Rescued Pets - The Cat Rules the Roost

Mr. Murphy - rescue cat extraordinaire - sitting calmly in his armchair. I can see him plotting right now. All the outward signs point to it - the oh-so-innocent expression, the insouciant, almost lazy curl of the tail, the ultra-relaxed posture. That cat is definitely up to something.

Cat lovers, or cat-staff, as we are sometimes affectionately called, will know exactly what I mean. We have come to recognize the signs only too well. Dog-lovers among you may be puzzled, and wondering if I am developing a phobia, or am leaning towards paranoia, having lived too long among felines. That's as may be, however, it does not alter the fact that Mr. Murphy is definitely planning some mischief.

Who? Me?

Photos by author
Photos by author

He's up to something...

There go the ears - flicking forward, back and...ha! There goes my pencil, along with the grocery list and my glasses case...and there goes Murphy, chasing the pencil down the hallway. I knew he was after something on the coffee table.

Mr. Murphy, also known as Mr. Murphies , Murphies , and you rotten kitty is certainly a character. The phrase, "Where's you ?" when uttered by my step-daughter, his chief staff, brings an instant response. Murphy miraculously appears from who-knows-where, to twine around her legs, chirruping melodically, and begging for the treats he knows he is about to receive.

Mr. Murphy calls a meeting...

OK, you guys settle down. Let's get this meeting started...
OK, you guys settle down. Let's get this meeting started...
What did the staff say about Vet appointments?
What did the staff say about Vet appointments?
Oh, those dogs go ON and ON about their bones!
Oh, those dogs go ON and ON about their bones!
Enough with the tail-chasing, you guys... OK, that's it - I'm outta here!
Enough with the tail-chasing, you guys... OK, that's it - I'm outta here!

Unless he's sleeping...

Mr. Murphies is now the proud owner of three staff, since I came to live with my kids in Northern Alberta. He is now also the proud owner of two dogs, and though he is definitely the boss he graciously shares his domain.

Sometimes, when the new dog's sister visits, he owns three dogs. What new dog, you ask? Well that's quite a story.

I am not at all sure that Murphy is thrilled about the three dogs. He seemed perfectly happy, or at least contented, with only one. My kids had other ideas, though - or at least, the new doggy did.

It all started innocently enough. My daughter-in-law was searching for a new watch-puppy for her mother, who is going deaf.

Their beloved family pet, Dukie, who warned them of intruders, and barked when the phone rang, had finally passed on, and Ma and Poppa, as my daughter-in-law calls her parents, were devastated. So their girl began a search of S.P.C.A.s and animal shelters in our area.

After several months of searching online, phone calls, and visits to meet prospective pets, our girl came home one day and phoned her husband.

He was already on the road, but she needed him to think about a very important question. "Would he really start divorce proceedings if she brought home another dog?"

As simple enough question, one would think.

Peace River No-Kill Shelter

A markerPeace River S.P.C.A. -
9510 94 Ave, Peace River, AB T8S 1J1, Canada
[get directions]

Lady at about 10 weeks

All photos by Elle Fredine
All photos by Elle Fredine
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hi there!You wanna play with me?Awww...c'mon...
Hi there!
Hi there!
You wanna play with me?
You wanna play with me?
Awww...c'mon...
Awww...c'mon...

Two + two = Chaos...

The dutiful daughter had indeed found a new "watch-puppy" for her parents - Lady, as she was soon named - for her looks, not her behavior - was the sweetest little doggy imaginable. Though her contact at the shelter - the S.P.C.A. runs a no-kill shelter in Peace River - thought she was a Terrier, Dachshund, and possibly something-else cross, we were pretty sure there was a strong line of Cocker Spaniel in her, too.

Her head and her black, wavy, soft and silky fur are pure "cocker", but her body, particularly her hind-quarters, definitely conform to the dachshund physiology. Her personality is one-of-a-kind, though. She loves everybody, and joyously bounces up to meet and greet every person and creature she meets.

...and when I say bounce , I really mean bounce. Lady almost levitates off those muscular, doxie hindquarters, her little pink tongue lolling out and her soft ears flapping up and down.

Mr Murphies was not so happy to be met by the bouncing baby doggie. He was even less enchanted with puppy's sister, who came as part of the package.

When the dutiful daughter found Lady, she also met another little doggie, Lady's older sister - who timidly approached her and, as my daughter-in-law put it, "She looked at me and her eyes told me, 'I'm a good doggie, too - can I be your doggie?'" Well, how could anyone turn that down?

So home came Lady and big sister, who stayed with us, and became Bella .

