Photo by Danny Fulgencio

When Marissa Shirley first met Murray, she left the room with scratches on her arms but a desire to take a chance on the 18-pound cat.

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Murray was adopted out twice and returned for bullying other cats, Shirley and her husband, Drew, learned.

Shirley says she was skeptical, but massive Murray and his strong personality intrigued her. The couple brought the cat home just before Christmas, and he made himself at home, sleeping in their bed with them right away.

By New Year’s, they knew he was staying for good.

Murray loves being the center of attention, greeting guests at the front door and waking Shirley up at 4 a.m. for cuddles.

“He’s very much a cat, wanting affection on his own terms, but he can also be very doglike,” she says.

Murray became the star of the party at a baby shower Marissa Shirley hosted last summer. He rolled around on the floor next to the bride-to-be, playing with ribbons and paper while she opened gifts.

“Once he got a bit tired of that, he started making rounds through the 20 or so guests, demanding that they pet him,” Shirley says.

Murray also loves napping in his favorite chair, sitting on the kitchen counter and lying by the sliding glass door, watching squirrels, birds and the occasional feral cat run through the yard.

Shirley says Murray can be cranky, but his personality rules.

“He’s hard to resist,” she says.

Photo by Danny Fulgencio