The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

emily the cat

Monday, 3 October 2011


after 14 long years, Emily the Cat has passed away.

when i got home from work, sparklet and i spent about 45 minutes searching the house for Emily. after calling and getting assurance from mommy that Emily was around this morning when she left for work, we sorta gave up and sat down on the couch in the basement.

… when we noticed her tail peeking out from under the couch.

within seconds it was pretty obvious that Emily was no longer with us, but we still had that time-speeds-up-so-much-it-slows-down period that seems to happen when you’re operating outside of yourself.

within a couple of seconds, the couch was jacked up onto a milk crate, Emily was in the carrier, sparklet had both shoes and a stack of empty carbohydrates for dinner, mommy was on the way to the vet, and we were away in the car. everything, and everyone, was strangely calm.

a couple of uncomfortable songs later — i remember sarah harmer’s capsized, and kathleen edwards’ 12 bellevieu — we were out front of the vet, mommy was pulling the cat carrier out of the back, and i was rushing off to park the car in the closest illegal-but-not-dangerous spot i could find.

by the time i brought sparklet inside, i could see it on mommy’s face that this trip to the vet wasn’t going to have a particularly happy ending — at least not for us.

we actually thought we were going to lose Emily back in 2006 — at one point during that ordeal we were told she wasn’t going to make it through the night. fortunately she did, and it made the last five years kind of like “bonus” time.

she had been on the same medication, twice a day, ever since — tapizol, prednizone, flagyll, vitamin B shots — so we had a daily dose of “it could happen at any time” to remind us of how luck we were to still have her.

now, Emily wasn’t exactly the friendliest of cats. some of our friends had no clue we had a cat until they had come over the twelfth or thirteenth time. even when she had warmed up to you, she would only let you pet her with one hand — the minute the second one came out (to pick her up) she was gone under the closest bed, couch or table.

we couldn’t tell if she was getting better with people — or just getting old — but she started showing up a bit more once the baby started moving around. sparklet would insist on kissing Emily on the top of her head several times a day, and at first you could see her recoil in horror, but after a few months she finally gave in and stopped trying to run away.

(sparklet held my hand the whole way from home to the vet — something just as out of character for her as taking kisses from babies was for Emily.)

the Emily that i will remember the most is the cat that would come out when the house had finally settled down to a managable din. in the thirteen years we had together, across six houses in three states, you could always count on her to come jumping up on the couch to say goodnight once everyone else had gone to sleep.

goodnight, Emily.