Lady and Bella (foreground)

Lady and Bella (foreground)
Lady and Bella (foreground)

Bella

Our little Bella was very shy when she first came to live with us. The shelter had spayed her and reassured us that her shots were up to date. Raised in the same puppy mill from which Lady and a dozen other small dogs had been rescued, Bella weighed barely 7 pounds when we first brought her home. Our vet guesstimated her age between one and three years of age, and told us she had born several litters of pups already.

Ours was a very busy household for those first weeks until little Lady went off to her new home. With three dogs, one mildly fussed cat and a small house, we were a bit pressed for space. It's amazing how much room a small puppy can take up with her toys. As well, until the new dog and puppy were completely house trained, my daughter-in-law slept on a blow-up bed on the living room floor, so she could hear the critters and let them out every time one of them squeaked.

Thank goodness that phase only lasted a few weeks.

By the third week, Bella would run and play with Lady, but was still very timid with men - every time my son spoke, and he is very soft-spoken, Bella would flatten herself on the floor, shivering. The end of the month brought a different story, though. Our girl's weight had doubled, and you could no longer feel every bone and sinew in her neck when you petted her.

Bella has continued to improve, and is now quite playful with the other pets. Her favorite toy is anything that squeaks - she loves squeaky toys.

All our pets are rescued - either from our vet, or the local shelter. They are all sweet-natured, and know they are loved, and more importantly, that they are owned .

Oh, and the ruling the roost part - Mr. Murphy is definitely the boss cat of the house. He comes and yells at my door in the morning to make sure I am up on time to get breakfast for the cat, and to let the dogs out. My son refers to him as the dogs' lawyer , as he runs interference for the "girls" if we are not being attentive enough to their needs.

...and he definitely has first choice of the comfy chairs...

...of, course, now he has to share the chair with Bella sometimes...

Click thumbnail to view full-size
See - we both fit...Snuggle buddies
See - we both fit...
See - we both fit...
Snuggle buddies
Snuggle buddies

Rescued Pets

Would you consider adopting a rescued pet?

  • Absolutely, every pet deserves a "forever home"
  • I would consider it as long as I knew the pet was spayed/neutered and house trained.
  • I wouldn't feel comfortable adopting a stray
  • I might if the shelter could tell me where the animal came from
See results without voting

Passing of a good friend

Since this was first published, Mr. Murphy has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. We were so sad to lose him, and Bella was bereft for a time. Now, though, another rescue pet has come to brighten our lives - more about her another time.

Whether you would take in a rescued pet is entirely a matter of choice and taste, but I know this family will always head to the nearest shelter before we'd darken the door of a pet shop. Every pet who has adopted us has been a real character and has added great joy to our lives during whatever time they have spent with us.

One caveat

Of course, there's always one critter who proves the exception, rather than the rule, as evidenced in the clip below...

© 2010 RedElf

More by this Author


Comments 27 comments

Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Aww...I just love a rescue story and they are all so cute! i can sure understand about Mr.Murphie waking you up...mine wakes me up on weekends and I am certain he wants me to go to work...well, maybe he wants the treats that go with the routine of me going to work!


arthurchappell profile image

arthurchappell 5 years ago from Manchester, England

interesting characters among the animals at the shelter - cool article. Cheers.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

RedElf - Great critter story. I really enjoyed reading it.

Gus :-)))


leni sands profile image

leni sands 5 years ago from UK

I really enjoyed reading this. What a wonderful story, family, host of pets, household...it sounds like a wonderful life. I have a rescue cat and he definitely rules the roost. I will probably share his story one day. He is a bit down in the mouth at the moment because we are decorating and about to varnish the floors so he's stuck in the kitchen for a few days.

Anyway I clicked on all the appropriate buttons and voted it up! Thanks for sharing.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

We got our cat from a rescue shelter when he was 3 months old and I have never had a cat as lovable and fun as him. Pets add so much to the family even if they are a little work. Great hub and lady is a beauty.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Mr. Murphy is absolutely adorable! I fell in love with him through this hub. Your household sounds like it's very busy and has lots of love.

Very well-written hub, with an exceptionally engaging style. Loved!

Side note: I know Peace River quite well, used to go through there all the time, and have a good friend there.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, princess! Great to meet another Albertan!

Scribenet, I think you have the right of it - probably the treats are more of a motivator ;)

Thanks for stopping by to comment arthurchappell! All of ours are certainly characters!

Thanks so much, Gus! So pleased you enjoyed reading about the critters!

leni, I'm sure he'll stop pouting once the floors are all done ;) he sounds like a lovely kitty.

Thanks so much, Pam - rescued pets bring so much into our lives - it's incredible to me that they were almost discarded.


