Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I lost my sweet Murphy on Sunday. She had been sick for longer than I wanted to admit but I kept thinking that I could fix her and she kept fighting. She was always a fighter. Years ago, I found her, a tiny, unweaned kitten, screaming by the side of the road. My vet said that it looked as if she'd been tossed from a moving car. The vet removed her shattered tail and part of her spine. We also think that the bones in her rear legs were fractured because they never were quite straight. We also think that because of those early injuries, she lived her entire life in pain but live she did. She was so full of life and she brought so much joy to our lives. I have wonderful memories of my funny, quirky girl that I will share here later. I have to go out of town for a few days but as soon as I return, I will share Murphy's story with all of you.
It's now been several weeks since Murphy left us and several months since we lost our Red Fred dog but it still hurts and I still miss them both. I put up a tribute to Freddie earlier but I'm just now getting the time to sit down and tell you all about Murphy. She was such a character!
I've told you above about how I found Murphy and what she survived as a baby. I had to feed her with a dropper for several weeks. I made her a bed in the bathtub the first few nights but she was having none of that. She showed me that there was no need to housebreak her, she already knew what to do...and what not to do! So, she came to sleep with us and she was so tiny that she'd sleep either on top of my head or under my chin, lol. As she got older and bigger, she started sleeping under the covers between Steve and me. She was always tiny and I was afraid to let her around our three bigger cats, Chloe, Hannibal, and Sparky, until she was big enough that I didn't think they could hurt her. So, she didn't know how to meow until she was six months old! Instead, she would "bark" like the squirrels she saw and heard outside the windows she'd sit in. When I did start letting her venture outside on her own, she was forever getting into trouble. She tried once to play with the crows and I was afraid they were going to carry her away. They certainly flogged her with their wings and she came running back to safety behind my legs and peaking out at those big, dark feathered monsters. She covered, literally covered!!, my kitchen floor with butterflies one day....much nicer than many of the gifts that my cats have given me over the years. And nicer also than the gift she deposited at my feet a few months later. I was sitting at my dining room table writing when I heard her "bark" at me. I asked what she wanted without looking up and she squawked again. Soooo, I looked up to see her holding a rat that was bigger than her! She dropped it at my feet and I quickly realized that it wasn't dead!! I jumped on top of the table screaming and the rat ran for the open back door that Murphy had brought it through a few moments before. Murphy looked perplexed, surely wondering why I didn't like her new playmate as much as she did. Chloe was the queen of the cats in those days and for all of her 19 years for that matter but when Murphy first met her, Murphy was not intimidated at all. She would hide and pounce on Chloe which didn't sit too well with her majesty. Once, I saw Murphy sitting in the kitchen window. She was twitching her rear end which was what she did since she didn't have a tail to whisk. I knew she was getting ready to pounce on something or someone so I rushed to the window in time to see an unsuspecting Chloe passing by below. Murphy pounced and she landed right in the middle of Chloe. It knocked the breath out of Chloe and I think that it addled her a bit too because she had no idea what hit her. And Murphy got this, "Oh, no! What have I done?" look on her face...and she didn't wait around to find out, lol. I've got photos somewhere of Murphy sleeping in the Christmas tree in her first year. She loved the lights. She loved music, too. She especially seemed to love Billie Holiday. Just like Fred was with Django Reindhart, Murphy would sit herself in front of the stereo, seemingly in sheer bliss, every time I put on a Billie cd. Murphy was funny and sweet and loving and I think she realized how much she was loved in return. She brought us so much joy. Steve has never been a cat person but he loved that little cat....or course it helped that Murphy never behaved like a cat or probably even thought she was a cat. She thought she was just a tiny, hairy little human....who owned our hearts from the moment we first laid eyes on her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Joe Guy Clinic at Blue Point Stables

Joe Guy is a native of Australia who is currently riding on horseback across America. Along the way, he is working miracles with green and troubled horses. This past weekend, October 17th and 18th, he held a very successful clinic at Blue Point Stables in Kingston. He will be returning to East Tennessee for an encore clinic November 7th and 8th. I hope to interview him then for The Tennessee Equestrian. He is a fascinating man and his story is riveting. Find out more about him on his website where you can also purchase his autobiography or one of his cd's....yes, he writes and sings, too!

He will be accepting only 5 or 6 horses for the two day clinic. Cost per horse is $200. Attendance cost is, $50 for both days or $30 for one. For more information or to reserve a spot for your horse contact, Brandy McDonnell at 865-376-9312 or mcdonnellhorses@bellsouth.net.
The photo above was taken in downtown Kingston, Tennessee.

If I Could Fly

If I Could Fly
The wind of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears.