American Shorthair

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)

Gender: Male





Friendly with owners


Good with dogs




Appropriate vocalization






Easy to groom


Need for attention


Wild Boy


United States

Posted Feb 19, 2016

Murphy came to us on a rainy night in May. We heard him yowling outside and went out to investigate. He wasn't scrawny or anything, but he stunk badly and he was completely alone out there. He didn't run or show any signs of skittishness. As soon as he heard us calling "Kitty, kitty!" he ran over without hesitation. My boyfriend cautioned me against bringing him in, but he didn't want to toss him back out in the rain either.

For the first week he stayed in the garage. He slept in a cat carrier with clean towels and newspaper, which were changed regularly. We all felt badly leaving him out there, especially given how friendly he was, but we couldn't bring him in until we were sure he had no diseases that might be passed on to the other cats. And he had some wild habits that made us unsure if he would adjust. I loved him for his fierceness and his independence, but my boyfriend... not so much. Needless to say, my arms and legs looked awful for a good while because of him. He loved to climb people.

As soon as the vet gave the all-clear, he began his reign of terror throughout the house. I was the only one home at the time, and I laughed at his reactions to every little thing. He got into EVERYTHING. And the other cats loathed it. As soon as they saw him hurtling closer they would hiss and flee. His first exploration of the house is honestly one of my favorite memories. He was just so excited. He would run around, bat at something a little bit, and then look up at me and meow loudly like "What's this?"
It was love at first sight when he found the scratching post. He scaled it easily and sat there for several minutes, his pudgy kitten belly resting on top while he tore at the post with all four paws. Murphy was, and remains, completely smitten with that thing.

Food was always a problem with Murphy. I don't know what he experienced out there before he found us, but he treats every meal like it is to be his last. His climbing habit was hard to break, especially if we were holding food of any kind. This has gotten better with time, but he still likes to be wherever the food is, yellow eyes always watching...

Everyone told me to expect a sudden decrease in energy after having Murphy fixed. In all honesty, this made me rather sad. Murphy's adoration for his toys was something I coveted; I'd never had a cat show such interest in the specially-bought cat toys I would bring home. And what's more, we didn't even need to be present for him to play with them. I've walked in on him throwing his mouse toys back and forth, pouncing and tackling all on his own. I had grown accustomed to hearing him galloping through the house in his fits of play. And suddenly that was going to be gone?

But no. As soon as he came home from the vet's and we opened the door, he hobbled out slowly, blinked a few times, took a few unsteady steps toward the kitchen and then.... BANG.
He was absolutely bouncing off the walls. Nothing escaped the touch of his claws. We were worried he was going to tear his stitches, so I kept him in my room for a few days, but that energy of his never did go away. He's still just as crazy as he was when he was a little kitten.

And always in my business! No matter what I'm doing, he's always there to keep me "company", which often means actively attacking whatever I'm holding. Let me be clear though, besides his climbing habit and the occasional misplacement of a claw, Murphy has always been very gentle and considerate when it came to human skin. He's always had tight control of his claws.

Murphy is really the first cat I've had who will completely abandon his aloof facade in order to get my attention. Maybe it's because I've handled him from the time he was two months old, but he is also the least resistant animal I have ever owned when it comes to being held. I really love that about him.

So while he's wild, ravenous, and has broken more items than I care to list, Murphy is truly my very favorite animal that I have ever owned. I don't regret taking him in one bit, and my boyfriend doesn't either.

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