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

All my cat have been rescue cats. With the pet overpopulation, that is the only way to go as far as I am concerned.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

That's what I think too - there are so many dogs and cats I can't help - why not take in at least one or two when I can? :D:D


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

There is nothing like a rescued pet! I never wanted a cat, never expected to own a cat. But when we found a little kitten, half starved and mewing its little head off on a dark and stormy night, we suddenly had ourselves a cat. I have often wondered how a 5 week old kitten could have been thrust outdoors alone, and what would have happened to him if we had not picked him up that night. His appearance in our home has been a blessing for all of us!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

That is a great hub and thank you for sharing.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Oh, Dolores, somehow that little waif was put in your way - you needed that kitty as much as kitty needed you ;) I am so glad your kitty's rescue story ended well, too.

Nice to see you friend Hh - thanks for stopping by to comment.


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

RedElf, I always knew you were OK, but anyone who lives with a houseful of rescue animals is my kinda people!

This is our cat Jasper's first full winter as he was just an indoor kitten until late spring. One night last week he asked to go out after it had snowed an inch or so. By morning we had over a half a foot of snow and Jasper hadn't returned. He went missing for 5 days, during which I imagined numerous scenarios as to how he may have met his end...sometimes you are the hunter, sometimes the hunted.

Then, one day after my wife had gone from door to door asking neighbors if they had seen him, Jasper showed up on the portch, none the worse for wear...and very glad to be home.

I'll bet he had been driving some family nutz loudly protesting his unfamiliar surroundings and they were turned him loose after learning he had a home to reurn to.

Having him jump into my arms to be cradled and stroked is the best present I could have recieved this Christmas. The furry little darlings sure do capture your heart don't they?

Happy Holidays.

CP


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Mr. Murphy looks likes he runs a tight ship! Love all the pix - feline and canine! :)


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Hey, thanks so much, CP - so glad your Jasper came home safely. We loves our pets!

FP - greetings - so nice of you to stop by and comment! He does his best, but those dogs get totally out of hand sometimes :D They are all great photo subjects;)


hubpageswriter 5 years ago

So enlightening, pictures are cute. Quoting form your hub: "Would he really start divorce proceedings if she brought home another dog?" - Easy question, tough answer.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Yes - it turned out to be not such a hard question after all, hubpageswriter ;)


rwelton profile image

rwelton 5 years ago from Sacramento CA

Great post - pet-less for years - until new rescue kitten allowed us to feed and provide shelter for her. New house rules in effect and it is an ongoing debate as who is training and who is getting trained...

rlw


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Kitties have a way of doing that, don't they, rlw? Thanks so much for stopping by to comment.


annmackiemiller profile image

annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

wonderful story


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, anna! Murphy is quite a character!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..well hello my fellow Canadian (that's Lake Erie in Ontario behind me which unfortunately is covered right now with snow and ice) ...thank you so much for that positively poetic and glowing review over at my humble hubspace - and I must say I really enjoyed this story because I am the housekeeper and bread winner for my two cats (and best friends) Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel who prefer to spend most of their time indoors at this time of year in front of the blowing gas heat!

Please allow me to wish you Happy New Year with much happiness and health and I can see why you have attained

elite status - you have a wonderful array of subjects to choose from - and that reminds me of only one word: hubtastic!!!!!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, epigramman! Happy New Year to you and yours - Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel first and foremost, of course. You are too kind - I just love to write poetry, and you really have inspired me to write another "poetical" hub :D


jantamaya profile image

jantamaya 5 years ago from UK

Elle, I absolutely love Lady (!), Mr. Murphy is funny and Bella cute, but what about the third dog ??? You've written that partly in your family, there were three dogs and Mr. Murphy. Is it right, or ...? Sorry that I'm asking, I only would like to know the third dog too :-)Because he/she feels so 'left over', you know?


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

The third dog is my son's pooch. She is getting on in years, but definitely as "Daddy's girl." She is a mostly white cross-breed known as Upsi Muskwa, or Little Bear. She, too, is a rescue dog.


David Alderson profile image

David Alderson 5 years ago from Cat Lovers, Indiana

I came from a shelter but was adopted by my people right away. I'm sure it was that sad look and neck cuddle I gave them that got them hooked. I am the master of charm. This is a great article that I could identify with.....


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so much, DA - always appreciate a good review from an expert :D

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    RedElf profile image

    RedElf1,909 Followers
    156 Articles

    Elle Fredine (RedElf), photographer, published author - strong supporter of pet neutering/spaying, fierce advocate for no-kill shelters



    Click to Rate This Article
    working