i never liked the quiet before.

Her name is Emmy. I already knew an Emily, and she didn’t seem like an Emily. So Emmy she became and Emmy she remains — except when she’s Mimmy, or Mimser, or Fuzzle. Ginger of gingers. She’s good-tempered. Eight months, one week, one day old. Enormous for her age, but slowing her growth, so maybe she won’t be a fifteen-pound behemoth by her first birthday. (Maybe.) Plays like there’s no tomorrow. Is there a tomorrow in her world?

She sits where she fits. This is where she fits:
The top of her kitty tower
The bolster along the window side of my bed
The red plaid kitty bed
Boxes of all stripes
Dad’s bed in general, but she does favor the blanket that matches her fur
With Mum on the sofa
With Dad on the sofa

She does not sit where she has decided she does not fit:
My lap (except, for some reason, when I am on the loo)
The middle of my bed
Next to me on the sofa
Anywhere near me

Circumstances kind of threw Emmy into Dad’s way. While we were trying to figure out how to introduce Emmy and Addy, we kept Emmy’s stuff in Mum and Dad’s room. It was a room that closed, and someone slept in it, so if she needed something, someone was there. She grew up, she grew more independent, but she never forgot where she spent her nights at the start.

At one point I thought she was mine. But she’s not. And I have to learn to accept that without bitterness. She is Dad’s cat first and foremost, which is helping him because Bodie was his little buddy. His cat. Even though he snuggled up to me, he was Dad’s favorite. And he is, God knows, much happier because he has a cat again.

Yes, we have two cats. Right now. At Emmy’s July checkup, when she went in for her shots, we also took Addy. My Adalyne, my apple tree, my brightness. The doctor found a mass in her middle. All hell broke loose that day, really. Turned out she somehow became allergic to the shots and if we hadn’t spotted her weird reactions and called the vet back inside of ten minutes, if we hadn’t gotten her there within the next five, she would have died. She almost died then and there. You have to understand that if Emmy picked Dad, Adalyne picked me. She decided I was her human. She has never been far from my side, not even when I’ve had my head up my butt and been trying to gain the affections of a kitten who was never going to be mine.

Adalyne is faithful. Adalyne is loving. Adalyne is… a little off. And Adalyne is probably dying. She’s been losing weight. She’s become more fragile. She’s started having puking episodes, this after we took her off the wet food. I swear I’ll never feed a cat cheap wet food ever again. I’ll find an alternative, I will, and in the meantime Addy’s been keeping up her weight by sharing Emmy’s kitten chow. We’ll sustain her as long as possible. That doesn’t heal the slow breaking of my heart. Adalyne has been my constant for fifteen years. Of course I’ll do my best by her. I just don’t know where to look for consolation while I watch this happen.

I want her to die in her sleep, curled up beside me. I want the vet to come to us when it’s time. I want to lay her to rest between the triptych trees. The funeral home charged for Trixie but never gave us anything of hers. I blame myself; I was out of my head at the time. My boy has his paw on the tree this year, but my baby girl is lost to me — so I’m probably going to ask our Nikki to do something for Addy, at the very least get her pawprint.

One thing that might be good for all of us, including Emmy, is to introduce a calm third-cat who is bonded to me. Upheaval will be a little less, and as Addy needs to conserve more energy, third-cat can play with Emmy. Addy will have time to pass the torch. When the inevitable happens, grief will be lessened in the sharing thereof. So in the New Year, one thing on my agenda is weekly visits to Lollypop if possible, to get to know the population. I would prefer a cat whose personality is pretty set, so not a kitten. I have discovered that kittens are a gamble. I’d only raised one before Emmy, and that one was very much mine. I’d like a cuddler. I’d like a lovey lapcat. I don’t care how many legs or whatever. I just want fur and heart and brain, someone to dote on. I can’t afford a super-disabled kitty, but a kitty people will pass by because standard parts are missing, that cat might be mine.

I think this is the first time I’ve sat down and written about the whole thing. I’ve been doing a lot of failing, and a lot of clawing my way back to a win. Or a draw. I have a lot of living to do, and I might write about that in another post. Chiefly the cat thing needed to come out of my brain. Who knows what’s next?

Hello.

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