R.I.P. Emmy the Cat

Early the afternoon of Sunday Aug. 1, we bid a sad yet fond farewell to our furry little buddy of 12 years, Emmy the cat. She passed peacefully, surrounded by the people she knows best: Elke and me, and our grown kids, for whom she was a loyal teenage companion and source of daily joy.

A small, tortoiseshell Himalayan, Emmy was a declawed stray, set loose in a neighborhood in north Norman, and made her way to us through my son David. We don’t know how old she was upon arrival, but guessed about a year. She was a sweet-tempered, adorable little bundle of fur, with a very laid-back, absent-minded, yet eagerly seeking disposition that charmed all who spent time with her. She blessed us with warmth, humor, beauty, and love for over a decade. Emmy also charmed every visitor with her wide-eyed curiosity, and willingness to accept affection easily compelled by that super-soft coat she wore.

I often said she was 60% fur, 40% cat — always a finicky eater and skinny little body hidden inside all that thick, plush fur. She had a marvelous repertoire of meek little vocal noises for every occasion — chirps, squeaks, wheezes, and short hums — sometimes loud howls, but seldom a true meow, and loved to receive affection. Nose, face and chin rubs were her special favorite; you couldn’t go wrong there. Petting, or even the mere reach toward petting, would elicit a deep, low-pitched, strongly vibrating purr, seemingly way out of proportion to her tiny size (6 pounds or less for most of her life).

To the end, she was a curious explorer of places she’d been many times, as if she was seeing them anew each time. We all could learn from that.

In the last couple years she has undergone a gradual decline amidst hip dysplasia, several eye and mouth infections that cost her some of both teeth and visual acuity, slow renal failure requiring increasingly frequent IV saline infusions, more-obvious confusion (beyond her scatter-brained norm), and more recently, increasingly apparent discomfort when walking and eating.

In her last few days, Emmy’s appetite and thirst waned. It was time. Emmy’s infusions and pills kept Elke at home instead of traveling for more than a day or so. Elke sacrificed countless hours for the sake of her beloved kitty, and grieved heavily those first few days. Still, we are not accepting any more pets for a long time. We’re content to remember those we’ve given good lives, and Emmy was among the very best.

We’re so glad to have had her and provided her with a loving, safe home. Adios and R.I.P., our “bug-eyed little fluffball”…Lord willing, you’ll be waiting on the other side with all the other great pets of our lives, and you’ll get as many nose rubs as you want forever in kitty heaven.


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