He was just a domestic short hair. A common house cat. Still, when we picked him up from Catzablanca in Rocky Hill, we knew he was the cat for our family. He was originally going to be called Peeper, since he seemed to peep more than meow. I figured that he would eventually grow out of that and wanted to call him something else. His named ended up being Emo, after comedian Emo Philips.
Emo was an independent cat, choosing when he wanted to be around us. usually, that was by either curling up next to us while we watched TV, or lying on our backs when we slept. One time, when he was just a kitten, he even came into my room when I was a sleep and decided he wanted to be on my pillow. I’m in bed, and I feel this little paw on the back of my head. So I move over a little bit, intending to share the pillow. Again, I feel a little paw nudge on my head, and again I move over a little more. With the third paw nudge, I found my head off the pillow. And there he was, lying on the pillow with that innocent, “What? What I do?” look.
Emo was like that. When he wanted something, he’d let you know. If his food dish was empty, he’s come into my room, jump on my dresser, and start pushing books off of it, usually on me. Either that, or he’d jump on my parents dresser and start knocking stuff off of it. There were even a few times when he’d rest his paw on a small bottle or something near the edge and wait until he had our attention before pushing it off.
It seemed like his favorite hobby was getting in the way. He’d see you were walking somewhere in the house and race to get ahead of you. Once there, he’d start slowly meandering around, lingering in front of you. he especially liked to do this when you had things in hand, like groceries or other shopping. It was like he knew there was no way you could pick him up and move him out of the way then.
Only once did this hobby of hid get the better of him. It was a Sunday night. My dad, who had been commuting from here to Washington DC at the time, was getting ready so that he didn’t have to worry about it the next day. Emo wanted to be in the bathroom. He had long discovered that it was a nice spot for him. It was sunny during the day, and was the one room that was most likely to have an open window. My dad shooed him out of the bathroom so that he could finish up. But, Emo being Emo, took his sweet old time in getting out. What he didn’t count on was that my dad didn’t see his tail was clear of the bathroom door. One closed door and one panicked cat later, he was now sporting a shortened tail. A few weeks, a few trips to the vet, a cone for his head, and one for his tail later, he was back and once more getting into our way. Still, it was something I never let my dad forget. Whenever we saw a cat in a picture that looked like Emo, I would say, “That looked just like Emo, except he has a tail and Emo doesn’t. I wonder why tail is?” (It was only the tip of his tail, but the exaggeration made it seem funnier at the time).
Emo remained active, even after he was diagnosed with diabetes two years ago. Our family adjusted to it. Feedings twice a day, and shots just as often. His snacks were cut down to help keep everything under control, but he still would get a special treat of chicken or turkey every now and then. He seemed to have a sixth sense for when we were going to make a sandwich, racing down to the fridge even before we pulled out the cold cuts.
Eventually, old age and diabetes caught up with him. He began to eat less, and not be as active. the Tuesday before we brought him to the vet, he did not want to move or eat. Well, except when I went to get him some turkey to see if he would eat that. But, even then, he couldn’t quite make it to the fridge. He tried, but he was just too tired.
Emo died Sunday. He may have been just a domestic short hair cat, but he was still a member of our family. And we will miss him dearly.