Muffin my cat
I’m writing this in the knowledge that Muffin is likely to die in the next 24 hours. He’s almost 15 years old, a lovely, brilliant, funny, sensitive, tough, furry, kind, and wonderful furry black cat. He has been my friend for 15 years… I’ve had him since he was 10 weeks old when he could just fit on my out stretched hand to the wise old man, sorry, cat he is today.
Sadly I got home last night, Tuesday 9th March, to find he had had an accident and was holed up under a thorny bush opposite my house. Having dragged him out (literally) it was clear he had a very broken leg, he was cold, he was suffering, he wasn’t happy. With much haste and the support of my neighbours I got him to the emergency town vet where he has stayed overnight on a drip and looked to get stabilized. This morning I moved him back towards home to our local vet. It looks like he has sustained some kidney damage in the accident and the prognosis is not good. So I thought I’d put finger to key board now… whilst Muffin you are still here… so I can share my thoughts with you – you my cat.
But you are not just a cat Muffin. You are more than that. You have been my friend, my ally for many years in my life. You have seen me through marriage, through divorce, through family births and deaths. You waited for me when I went to Iraq… and I shall never forget your little cat face as I walked home through the door in my desert combats. Home for good, you greeted me, I said “Hello Muffin I’m home and I’m staying” it was like you looked up at me in wonder and almost smiled. You have always been there for me to hold and to cry in to your deep fluffy black hair. You have always come to me when you’ve wanted feeding, stroking, feeding or on the odd occasion when you’ve wanted some TLC (having been victorious in a fight but with perhaps the odd infected paw to show for your efforts).
It’s true to say that cats have nine lives – and you surely have had your fair share of close shaves. Remember the time when you were a kitten, when you shouldn’t have been outside as you weren’t old enough but you went anyway. That big cat at the end of the garden scared you so much that you literally crapped your pants all over the cat flap as you ran in and ran straight upstairs to my side of the bed to wipe your arse!... Remember the time I nearly killed you for your stealth climb up the living room curtains. Not a thing was moving in the room which is why I sensed something wrong. You knew you shouldn’t have been up there, you were hardly breathing just looking at me with big wide kitten “I shouldn’t be up here” eyes…. And what about that time after we moved to Finchampstead that you decided to go venturing up a tree in the forest….. now that did take some talking in order to get you to pluck the courage up to come down, although I’m still not sure running head first down the tree was the right approach. I can’t count the times Muffin that you have attempted to greet my car as I’ve pulled into the cul-de-sac. You are so loving but really, you playing the “hello” game has given me white hairs!... and I know you like sunbathing too but you really should be careful with cars – I know at least one neighbor who has run over you – lucky you went between the wheels and not under them. That was another of your lives lost that day.
I’m going to miss you Muffin; Muffin the moo, Muff-cake, Mooky, Moodle, Munchkin, Muffin the fluffin King of the Duffins, Fluff, Moo-cat, “DAMN CAT” (only reserved for when you’ve been v.v.vbad which wasn’t very often)….. I’m going to miss the way you claw and meow at my bedroom door at 0630 every day. Why set an alarm clock when I know you’ll wake me up wanting some food. I’ll miss the way, as I get up you patiently wait for me to get to the top of the stairs before you play the “I can beat you down the stairs” game…. You always set off just ahead of me at breakneck speed. You’ve won everytime I think, even in these later years. I’m going to miss the amount of dirt you manage to bring in your fluffy fur, particularly having been rolling around in the dust in the drive or garden – I know you’ve always enjoyed doing that, especially when the sun is shining. I’m even going to miss the Muffin Fluff that magically appears from under the sofa or the bookcase… can you remember that time I inhaled some (quite by accident mind), it was like me having my own little furball incident….. I’m going to miss my little ode’s to Muffin which I make up and sing to you, usually when I get out the shower and see you waiting there, sitting in the bathroom sink or something. I’m going to miss the way you go mad and INSIST on drinking the stuff my disposable contact lenses come in (which I’ve always thought simply a weird thing to like, tried it myself and I really don’t get it).
Eating my breakfast or dinner will not be the same either. You’re always at my side more faithful then a faithful dog. You always lie next to me with your belly in the air waiting for your tummy to be stroked…. Or simply waiting for me to finish what I’m eating so you can lick the bowl out! You always follow me into the kitchen, I don’t know why you think I’m going to feed you every time?… even when I’m cooking for myself you’ll creep in and reach up, just stretching enough that your little paws suddenly appear on the edge of the kitchen surface!.... No matter how many times I tell you “you won’t like onions” you still want to make sure with a sniff before you scrunch your eyes up in horror and disbelief. In fact can you remember that time as a kitten when you got on the kitchen side and ate a bayleaf which had been taken out of a Bolognese.. .yes I bet that did taste yummy going down – but not so good when it got stuck in your throat and I had to pull it out with tweasers to stop you choking (that was probably one of the nine lives in that incident too)
I could say much more little Muffin… about the strange ways you sometimes try and wake me (lick of the armpit, gentle tug of my hair or a well pressurized bite to my nose), but I think we’re out of time. I’ve just had a call and so I’m going to the vets to see you now my little boy. I know you have been suffering this morning and they’ve tried to make you comfortable. But what you don’t realize is your kidneys are not working and are making you feel worse and worse. The vet could maybe help you mend you broken leg but they can’t mend the trauma this last accident has done to your old little kidneys my friend. I’m sitting here in tears this is our final farewell … I will wait with you little Muffin until you are at rest.
You have seen me through so many wonderful times in my life and given me such laughter and happiness for someone so small and furry. My heart is breaking but I have such wonderful memories and more. I love you Muffin, Muffin the cat. Muffin my cat.
Muffin the cat R.I.P