse off Murphy again and carried it up to the churchyard and released it into the wild to meet its fate.
An unusual talent which Murphy had was picking racing winners.In 2001 Kim suggested that Murphy pick a horse for her in the Grand National so I opened the Daily Mirror two page Grand National guide and pulled a string across it and Murphy dived on it and the leading paw landed on Red Marauder which romped home at 33/1.From then on when there was a big race Murphy’s Choice was a feature.
When the end came it was sudden.We came in from the pub and Murphy was sitting on the steps leading to the garden enjoying the last rays of the evening sun.Kim gave Murphy a sachet of Sheba cat food and we were watching the telly when we heard unusual noises from the kitchen.Murphy was lying on the floor.I made a bed from a cardboard box with two cushions in and and brought Murphy into the living room but to no avail.I pronounced Murphy dead at 9.28 GMT.I closed the lid and removed Murphy to the shed for the night.Next afternoon I dug a hole 3 feet deep against the wall of the garden which Murphy had prowled for so many years.and buried Murphy and planted a bay tree on top surrounded by stones and placed a sign saying ‘All Creatures Great And Small,The Lord God Made Them All’.Then I showed Kim the grave and went inside.I played Be Thou My Vision by Van Morrison because Murphy heard a lot of Van in our house.
I told my internet buddies and got lots of messages and Rhonda Batchelor who is a poet from
sent me a poem she had written years ago. Canada
Old Cat in Spring Sun
One more summer's all we can ask. One
short season of long days and dry, starry nights.
A sofa, broad and broken-in, fading.
The dish kept full and waiting.
Cool water in a tin bowl.
Outside the window small birds
are bold. Ignore them. Sleep
a peaceful sleep.
before paradise. The door
is open into the garden.
may come and go.